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  The Houston Canoe Club
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P.O. Box 925516
Houston, Texas

The Houston Canoe Club 

is a Paddle America Club

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Canoeing Stories by Adventurous Women
edited by Judith Niemi and Barbara Weiser
by Linda Gorski

There are so many women in the Houston Canoe Club who I admire for their paddling skills.    You know who you are -- those gals who expertly navigate the canyons of the Pecos and the Rio Grande,  tackle Hill Country whitewater in a single bound, or make their boats dance with them on quiet waters of  local lakes and bayous.    Yeah you -- the ones who look so confident as they read rapids, knowing exactly where they are going to steer their boats.   This book is for you! 

Rivers Running Free: Canoeing Stories by Adventurous Women
is a fun read.  It  tells the stories of adventurous and exploring impulses in women, about travelling in wild places by canoe.  It's a collection of short stories that I keep by my bed and read at night, dreaming of another place to paddle and explore.  I just wish I had the skills of some of my  HCC sisters to tackle those rivers and streams with more confidence. 

To quote from the Women's Review of Books:
"Rivers Running Free is a spirited collection of writings that spans a century of women's canoeing adventures.  Whether they embark on back country wilderness expeditions or more leisurely trips, these women eloquently record the influence canoeing has had on their lives and the personal boundaries it inspired them to explore and push beyond. 

"A sixty-two year old woman tells a courageous story of her solo paddle down the Yukon River; a group of Minnesota women retrace the route of Mina Hubbard's 1905 trek on the George River in Labrador; defiant ladies in long skirts sneak through the canals of upstate New York and take on the Arctic's Porcupine River in the 1920s; a woman celebrates her recovery from cancer with a summer-long paddling expedition; a mother and her two teenage daughters navigate the rapids and hazards of flooded rivers on their daring voyage to the Arctic Ocean.  Historical and contemporary maps and photos will help you follow the travels of these fascinating women who challenged themselves and answered the call of the wild.

"This is an inspiring anthology sure to please the avid canoeist as well as anyone who has ever been attracted to the romance and excitement of outdoor adventure.

"A wonderful 'first' in women's publishing.  While it will hold special interest for those who have gone canoeing, especially on wilderness trips, it is also likely to appeal to many readers who have never stepped into a canoe."
I just checked and there are several copies of this book available used for as little as $1 and change.  Well worth it!  However, if you'd like to borrow my copy, just email me at

Linda paddling the Guad, wishing she had more confidence in her skills!