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Roadtreking: Life on the Mississippi

WASHINGTON — We have been killing a few days in the Ottawa area, waiting for a service appointment with the local Mercedes dealership, and have been following the Ottawa River downstream and southeast for the last few days as we approached the city.

The Ottawa is a large river which goes north and west from the St. Lawrence Seaway up into the interior of Canada, so of course the early explorers canoed up it, looking for the shortcut to China, as explorers are wont to do. Samuel de Champlain got up as far as the town of Cobden, and was persuaded by the local chieftain that all this Great Northern Sea stuff was a bunch of hooey, so he turned around and went back downstream, but not before he lost his astrolabe, an early navigational instrument for determining latitude.

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About Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith is a Wisconsin native currently living in Illinois with her husband, Eric, and two dogs, Maggie and Grace. She enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and, of course, camping in cabins and park models.

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