Democracy and Community

The Sangamon River these November days is flowing as clear as the results of my recent election campaign for Champaign County Clerk (I lost bigtime). As many savvy readers know (hi, Mom!), I took time away from writing this Notes from the River column to run for County Clerk, an office that for a political scientist like me could have […]

Biking the Sangamon

  Well, this column is not actually about biking in a river, but it is about biking in and around the Sangamon Valley. And as much as I enjoy kayaking and canoeing, I also enjoy cycling the Sangamon Valley’s bike paths and county roads as they weave their way through forests, prairies, cornfields and crisscrossing the Sangamon River all the […]

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days

Yes, it’s that time of year! Time for “those days of soda, and pretzels and beer” according to Nat King Cole. The Summer Solstice passed on June 21. After this longest day of the year, the days have already started getting shorter again even as the temperatures remain high. The Summer Solstice found Carol and me with our feet propped […]

Son of the Father

  He shouldered his kayak and walked down the path toward the Sangamon River by the historic Hazen Bridge. The Hazen Bridge was one of his favorite spots along the river. There was something about these old single-lane iron truss bridges that evoked a feeling of the past, of times gone by, and of remembering what had gone before. He […]

The Two Hour Vacation

  You find, somewhat unexpectedly, that on a Sunday afternoon you’ve got a few hours to yourself. So you say to yourself: “Self, I should go out and kayak the Sangamon River. I could use a little vacation.” So you park your little red pickup a few miles downstream at Lake of the Woods park, ride your bike back home […]