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Jed Boal Reporting As the temperature rises again this weekend you might think about a cool splash in a river or a lake. There is a festival that just might get you hooked on a new way to play on the water.
Even though we live in the second driest state in the nation, plenty of Utahns are hooked on paddling our rivers and lakes. It's an amazing way to explore, seek solitude and understand the value of fresh water.
If you want to roll a kayak, enjoy the serenity of a human-powered craft or find out how to explore Utah on the water, take the plunge this weekend.
Experts will show you how at the Utah Rivers Council 10th annual Paddle Festival at Little Dell Reservoir. But, it's more than just a day on the water.
Utah Rivers Council Executive Director Merritt Frey says, "They see how beautiful it is. They see how much fun their kids have exploring rivers, being active on rivers. They start to think through what they need to do to make sure that experience is preserved."
Proficient paddlers took us out for a warm-up. Outdoor professional Charlie Butler with Wasatch Touring reveres what Utah's rivers reveal. "We've got all this public land, but just these little corridors of waterways, and that's where all the life is. All the plant life and animal life--they all come to the river."
On such a low water year, paddling is also one way to make a connection with how valuable this resource is.
Frey says, "It's not just about any one drought, it's about where we live when we talk about water conservation and protecting our rivers. This year will underline, yet again, that we have a semi-arid climate."
Water conservation at home means more when you connect that with a river. The canoe, kayak or sailboat is also a green way to play on the water. You don't have to fill up a boat tank, there are no emissions and the energy is all yours to burn.
You can also enjoy fly-fishing, food and music. The event attracts more families each year. The Paddle Festival runs Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and six dollars for children. The money is used for conservation campaigns.
For details, follow the link on our website.