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O those northbound river of the world; a long way to paddle

Sharon Posey of One Valley Bank sent me quite an interesting bit of information via her sister, my co-worker and long-time friend Denise Sabolovich, regarding rivers of the world that flow northbound. It contains copyrighted material from Crofter Publishing and is headed, "Wait a minute, you're telling me that there are three rivers that flow north?

The subtitle reads, "I thought there were only two -- the Nile and the ...!" Let me quote the third paragraph of the item:

"Apparently there is a widely held belief that there are only two rivers in the world that flow northward. Those two rivers are the Nile and whatever nearby river flows north. In Florida it's the Nile and the St. Johns. In western New York it's the Nile and the Genesee. Now I hear that in western Virginia and southern West Virginia it's the Nile and the New."

Hey, lemme cut in here and get in my 10 cents worth. In a minute I'm going to include a list of rivers provided by "Webster's Geographical Dictionary," which I'm borrowing from the material Sharon sent to me. But first, what about the great West Fork River and Elk Creek? They both flow north. Ask any rafter! And how about the Tygart River? I'm sure there are so many more.

Ah, well, I do see that the Monongahela River is on the list. Eventually, all of these streams I just mentioned flow into the "Mon" at Fairmont. It, in turn flows through Morgantown northward to Pittsburgh. The Mon and the Allegheny meet there to form the Ohio River. That's where things change. The Ohio heads west toward Chester, W.Va./East Liverpool, Ohio. Then that long trek south (and a little west, again, from Huntington.)

And now, here's what you've been docked for -- from the "Webster's Geographical Dictionary", published by G&C Merriam Co. of Springfield, Mass. in 1963 -- the northbound rivers, their location and length: Nile, east and northeast Africa, 4,150 miles long; Saint Johns, East Florida to Jacksonville, 276 miles long; Saginaw, central Michigan to Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron, 20 miles long (the West Fork is longer, for cryin' out loud!); Deschutes, middle of Oregon, 250 miles long; Oswego, Syracuse, N.Y. to Lake Ontario, 24 miles long (another babbling brook, by comparison); Eel, northern California, 80 miles; New, Virginia and West Virginia, 255 miles long; San Pedro, Sonora, Mexico, to central Arizona, 140 miles long; Pend Oreille, eastern Washington, 60 miles (accepted) long; Otter Creek, western Vermont to Lake Champlain, 75 miles long;

Richelieu, Quebec, Lake Champlain to the St. Lawrence, 210 miles long; Willamette, northwest Oregon, 190 miles long; Monongahela, West Virginia to Pittsburgh, 128 miles long; Jordan, Utah Lake to Great Salt Lake, Utah, 45 miles long; Niagara, Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, 38 miles long (really short, but really awesome); Athabasca, AB (Alberta?), 765 miles long; Genesee, New York, 144 miles long; Essequibo, Guyana, 600 miles long; Magdalena, Colombia, 1,60 miles long; Cauca, Colombia, 600 miles long (into the Magdalena); Red (of the North), Minnesota-North Dakota border into MB (Manitoba?), 310 miles long; Bighorn, Wyoming and Montana, 80 miles long (short, but interesting); Lena, Russia (Siberia), 2,543 miles long, and Ob, Russia (also Siberia), 2,287 miles long.

Now do you see why they say that if you're sent to a prison camp in Siberia, you'll be up the proverbial waterways without any visible means of navigation? Well, anyway, I hope you've caught my drift. Nothing like being in an either/oar situation.

Thanks, Sharon and Denise! See ya Friday!

Editor Bob Stealey can be reached by phone at (304) 626-1438 or by e-mail at rstealey@exponent-telegram.com.

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