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Ellen Doshier (left) and Marilyn Fouts look over a map during a recent float trip on the Buffalo River. The two served as river coordinators for the trip.

retired, or footloose and fancy free, as they call it. Ellen Doshier said the group initially

began with a focus on hiking. After years of hiking trails and bluffs in the Ozarks, and viewing pristine rivers below, the women thought it would be fun to go kayaking on those rivers. Sev- eral of the group’s members had experi- ence canoeing and kayaking, so the WHOYakers were formed. Now more than two years in exis-

tence, theWHOYakers have kayaked the White River, Buffalo River, Bryant Creek and several other bodies of wa- ter. They also traveled to southern Ar- kansas for a “swamp float” in a bayou. The women plan to take on the Mera- mec River in Missouri in July. Not every group member can make

all of the trips. Doshier said there are usually 10 to 30 people per trip. “Some people volunteer,” she said.

Rose Linnear soaks in some rays during a break on a recent float trip.

“Some have other activities to do. It is great to see that everyone is still so active.” Each float begins with a safety brief-

ing by the River Coordinator (RC), a member of the group who has previ- ously kayaked that particular section of the river. The women stay together at a leisurely pace, exchanging recipes and talking about a wide array of subjects, including family, scenery, plants and previous vocations. The group normally stops near the

halfway point for a brown bag lunch. The women leave no trace of the stop, which is among their principles to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. They package food in containers to minimize waste and take everything with them when they leave. The group members also frequently stop and pick up litter along the river, tying discarded

20 Living Well i June/July 2014

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