By Nathan Talley

What a trip down the Cache River this year!  Before heading out on the water we went to the Visitor Center to learn about the history of the Cache and some of its residents.  The students got to learn about, and see, local snakes and ways to identify them.  After a quick lunch we loaded into the canoes and started out.  The calm, black water was only disturbed by the occasional jumping Carp; they are always good for a little scare.  The students paired up and paddled out to one of the oldest Cypress trees in southern Illinois, over 900 years old and with cypress knees standing over 200 feet tall.  After a short rest we started weaving in and out of the narrow passages that create the Cache River, meeting back up with the main river just as some rain fell to cool us off.  Then the rain picked up, all students did a great job sticking with it and persevering through the weather.  By the end everyone was soaked to the bone, but the ear-to-ear smiles let us know explorers had a great time on the cache.