Sunday, September 7, 2008

Paddling the water of the Aztalan

With the fall colors arriving and crisp mornings upon us we are enjoying yet another season of paddling here in the Midwest. The upper and lower Rock Basins offer some great opportunities to get out on the water. Autumn is my favorite time of year.

I ventured out of Aztalan onto the Crawfish River today. Aztalan is a ceremonial center for the Mississippian era Indians that inhabited this area some 2000 years ago.

The Crawfish River meets up with the Rock River and flows south to the Mississippi River. This was extremely important to the area as it created a trade route to the distant Mississippian Complex of Cahokia to the south.

The first signs of change. The colors to come should be amazing with the dry conditions we have had the past 2 months. It is my understanding that the sugar concentrate offers a great apple crop and brilliant colors in our leaves with restricted moisture. I'm lov'n it.

Hard to believe this past June with all the flooding we had that I-94 was closed do to the high water. The most Northern section of the freeway was underwater in June making the commute a nightmare for those needing to venture West.

Not a soul on the water, quiet as a lark, felt like I had stepped back in time. When Aztalan flourished, the Crawfish River was much clear and deeper and the shallow banks where lined with wild rice, rushes and other aquatic plants making this an outstanding place to live. The Crawfish river served as an important resource with a variety of fish, turtles, fresh water mussel, mammals, waterfowl and edible plants as well.

Keep your paddle in the water - The Capt'n

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