Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Canadian River

One of the geographical features we have encountered frequently on this trip is the Canadian River. It seems ironic that we would have to travel to Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico to learn about the Canadian River. I had never heard of it before. It is not included in my favorite The Rivers of America series which was published in the 1930s and 1940s. Nevertheless, it is an important river. It is over 900 miles long, with its headwaters near Raton, NM, north of Springer, where we spent last night, from whence it flows south and then turns east through the Texas Panhandle, on pretty much due east through Oklahoma, and into Arkansas where it flows into the Arkansas River near Fort Smith. The Arkansas River then flows southeast across Arkansas and empties into the Mississippi about a hundred miles north of the Louisiana line. So I guess that the water that I poured out of a bottle outside our motel will end up in the Gulf of Mexico (well, it will evaporate, but you get the idea).

Nobody seems to know just how it got its name – a few theories have been offered: (1)it is a corruption of a Spanish word; (2)It was discovered by French Canadians or (3)early pioneers thought it originated in Canada.

I’m sure a great deal of fascinating history has taken place along the Canadian River! I guess it's great for fishing too.

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