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We bought our first canoe in 1952, before we got married. It was a beautiful wood and canvas Old Town Otca. We used it until 1960, when we were a family of four, too much for the canoe, so we sold it. Our next canoe was aluminum, bought in 1971. It was lost in a flood several years later. After a kayaking accident in 1980 when one of the kayaks was lost, we joined several canoe clubs as a safety factor. At one time we belonged to four canoeing clubs.

Up and Over

This was our 18 foot 6 inch Kevlar We-no-nah Jensen that weighed 38 pounds. It was a very stable and fairly maneuverable boat that we enjoyed until 1998 when Ev broke her arm slipping on a muddy bank during a canoe trip. The Kevlar is now in Texas where Val and Larry continue to enjoy it.


This is a canoe club putting in their boats on the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River in Illinois. In 1989, a 17.1 mile segment of this river was designated a State-administered component of National Wild and Scenic Rivers System after 22 years of effort. It was the first in Illinois and one of 23 east of the Mississippi. Archaeological sites with Indian mounds are located on its banks.


Fawn River

One of the beautiful rivers in northern Indiana, which includes the Pigeon River. This is in the area of Shipshewanna, where we usually have an evening meal and enjoy the town.



The Nippersink is a twisting scenic stream in northern Illinois which has a very good flow of water early in the Spring and after a rainy season. Sometimes we have log jams and pull overs and sometimes a wild whitewater ride over "Five Inch Falls."

van michigan michigan


The Pere Marquette River was the first river in Michigan to be included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers program. It is a fairly gentle, beautiful river winding between sandy and wooded banks. We saw large trout in the water and fisherman scrambling over the hills to get at the fish. During this time we had a Dodge van that we used for camping most of the time. We had the club's "River Rat" painted on the spare tire cover, with the club's emblem.

Cake Picture1
Canoe Clubs

In 1992, Ev retired and we moved to Florida. The cake was designed and made by a member of the club. The painting was done by another club member with the signatures and best wishes of club members written on it. It is on a wall of our home in Florida where it is a constant reminder of the fun and enjoyment we shared with the Illinois canoe club.



We used to spend vacations in Florida year after year when our daughters were younger. After retiring, we finally settled down in the central area after searching from the northern panhandle to as far south as Sarasota, where we are shown visiting some friends.


gator oklawaha juniper


Alligators were never a problem when we were canoeing in Florida. We always managed to give them plenty of room. Left is the Hillsborough River, above is the Okalahawa River, and above right is Juniper Creek, our favorite.


This is how we later enjoyed traversing the water. Our home RV resort had paddleboats and rowboats on a little lake. This is sort of a combination of bicycling and water transportation which we had fun doing.


canoe by canoe by canoe by canoe by
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