I recently took the SUP out on the St. Joseph river in Fort Wayne for a short paddle down the river and through the Fort Wayne. Growing up in the area, the rivers always had a poor reputation and are notoriously dirty. I was surprised by wide array of scenery, parts of the river seemed rural with wading herons while just around a bend would be a bridge with bumper to bumper traffic. I certainly don’t plan on going for a swim in the river anytime soon, but I think that the town is heading in the right direction in regards to rehabilitating the river and promoting the recreation opportunities. A big reason for the float is that in the next couple of weeks, I will be helping lead a field trip for 4 US History classes on a guided float down the river to highlight the region’s history. I think that some minds will be blown by what is coursing through our town. I’m hoping that if we can get this generation of high school kids stoked on the water, then we may stand a chance of protecting it for future generations.
Looking downstream with no development in site, one can imagine what it must have been like for the early French explorers that mapped the region and interacted with the native tribes.