A River Runs Through It

I want you to bear with me with this post. It is a first of a mini series that should be greater than the sum of its parts.

I hope I am not the only person who does this or it will sound really naff but I have often used river journeys for the players to hand wave large sections of cross country travel through relatively safe territory. As a player we did this in Shadow World and as a GM I let my players load their horses and kit on to a barge and it took days off an otherwise uneventful journey.