Once I finally landed and kissed the ground a few times, I decided to go home and research the names of some of these nearby bodies of water. To my surprise I found that a lot of these were public rivers and lakes that could be used for recreation. The only disappointing part that I found was how under advertised these were. Compared to Dayton and how we all love and promote our rivers, the area I live in just sees them as a 'there' and nothing special.
I remember when I lived in the Cleveland area and how everyone loved the metroparks, the lakes and rivers, and the forests we had. Everyone knew where Beartown Lakes was and how LaDue Reservoir was a great place to fish, hang out, and go boating on. Now that I live in cruddy ol' Virginia, there is none of this, even though the amount of rivers and lakes nearby are much higher than that of Cleveland.
On a brighter side of things, I found that my family kept my bass boat from when we lived in Cleveland. Even though I am still unsure of how they pulled that boat 8 hours to DC I am glad they did. It made me realize that I can take this boat out, after registering it, and go enjoy the many lakes near my house. Also, my Opa talked to me during this small break and was ecstatic when I told him I had been kayaking in River Stewards and how much I loved doing it. Since he is a big kayaker himself, he gave me tips and tricks and even some money to buy my personal kayak for the spring and summer time so I can go explore the rivers and lakes near my house.
In the end, I found out how lucky Dayton is to have this much love for its rivers and lakes. As everyone says, you don't know what you got till its gone, and it is especially true in this case.