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We found plenty of firewood, and limbs with which to build make-shift sun blockers and help stop the sun from beating us to death. The beach was on the big sweeping 'S' curves before you get to Carlisle, IA. You can get out there or keep paddling hard and constant to Red Rock if you want -- I advise to pack light if you do.
There are plenty of forks to get lost on, and plenty of low spots (depending the time of year) to get your feet wet.
We saw at least 4 bald eagles, lots of deer and any other wild life Iowa has to offer. It's a fun paddle for anyone -- just keep an eye out for debris and fallen trees. We didn't run into any electric fences or troublesome obstacles.
It was fun for all who went. We have been back once, and plan on going to do the upper Iowa this summer. I think everyone should experience the Des Moines River at least once. It was a blast!
Classic Freestanding Rack