WTF Moments with Mom | Root River Canoeing

Root River Canoe Trip | Miranda Knudtson

The first of many kayaking/canoeing trips this summer has been completed! I initially fell in love with kayaking summer 2016 when my mother dragged me out to Riverbend Nature Center in town. She grew up doing these types of activities; I’m a late bloomer on the other hand. Better late than never, right?

On Mother’s Day we decided to go canoeing at Riverbend on the Root River (if you asked 5 year old Miranda, it was the “Rootbeer River”) I figured being in the same boat paddling would be easier, if anything, rather than in single kayaks. Well…. that’s definitely debatable. We’re walking down to the river and my mother says, “Do you want to sit up front or in the back?”
My response, “Doesn’t matter, I’m okay with anything.”
“Well, do you know how to steer?”
“I mean… it’s just paddling left and right..right?”
Mom groaned, “That means you’re up front.”  I should’ve figured it out then what this adventure would be like.

I’ve always been an awkward and clumsy person, so my mom laughed and made fun of me the entire time I clamored into the front of the boat; okay, okay, it was pretty much crawling. An awkward crab crawl. After I settled, and mom finished laughing, she pushed us off and hopped in. It took awhile for me to get into the swing of things, but after 5 minutes we got into our rhythm… sort of.

Some specific WTF moments from our short adventure:

Me: It’s a little freaky seeing sh!t floating in the river….until you realize this is Wisconsin and we have no gators! (Fortunately just a few cute little turtles!)

Root River Canoeing | Miranda Knudtson

Mom: Head a little to the right to avoid these people
Me: There’s branches from the tree there. What if we hit them?
Mom: We’ll be fine, still veer to the right.
Me: *Incredibly bad at paddling/steering but still listens*
Mom: *few seconds later* OKAY I DIDN’T THINK WE’D HEAD STRAIGHT ON
Me (laughing) HOW LOW CAN YOU GO MOM. *as I’m leaning backwards to dodge branches hitting my face.

At one moment, my mom wanted to try something….without specifically telling me what it was. Here’s how our conversation went:
Mom: Hey, here’s some open space. I wanna try something Miranda.
Me: Try what..
Mom: Just paddle on the right side as much as you can. I’ll paddle on the left.
I still didn’t quite understand, but listened anyways. There was nobody near us, so what could possibly go wrong?
Well… it didn’t take very long to figure that out. It got a little out of control and somehow I switched my paddle to the other side because we weren’t going that straight. Then I hear,
Mom: “Paddle on the right side! Right… the right, Miranda!! YOU’RE OTHER RIGHT” (As we’re careening into the riverbank, screaming and laughing)
Don’t worry, we didn’t hit it. (Unless that’s what you were hoping for…in which case, I’m sorry.) Apparently, my mom wanted to see how FAST we could go and promptly learned that I don’t paddle as hard as her. I’m sure you’re also wondering from the looks of this next picture: yes, she did most of the work.

Root River Canoeing | Miranda Knudtson Root River Canoeing

As the chaos ceased, Mom just groans and says, “You know what, paddle on whichever side you want. I’ll just steer and balance us out. This actually did lead to some gorgeous pictures. The Root River isn’t as clear as some larger rivers, but you can’t beat nature. Living minutes from a river and one of the great lakes is completely overlooked by locals. It’s absolutely beautiful, and there really is more to Wisconsin than meets the eye.

Root River Canoeing Root River Canoe Trip

I’m beyond thankful to say my mother is my best friend, and at 23 years old, I can only hope I have this great of a relationship with my future daughter and my future mother-in-law. Also, slightly on that same note…. I’m praying for my future husband, that he loves doing activities like this, but also that he’s much better at it than me! Lord, knows I’m a hot mess!


  1. I love your style of writing! I’ve been wanting to go canoeing this summer but I know little about it too haha! Glad to hear you had a good time with your mum.. Love it how she was kinda like…Okay just paddle your way!! 💕

  2. You have such a great relationship with your Mother. Misadventures are the best! They give you so many stories to tell. That photo surely looks like some eerie music will start playing and something will jump out of the water! Hahah. We’ve never been canoeing but it sure sounds like fun!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.