-- Last Updated: Jun-21-13 1:11 PM EST --
Believe it or not, I remember you well, and back then I kept thinking how nice it would have been if you were a little closer to some nicer paddling destinations. The reason I remember you so well was that it seemed like the backgrounds and attitudes of you and your wife were perfect for getting into canoeing, but that the local countryside left something to be desired. When I got to the part in your post about putting the canoe up for sale, it made sense but was actually a let-down, and I'm glad to see you are still enjoying the canoe and the kind of water you have - as best as you can.
Vic's advice sounds really good to me, and I bet a few others here can help you come up with some similar trip ideas as well. Making some occasional, longer trips to see the sorts of places that you wish were more accessible is a lot better than just wishing, even if you can't do it as much.
Remember this too. Lots and lots of people have met for paddling trips via these discussions, some organized in advance and some at the last minute. Some people come to the twice-a-year Ozark Rendezvous by driving a longer distance than you would have to do, so if you can manage it, that'd be a great idea (sometimes people even bring kids). Speaking for myself, if you ever have a reason to go to northeastern Iowa or southern Wisconsin, bring that canoe along because it's a near certainty that I and/or some of my friends would show you some lovely rivers.
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