Brian was going to go with Kristie and Ali (heh, "Kristie Ali") around 2:15. Turned out Brian could go with us at noon after all... well ... 1:00. Kristin got off a little early and we loaded up the grammy bags (with tent/camping/float equipment) on the luggage rack and tied it down, and got the rest of the equipment, clothes, and coolers in the Jeep.
And the skies openend up and drenched everything. Seriously, I'll bet we got over 1.5" in 40 minutes. Fortunately, we put any bedding in the grammy bags inside dry bags... well almost everything. Brian and Kristin's big pillow wasn't.
The rain continued all the way to Rolla, but we saw little or none past there. The optimistic GPS had estimated a 2.5 hour drive... it ended up being more like 3:20 ... which is about what we're used to. Part of that was because we got behind a horse trailer as soon as we turned onto 19, which went all the way to Eminence. Apparently they were not familiar with that country driver courtesy of pulling over and letting people by occasionally when you're driving so slowly, and 19 is a windey, windey road.
Because Windys was coming to pick us up at 8:00 am! It was the latest pickup they could do for Bay Creek that wasn't TOO late (like very late morning).
It was a pleasant day on the river. Sunny. Very warm but not too hot. Nice breeze, cold water, lush green vegetation. Ryan and Kristie were in their kayaks and the rest of us rented canoes from Windys.
The river was about as low as you'd want it for a float - relatively normal for this time of year. A lot of people wouldn't like it because there was SOME dragging in shallow spots, and in a couple of spots we actually had to get out and push. But we do this part of the river because it is less crowded and there are lots of nice swimming holes. It's really more of a swim trip than a float trip.
But apparently I had put Brian's nice Gerber camp axe on the bumper of the Cherokee, and it was unsurprisingly NOT there when we got back. Brian and Kristin made a trip back to go hunt it down, but I imagine it fell off before we even got out of the loop and somebody said "hey, sweet hatchet!"
The Willams & Sowers had eaten easier food than we did. The packets (potato, onion, peppers, and brats/hamburger meat + butter) take about an hour too cook, and these took longer because the fire wasn't really ready when we started. But they were quite tasty.
We're still tired. It went too fast, as usual. But it was good summer fun!