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June, 2000


Originally from Moments by Valerie, a collection of memories (1961-1983), written in 1986 and presented to Larry on their first anniversary.

Valerie with schnauzer puppy,
1962, Illinois.
During spring break at the University of Illinois one year, my family and I took our kayaks down to southeastern Missouri. The snow melted as we crossed the Mississippi River and we had bright, cool days for river running. Navigating the thaw-swollen Current River was a real breath-taker. The river was often only several feet wide, and the clear blue water raced around one curve after another. The shores were sometimes steep cliffs or huge boulders, and strainers (trees in the water) often caught us by surprise as we zipped down with the current. Log jams were also a challenge in the narrow chutes. It was very much like a fast carnival ride, but we were at the controls. Every time we pulled off the river, it took several minutes for my heart to slow, but the feeling of euphoria lingered much longer.