Monday, August 31, 2009
A group of rafters from an unnamed Missouri town (town's name in title of Blog) joined us this weekend for an end of summer campout. They set out for the settlement of Dawt Mill late Saturday morning with three rafts and 13 souls. We only had three groups going to Dawt on Saturday, and after picking up all of our canoes we were waiting for the rafters to call us so we could end our day at Dawt. Late that afternoon we received a call from the Ozark County Sheriff's office saying they had found a person walking up the road from James Bridge who said his canoe had sunk and he was walking back to Sunburst where he had rented it. Knowing we had already picked up all of our canoes we thought they must be mistaken so we chose not to go searching for this lost soul. Finally around 7:15 Kevin and I decided to head to Dawt as we knew the rafters would be in soon as daylight was beginning to fade. When we arrived the drunken rafters were arriving wet, cold and drunk after a long day on the river. When I asked how the float trip went I received mixed results with some saying awesome, and others saying they would rather not talk about it. After taking some photos on the hood of the bus with Kevin, we finally got everyone into the bus and returned them to their campsite for the evening. The next morning a group of them came in and said that they thought they had lost someone on the river yesterday and wondered if we had any suggestions. We called the sheriff's office who had not seen him, and the other outfitters we called were unaware of any extra campers lurking around their campgrounds. With little to go on these bedraggled campers broke camp and set out on a search for their missing man. After several hours we had still heard nothing and assumed they must have found him wondering the streets of the OC (Ozark County). Later that morning the phone rang and with this call the mystery would be solved. It turned out the missing rafter who had had a falling out with his group, took to the highway to return to the campground. He was subsequently picked up by a good Samaritan and somehow ended up in Howell County. While in Howell County this good Samaritan who was not so good, was pulled over by the cops, and taken in for DUI. This leaves our lost rafter once again without a ride and no place to stay. This problem would quickly be solved as the sheriff's office ran the rafter's information and discovered he was on probation and was not supposed to be drinking. He evidently could not hide his intoxication and found himself spending the night in the company of Howell County's finest. He used his one phone call to call his "friends" and tell them he would be receiving a free transport back to his home jail in a few days so they need not worry about his whereabouts. Peculiar!