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Natchez native takes to the river for kayaking adventures

Nancy, left, and Katelee Laird kayak along the bank of the Mississippi River Saturday. The Lairds do a lot of kayaking starting in the Spring traveling to different rivers like the Arkansas and Buffalo. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Nancy, left, and Katelee Laird kayak along the bank of the Mississippi River Saturday. The Lairds do a lot of kayaking starting in the Spring traveling to different rivers like the Arkansas and Buffalo. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — For Katelee Laird, being in a kayak is second nature.

Starting from a pool and now working her way up to the Mississippi River, Laird’s kayaking has taken her to new levels and new places.

“I was pretty young and my mom always wanted a kayak,” Laird said. “So one Christmas, my dad bought her one and put it in the pool. Now, she has seven or eight kayaks. When we first started going, we went to Lake Concordia and Black River Lake.”

But after finding her groove, Laird took to the road.

“We started traveling and kayaking,” she said. “We would go for like a week in Arkansas on the Buffalo River and sleep on the banks and stuff.”

Now, Laird is tackling her own backyard, going up and down the Mississippi River.

“You just have to be careful,” she said. “You go when the river is really low, and stay close to the side. We like to kayak past the new casino, and there are a lot of waterfalls off the bluff that people don’t know about. It is really pretty.”

Laird’s kayaking adventures have also roped in a few friends.

“My mom has a lot of friends that go with us, and we have family too,” she said. “There are a lot of us that go.”

Laird said that just about anyone can do it, and that the activity is easy to catch on.

“It’s not hard at all,” she said. “It is really easy to pick up, not difficult. You really don’t tip over as much as people think. I’ve taught many people how to kayak, and they’ve never had a problem about tipping over.”

No big trips are planned in the near future for Laird, but she is hoping to get something in the works soon.

“I’m sure when the weather warms up, we’ll make some plans,” she said. “I definitely want to go back to the Buffalo River in Arkansas because it is so beautiful. It is one of my favorite kayaking trips.”

 

 

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