Meramec River gets longer thanks to GPS, kayakers

      The Meramec River is getting longer -- at least, it may soon in state guidebooks.

      A group of kayakers and canoeists who set out to paddle the river's length from the Ozarks to the Mississippi River say the Missouri Conservation Department guidebook shortchanges the river by eight miles.

      Jim Darlington, one of the group's members, used mapping software, GPS and Google Earth to determine the river is 201 miles long. The guidebook used by paddlers for decades suggests it's 193 miles long.

      State officials have made no official decision to revise the guide but they have so far supported the paddling group's efforts and findings.

      It's unknown what caused the error or who wrote the original guide. But group members say it's not because the river has changed course.