Leinenkugel’s Brewery from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin came south of the border for a second year to raise awareness of the plight of the Chicago River with the 2nd annual Friendly Float. The float started at Dick’s Last Resort with breakfast then a bus took paddlers 4.5 miles south to Canal Park. The canoeists get their canoe and paddle back to Dick’s for lunch, beer, and live music.
A ten million dollar bill was passed earlier this year to help clean the river, but there is still much work to be done. Last year the Chicago River was named as the number 4 threatened river on a list put out by the conservation group American Rivers. This prompted the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to start disinfecting sewage dumped into the river from North Side and Calumet treatment plants. This year the river fell off the ignominious list of ten.
Even though there have been significant victories of late, there is a continued need to keep the battle in the forefront of people’s mind. Getting almost 300 paddlers out on the river is a great way to do it. Leinenkugel’s worked with the Friends of the Chicago River and Wisconsin River Outings to get enough canoes to get the people who signed up out on the river.
Canoeing from the south gives a great perspective of the state of the river. You can see the heaps of trash that lie in stagnant pools, and at the same time, see the beautiful Chicago skyline as it gets closer and closer. The paddler can see what is great about the Chicago River and at the same time see the need for continued work. This perspective cannot be attained on any of the river cruises where boats travel 20 mph and the visitors attention is usually upward.
It was a beautiful day to canoe. It was a little hot, but a breeze and some cloud cover helped cool things off just enough to keep life bearable. Thanks goes out to Leinenkugel’s for caring about the state of my hometown river, for inviting me on the float, and for making awesome beer.
For another slant on the Friendly Float, check out the effort by Work Mom Travels who joined this year. Kudos for her for bringing in the biggest trash bag.
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I never would have thought of kayaking down the Chicago river. I love the views but hate that the water is so dirty.
Jeremy Branham recently posted..Capture the Colour of my travels
I accidentally splashed my canoeing partner a couple of times. Normally, this is no big deal and you just apologize. There is more at stake when you make that simple error on the Chicago River. I may have infected him with some flesh eating microbes. Sorry man!
Sorry we didn’t make it to this– we’d love to do it next year. You are so right that kayaking the Chicago River really allows you to see the contrast between the gorgeous upward views of the city and the polluted state of the river itself. We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m glad we’re headed in the right direction!
I will definitely remind you when the time comes.
What a great way to raise awareness to cause of the beautiful Chicago River. Two of my favorite things: water and beer. Though not to be mixed with each other. Great photos as usual, Ted.
Robb714 recently posted..Handling the Holidays
I occasionally like to enjoy a cold one while on the river, but only when the river is smooth. We did not mix on this trip as we waited until the trip was over to indulge.
Ted, the Hudson River in NYC has a project for you. Guess what it is? 🙂
So many dirty rivers, so little time 🙁
A change from your usual paddling venues! But beer was involved, so maybe not!!
santafetraveler recently posted..Santa Fe Farmers Market annual farm tour
Paddling on an urban river filled with trash is better than not paddling at all, and beer is a great way to end the journey.
What a great initiative.. and quite cool to see how different your take is from Francesca’s. Jealous you two got together 😉
@mrsoaroundworld recently posted..Wine, sun and lux in Alentejo, Portugal
Hope you can make it out here to Chicago one of these days. Maybe you could make next year’s Friendly Float 🙂
Aw, Mrs. O, don’t be jealous. We’ll all get together soon! (I hope!)
The Friendly Float was SO FUN. Good job highlighting more of the environmental issues, Ted. Let’s do it again next year! 🙂
Francesca recently posted..Leinenkugel’s 2nd Annual Canoes for a Cause Friendly Float on the Chicago River
I will definitely be in next year. Great you could make it this year and great work on the large trash bag.
A great day ending with great beer…does it get better?
D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Top of the Mark – A Date With History
Nope, it was a perfect day Deej. Need more days like this.
On our architecture tour this spring I didn’t notice how dirty the river was. This looks like it was a great time and I’m glad that you and Francesca could hang out again. I’m proud of you for taking such an active role in this cause, although the promise of beer probably helped get you out there.;-)
Leah Travels recently posted..Lufthansa’s A380 is Texas Sized
The trash conveniently flows south out of the downtown area and then gets caught in eddies further downstream. Tour boats don’t come down as far as we did. Good beer definitely makes me feel charitable.
the hubs was on a temporary mission to get me in a kayak in the hudson. you can guess how that went. your pictures are great but… i think i’d be too nervous about capsizing and automatically growing an arm out of my forehead.
the lazy travelers recently posted..making a case for driving in costa rica
I prefer canoes for that very reason. They are a little more stable.
great photos. great cause. love that you and Francesca got to hang out. makes me miss you two more though, as well! that river is really something that deserves protecting. THANK YOU you two for caring enough to volunteer some time and then throw a couple cold ones back after the fact. you are just my style 😉
lola recently posted..Cambodia Countdown – week 2
It was a great cause and a great time. A win-win for all.
Are those cups of coffee in the last photo… thankfully you have a beer, but who else is with you?
seriously, I’d love to kayak the chicago river, and for a cause too… win-win.
stay adventurous, Craig
Craig Zabransky recently posted..Ronda – More than the Birthplace of Bullfighting
Those are draft beers in those cups not coffee. I love coffee, but I would not hang around with people drinking coffee at a bar. It was definitely a win-win day.
What a wonderful initiative – too bad it’s needed though… Great photos, Ted. Also, how cool that you and Francesca got to hang out again! 🙂
Pola recently posted..Photo of the Week: Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco
You will have to join us next year.
It looks like you had an awesome time. The beer at the end is definitely an added bonus. It’s great to see that there are efforts to help get the water clean.
Tawny- Captain and Clark recently posted..N Seoul Tower is Quite the Trip. [video]
Cleaning the Chicago River has been a multi-decade process and it will be a few more before Obama’s dream of swimming in the Chicago River is fulfilled. I am not sure I could ever jump in there seeing what I have seen.