Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream…
That song was definitely on my mind on my latest trip with my Dad. No prizes for guessing what we were doing!!
You got it! We were rowing away. Dad asked me sometime back if I knew which was the longest river in North America. Well, that was definitely a question that needed to be answered. So, off we went on a journey around this wonderful land trying to find the answer.
In 1937, Constance Lindsay Skinner initially conceived the idea of a series of books about the Rivers of America. She was also the first series editor. It was meant as a literary and not a historical series with authors and illustrators from a wide cross section of talent.
The Rivers of America Series is a landmark series of books on American rivers, for the most part written by literary figures rather than historians. The series spanned three publishers and thirty-seven years.
You can read all about this book in the series here.
To keep your interest going further, here are some more interesting facts you can check out on this site that showcase the amazing world we live in.
- The Mississippi River is the longest or second-longest in North America, depending on how you count. (The Missouri River could be considered longer.) Referred to by Abraham Lincoln as “the father of waters,” the Mississippi begins at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, and flows 2,340 miles to a vast delta on the Gulf of Mexico, forming portions of ten state borders and the world’s third-largest drainage basin.
- The Colorado River is the most significant river of the southwestern United States. Beginning in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Colorado River runs southwest for 1,450 miles to the Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico. The Colorado formed numerous canyons along much of its length, most notably the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Colorado also has significant dams, including Hoover Dam near Las Vegas (forming Lake Mead) and Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona (forming Lake Powell).
- The Ohio River flows 981 miles through a significant industrial region of the central United States. Historically seen as the border between the northern and southern United States
- The Columbia River is a vital waterway of the Pacific Northwest. Grand Coulee Dam along the Columbia in Washington forms Lake Roosevelt. When it was completed in 1943, Grand Coulee was the largest hydroelectric plant in the world; it is still America’s largest electric power plant.
- The St. Lawrence River drains the Great Lakes and serves as a major waterway of eastern Canada. First explored and named by Jacques Cartier in the early 16th century, the St. Lawrence emerges from the northeastern corner of Lake Ontario in the Thousand Islands archipelago, forming the border between Ontario and New York.
- The Hudson River has been a historically significant American river since the early 17th century. Named for the English explorer Henry Hudson, it flows 315 miles through eastern New York state.
- The Missouri River is formed in western Montana by the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers. It flows past Bismarck, North Dakota and Kansas City before emptying into the Mississippi just north of St. Louis. Lewis and Clark used the Missouri as a route for exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. The Missouri is regulated by a number of major dams, including Fort Peck in Montana and Oahe Dam in South Dakota.
- The Mackenzie River is the longest river of Canada. Flowing 1,080 miles out of the Great Slave Lake, the river flows past Fort Providence and Fort Simpson in Canada’s Northwest Territories, emptying into a vast delta on the Beaufort Sea. The Mackenzie is the largest river flowing into the Arctic Ocean from North America. The river was named for Scottish explorer Alexander Mackenzie, who crossed Canada to the Pacific ten years before Lewis and Clark.
- The Snake River is a major river of the northwestern United States. Rising in Yellowstone National Park, the Snake bisects southern Idaho along its 1,078-mile route. Flowing through Pocatello and Boise, the Snake River forms much of the border between Idaho and Oregon, including the famous Hells Canyon.
- The Potomac River is one of America’s most historic waterways. Rising at Fairfax Stone in West Virginia, the Potomac runs 405 miles, forming the border between Virginia and Maryland. Washington, D.C. was sited on the Potomac at its confluence with the Anacostia River.
- The Rio Grande has formed the border between Texas and four Mexican states since 1848. Texas’s Big Bend National Park is named for the sweeping curve the Rio Grande cuts through the Sierra Madre Oriental.
So that’s what I learnt on my River Adventure this time!
Do share your thoughts on your favorite river trips on our social media channels. Till next time, flow like a river!