June 26th National Canoe Day

Start today with a splash! Launch that canoe into a nearby lake, pond, river or any body of water you choose. Canoes have been as much a part of American history as practically any other tool. And a canoe originally was a tool.

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It is believed the first canoe was made by the Carib Indians of the Caribbean as they traveled from island to island and fished. The word canoe comes from the Carib language “Kenu”, naturally meaning… wait for it… canoe.

Lewis_and_clark-expedition

If not for the canoe Lewis and Clark might never have left on their mapping discovery of the western half of the United States. Rivers were the easiest way to cover the greatest distances and to be able to carry the most supplies to extend that exploration.

canoe_anatomy

The earliest canoes were simply fallen trees that were hollowed out so that people could fit inside them. Some were obviously better than others. Once an important mode of transportation the canoe has become more of a sporting tool than an exploration tool. Although in some parts of South America and Africa, the canoe still serves in discovery!

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They are light, can be easily transported and can carry either a number of people or a great deal of supplies. It takes a little skill to pilot a canoe but it reasonably easy to learn so practically anybody can operate one.

How to celebrate – Go for a canoe ride today. Find a fallen tree and carve out your own canoe. Join in a canoe race.

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