Last week, I took a day trip up and down the Cuyahoga River with my professor and another classmate. We started right where the river does, at the headwaters in Geauga County. It would be fair to say I was underwhelmed; naturally, I just expected to see much more than I did. A lot of the water was covered with straw-like grass and did not feel like the start of a river that holds so much history.
Next, we made our way to Headwaters Park, home of the East Branch Reservoir, one of the three impounded reservoirs along the Cuyahoga River that supply the city of Akron’s water. Off the busy two-lane road was the peace of nature. When I was looking out at what seemed an endless supply of water, I just imagined how far it would go in a city of 197,846 people. Whether that be in showers, sinks, or hoses, I tried to occupy my mind with anything that wasn’t my cold feet on the 30° day.
Though it was cold, our adventure wasn’t over yet. As we drove back toward Kent, we stopped in Mantua, a popular hub for kayaking on the river. We parked right across from Breakaway Excursions, a kayak and canoe rental. The best stop was saved for last, in my opinion. This little nook was so peaceful, it almost felt like it was straight out of a movie with the almost-naked trees and rustic bridge in the background.
The beauty of the Cuyahoga River cannot be adequately captured through the lens of a camera. Immersing myself in the beauty of nature gave me a new appreciation for something I’ve been learning about all semester. Yes, it’s important to know the history of the river, but seeing its beauty makes it that much more rewarding to visually understand how far the Cuyahoga River has come.