The Mighty Winnebago:  More Than Just a Home

GoLifers go kayaking

Peter & Kathy Holcombe Peter & Kathy Holcombe  |  09.08.2015

Full-time RV living has given us so many great opportunities over the past 16 months to chase our dreams across the continent to some of the most incredible destinations North America has to offer.  Last month was no exception as we found ourselves on a pilgrimage, along with 3000+ other RVers to the birth place of it all, Forest City, Iowa – the hometown of Winnnebago Industries and the annual Grand National Rally.  As we rolled into the small, midwestern town, we were struck not only by the beauty of the Northern Iowa landscape, but also by the care and pride evident in the well tended yards and tidy downtown store fronts.  But what really caught our eye, and was probably missed in a blink by most everyone else passing through, was the small bridge spanning a lush waterway running right through the heart of the town.

002-PH1_9716Kathy giving Laura a helping had as she steps into a kayak for the first time.

From the first glance, we added a new objective to our long list of things to do at GNR:  we had to find time to kayak the Mighty Winnebago River.  We set out mid-morning the next day accompanied by none other than GoLife editor Don Cohen and Kelli Harms, Marketing Manager at Winnebago Industries and their fabulous families.

003-PH1_9778Fun times with Kelli and Don as they explore the river.

We launched our 9 kayaks from the grassy banks and set out to explore the rural wilderness.  The novice group started out with cautious paddle strokes in wobbly boats, but with every bend of the river, skills and confidence blossomed and before long, the kids were charging ahead laughing, splashing and calling back to the adults, urging us to catch up and see what they had discovered.

004-PH1_9818Jack’s confidence soars as he charges down the river.

The eight mile, meandering stretch of river was incredibly diverse giving us a beautiful sampling of landscape ranging from farmland to forrest, grassland to wetlands.  At times we were cocooned in a verdant canopy of arching trees followed by wide open corn fields notorious throughout the Midwest.

005-PH1_9829Peter giving Terri a few pointers through a forested stretch of river.

Well before we were ready, the takeout appeared and the peaceful serenity of the river was replaced by the action and excitement of the Winnebago Grand National Rally opening ceremonies.  We are already making plans for our return trip next year, and you can be sure that our itinerary will include another trip down the Mighty Winnebago River.

006-PH1_9845Team GoLife forms a floatilla as they navigate the Mighty Winnebago river.

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