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Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, describing his passage through the Bull Shoals on the White River in 1819:

“There is a channel through which canoes and even large boats pass with a good depth of water, but being unacquainted with it, we ran the hazard of being sunk, and found our canoe drawn rapidly into the suction of the falls, apprehensive of the result. In a few moments, notwithstanding every effort to keep our barque headed downwards, the conflicting eddies drove us against a rock, and we were instantly thrown broadside upon the rugged peaks which stand thickly in the swiftest part of the first schute, or fall. Luckily it did not fill, but the pressure of the current against a canoe thirty feet in length, lying across the stream, was more than we could counteract, and we had nearly exhausted our strength in vain endeavors to extricate and aright it.”

Been there, done that, although not in January and not with a thirty-foot canoe! Nowadays, of course, Schoolcraft would have to contend with powerboats rather than rocks.

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