"There's a number of little rivers down here that are really fantastic. My wife and I like to paddle down the Zumbro River, which isn't much more than a creek. It's not more than 30-feet wide. And it's not deep. Occasionally the water is so shallow you have to get out and push your canoe over the sandbars. But, because of how small it is, the experience with nature is incredibly intimate. At one point we had a bald eagle burst out of the tree just above our heads. We saw so many eagles we stopped counting at over 30 after just a couple hours on the water."

Todd Randall, owner and craftsman, Sanborn Canoe Company. See the Winona-based company's colorful paddles at www.sanborncanoe.com.