Adventures on rivers and at baseball stadiums, there is no set time to each experience, no two are alike in dimensions, each river and ballpark visit is excitedly anticipated, and (except for a few enclosed exceptions) weather conditions can impact the adventure. Canoeing and kayaking down a river and an afternoon at the ballpark are both important to our spiritual well-being.
Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit. All are major Midwestern cities that evolved on the banks of the rivers that flowed through them: the Allegheny, the Mississippi, the Chicago, the Milwaukee, the Cuyahoga, and the Detroit. Six rivers that were critical to six Midwestern towns in their discovery, development, transportation, commerce, and enjoyment. Paddling trips down each of the six rivers, at least the segment of the rivers flowing through these big cities, are wide, deep, slow-moving affairs —not your usual canoeing and kayaking rural, backwoods adventures—that combine the joy of paddling with fascinating glimpses of history and architecture on the riverbanks. With backgrounds provided by river tour guides and history books, we’ll share with you the unique view from the water, in words and photos, of each city’s riverside landmarks. One of the landmarks each city has in common is a major league ballpark either along or near the river.
Coinciding with the 1800s industrial development of these six Midwest cities was the birth of our national pastime, the grand old game of baseball. Baseball was the balance needed to counteract our country’s often turbulent shift from a society of primarily family farmers to Industrial Revolution clock-punchers. The beauty of the hit-and-run, the green grass of a sunlit field, a ballpark frank and a cold beer, brought the same smile and serenity in the 1800s as they do today.
To the River of No Return,