Along The Kaw: A Journey Down the Kansas River

Along The Kaw: A Journey Down the Kansas River

by Craig Thompson


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Have you ever experienced the beauty and serenity of a float trip down the Kaw (Kansas River)? Seen and heard Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Least Terns and other wildlife from a canoe or kayak? Picnicked on a sandbar and learned about the Kaw and its environs from guest speakers? Camped under a full moon on a sandbar in the Flint Hills? Experienced a sunset at Kaw Point - a historically significant Lewis and Clark site in Kansas? Craig Thompson has enjoyed many of these outdoor experiences on the Kaw and is eager to share one of the state's best kept secrets. Along the Kaw: A Journey Down the Kansas River is a book about a recreational and scenic journey down the Kansas River. Through seventy-five color photographs, you will discover the wonders of the Kaw, the beauty of the Kaw, and people enjoying outdoor recreation on the Kaw.

Many of the photographs are brought to life by comments from various people whose lives have been touched in some way by the Kaw. Throughout the book, comments by thirty-nine contributing authors are paired with images of the natural Kaw and images of the recreational Kaw. Many comments point to wildlife diversity and to recreational opportunities afforded by the river. Other comments express feelings of isolation, getting away from the hustle and bustle of life, and the peace of mind the river brings naturally.

Along the Kaw is in the class of illustrated photographic books that show the beauty of Kansas. Thompson's book is the first of its kind to cover the entire length of the Kaw - from Junction City to Kansas City, Kansas.

The chapter map sequence in the book follows the river from upstream to downstream direction (Upper to Middle to Lower Kaw).

Upper Kaw
The first chapter covers the "Upper Kaw" from Junction City to Manhattan and contains images of the magnificent Flint Hills. One page shows an image of people enjoying a campfire on a sandbar with the backdrop of the Flint Hills behind them. Erlene Slingsby, whose comments were matched with this image, writes, "There is simply nothing more relaxing than sitting around the campfire, swapping stories with friends and sipping a hot drink." This chapter also has images of the beginning of the Kaw, a two page panoramic of the Flint Hills, fall scenery, Great Blue Heron fishing, and paddlers enjoying their journey down the river.

Middle Kaw
The second chapter covers the "Middle Kaw" from Manhattan to Lecompton. Images of paddlers floating by the Flint Hills and people sitting on a sand bank watching a full moon are some of the recreational highlights of this middle portion of the Kaw. There is an image of paddlers exploring a limestone train bridge near Wamego. Bill Cutler wrote, "Even on stretches of the river I've paddled many times, I always discover something new." Other parts of this chapter show beautiful images of the natural Kaw, with scenes like cottonwoods along a bank in early spring, a sandbar sculptured by wind and water, an ancient glacial rock island, a Bald Eagle soaring overhead, and a flock of American White Pelicans resting in a river channel.

Lower Kaw
Finally in the third chapter, there are many images taken along the Kaw between Lecompton and Kansas City, with scenes of numerous paddlers on Friends of the Kaw fundraiser float trips, scenes of Jayhawk crew members rowing, and scenes of people enjoying recreational fishing. Near the mouth of the river, there are scenes of the urban Kaw such as old steel girder bridges and paddlers floating by Kemper Arena. In a downtown scene showing the skyline of Kansas City, Missouri, Doug Jensen wrote, "I live one mile down the river from Kaw Point in a loft in downtown Kansas City. Since I have no backyard, the Kaw River has become my back yard. I am on the water most every available night during the summer."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615719580
Publisher: Craig Thompson
Publication date: 12/11/2012
Pages: 158
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

Mr. Thompson's photographs have appeared in KANSAS! magazine, Paddling Kansas, Exploring the Kaw Valley, Forever Kansas!, and other publications. His photographs also appeared in many KANSAS! magazine calendars and a front cover for the magazine's 1995 fiftieth anniversary issue.

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