Day 1,398 – Thankful for Lessons in River Engineering with the Boys

While Becky and I floated on the giant mat the boys went to work on a couple of projects on the sandbar. Gavin opted for constructing a giant sandcastle. Dominic decided to make a small channel to re-connect a waterway that’d been cut off due to the low water. By the time I figured I should get up and moving they both had made some excellent progress.

I am usually good at relaxing in short bursts and then need to find something to keep me moving. After floating for a while it was time to be active again. I quickly decided to jump in on Dominic’s channel project as it was something we really haven’t done in a really long time.Dominic had already gotten the channel started so I just jumped in and helped him continue growing the project.

Watching the water move and re-deposit the sand was very intriguing to me. The way that it slowly would fill itself back in with sediment really caught my attention. Before long I was experimenting with the water flow to figure out how to optimize and sustain the flow. I was digging channels, bending the waterways, adding an exterior wall to reduce incoming waves for boat traffic, and adding other natural materials to the walls. Learning in mid-flow and seeing both the immediate and long term impacts to the water was pretty wild.

Eventually the boys and I were all working on our various river engineering projects on this channel as well as another. Gavin was experimenting with how to keep a “lake” in the sandbar full of water using wild celery that had washed on shore. Dominic was chasing minnows and smiling while learning how they evade perceived predators. I was continuing to be amazed at how the water continued to slowly fill the waterway with sediment… until I learn to add stiff materials like rock, wood, and wild celery to the mix.

Talk about a fun mental exercise for no reason other learning and fun. I certainly learned a few new things about fluid dynamics and river engineering that I never would’ve learned without experimenting like this. The boys certainly seemed to pick up some new ideas as well, and all while smiling. I am so thankful for their enjoyment of learning in nature like that!

What a wonderful time out on the river having fun and staying unplugged with the family. I am glad we got out early in the day and had the opportunity to hang out together.

Thanks!!!

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