My family and I wanted to do something a little different this past weekend.  We always talk about doing more stuff outdoors and trying to enjoy Central Minnesota more.  I spoke with a co worker last week, who told me about his recent canoe trip down the Mississippi River.  He said he went with his church group and they had an absolute blast.  I was intrigued and proceeded to get more information about where he did it, how much it cost and was it safe?

Last Saturday morning we ended up visiting Clear Waters Outfitting Company in Clearwater.  The owner Dan Meer told us about the paddling excursions available and the different water craft we could take out.  Tracy and I had our six year old Macy, so we took a canoe and the eight mile excursion.  This is something we've never done before, so you can imagine there was some hesitation and tons of questions to get answered.

They showed us a map of the route we would be taking and told us some things to look for along the way.  We all felt very comfortable by this point and even watched a safety video before we headed out on our adventure.  All of us were equipped with life jackets and the necessary items needed to make it a fun afternoon **bug spray, sun block and picnic lunch.

After getting our "river legs" we started getting a bit braver and paddling across the river.  The time we spent in the canoe was amazing.  It was a great way to connect as a family and do something as a team.  We had to read the map, paddle in unison and figure out where we wanted to go next.  It was a wonderful bonding experience and I hope to do more "Day-Cation's" like this as a family.  I was in awe of the natural beauty along the Mississippi and the great wildlife we have here in Central Minnesota.

It was fun to step out of our comfort zone and have an adventure in our very own backyard.  Sometimes its nice to turn the cell phones off, put the lap top away and turn the Nintendo DS off.  We are now looking at doing more things like this in the immediate future, including taking advanatge of the beautiful bike trails we have here in the area and the different museums that surround our metro.

The limited time we have as a family is precious and its doing things like this, that will make lasting memories.