Thursday, June 14, 2007

Spring Float '07

Well, it looked like we weren't going to be able to go floating with R&K this year due to a family function, but they got a hold of Harold and Lynn (and little Kate) and they were able to move the trip up a week.

We spent the night with the Williams' in Fulton on Thursday. Took Friday off and drove down there relatively early. We were getting a non-reservable camp site... I actually like them better because they're right up against the woods and are actually IN some very large but thinned (relative to the woods) trees. We didn't get our normal spot because they were doing some maintenance -- ok it looked more like a complete overhaul of the nearby bathrooms. The exterior walls and sinks and toilets were all gone. And it wasn't clear we were allowed to take that spot anyway.

So... we went to a different spot about 150 yards away. Tents went up. Harold & Lynn showed up about 8. We had a nice fire. I had gone into the woods and got a half-dried elm branch with the pocket chain-saw. It's effective and compact, but a bowsaw is better if you've got the room. I got it mostly for lightweight, low-bulk backpacking. I also got an old dead wild grape vine for kindling. And then I bought a couple of bundles of split oak. Harold brought some bigger dried hardwood when they showed up.

The only problem we had was these three... oh, they looked like teenagers but I guess they could've been in their early 20's who talked too loud late into the night on a speaker phone with women they didn't know, advertising their location, their next day's plan, and the fact that they had 105 beers. (And a machette, to anyone they heard walking by the tent.) You could hear both sides of the conversation, and they couldn't stop giggling. But they piped down about the time I got back from looking for the campground host. They DO have quiet hours there and they start at 10:00pm.

Ryan & Kristie and Vicki and I were the only ones floating. We couldn't have asked for better weather. We put in about 10:00 am, and spent the day on the upper Jack's Fork between Bay Creek and the Alley Spring Camp Ground. Stopped several times to play with the fun-noodles. We shot several "chutes" on them and found a few places to just lollygag in the water.

Kristie spotted some sun fish nests early on. Just like the ciclids in your fish tank, with an adult there chasing off anything that came near the bowl in the sand. We saw lots of sun fish and palid sturgeons. No turtles! Odd.

At one point Vicki and I had gone back upstream a little ways to check something out ... and for some reason ever attempt to get the canoe turned back around with the nose (Vicki) downstream ended up with us turning backward again. Not sure what was going on there, but we sure had a good laugh at it.

Later in the day we were in a chute and I got tired of trying to run it, I just wanted to be in the water without being carried down stream, so Ryan and I anchored my McGyvered "noodle ring" to a rock at the bottom of the river. Worked pretty well! (That's Ryan trying it out there).

Got out about 4:30 and had our "poor boy" packets that Vicki and Kristie put together. They were quite tasty. Roasted Marshmallows. And a S'more or two.

Broke down camp Sunday morning and went in to Eminence to Ruby's T&T Restaurant. They have an awesome breakfast buffett. Driving home, just north of Salem, we hit heavy rain pretty much through Jefferson City.

And for the rest of Sunday, I don't think either of us had any energy to speak of.

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