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The Missouri River: River of Opportunity

By Brett Dufur

Join Us in 2010! Celebrating our 7th season of offering safe, professional and fun guided Missouri River canoe & kayak tours. Perfect for beginners, families and couples. Make memories of a lifetime! Float through Life... Paddle through History!

Excerpted from the book Exploring Lewis & Clark's Missouri, available from Pebble Publishing, Inc.

Todayís Missouri River offers many exciting ways to explore the Lewis & Clark Trail. As the Bicentennial Commemoration of Lewis & Clarkís 1804 Ė 1806 voyage showed, itís incredible how few people venture out on the Missouri River. In fact, you could argue that the Missouri River valley (the river and its banks) is the least trod ground in Missouri.

Travel on the river that gave the state its name. Here we are in the state where Lewis & Clark for all practical purposes began and ended their trip. The Missouri River was Lewis & Clarkís superhighway to the West. Yet today, although many people enjoy Missouri River views, few realize the countless ways to enjoy and to interact with the Missouri River valley.

The Missouri River has developed what I call the Grand Canyon Syndrome. That is, people drive up to see it, get out of their air-conditioned cars and photograph it. Perhaps they walk along its banks for a bit, but then they get back in their cars and move on to the next spot. Been there, done that.

The bicentennial rekindled many people's interest in Lewis & Clark. The Missouri River of today offers a golden opportunity for people to not only reconnect with the Missouri River valley, but the Missouri River itself. Today, perhaps more than at any other time in the past 200 years, save for the riverboat days, there are more ways for landlocked Missourians to explore the Lewis & Clark Trail.

For so many years the river has taken a back seat to our rush for progress. And so, it only seems appropriate, that in this time of uncertainty, that nature would regain its prominent place in our psyche. There are many opportunities available for those wanting to explore the Missouri River, to see the river from the exact same vantage point as Lewis & Clark.

And after all, you canít say youíve done the Lewis & Clark Trail if you havenít gotten your feet wet. That trail is the Missouri River.

Everyone is busy with the phrase "Lewis & Clark Stood Here." Sort of odd, considering they were moving by water. The river is where their greatest mishaps and also most serene moments occurred.

Perhaps instead of using the phrase "Lewis & Clark Stood Here," it would be more beneficial if the slogan of Missouriís Bicentennial were "Lewis & Clark Rowed Here." After all, even the Division of Tourismís theme of "Missouri: Where the Rivers Run," seems an apt nod that the rivers are where itís at. If the Missouri motto were "Lewis & Clark Rowed Here," we could blanket both banks with spots that would suddenly gain much needed notoriety for the river. Photo ops would increase immeasurably!

Mighty Mo Canoe Rental

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101 Lewis Street    Rocheport, MO 65279

Refer to our Learn More page to find out more about our trip. If you don't find the answer to your question on the website, please email us at pebblepublishing@gmail.com. We answer emails much faster than phone calls since our office is not staffed full-time due to the recession. However, if you need us, please don't hesitate to call us at (573) 698-3903.


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Publishers of The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook &

Exploring Lewis & Clark's Missouri