Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veterans Day Float (Thank you Vets!)

Yesterday was a another gorgeous day in the Ozarks, and on a day where we all were thinking of brave grandfathers and fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, granddaughters, grandsons, cousins, nephews, nieces, and second cousins twice removed, Amy and I decided to honor them by taking a float down secret creek. Secret creek refers to one of the many tributaries that feed our lakes and rivers here in the Ozarks. Following high water these streams can provide some of the best and most exciting floating available. Unfortunately you never know what you are going to get on these waterways until you are on them. Many times if these creeks are big enough to show up on a map they can be floated at times of high water. The particular creek Amy and I found yesterday was one we had been on before but this time we would float a longer section as we were granted access on private property. As we put in on this crystal clear stream we were soon mesmerized by the shear bluffs and boulder strewn riffles of this hidden gem. The valley was much narrower and riffles much sportier than anything you find on the main float streams of the Ozarks. As we darted through rapids, and bounced off boulders we were surrounded by unspoiled wilderness. A large family of otters played on the banks as we floated by, and a flock of turkeys was seen flushing in the distance as Amy shrieked from a near capsizing. A few mysteries also remain following this float. Two ducks were seen feeding in the distance and as we approached they dove never to be seen again. At this same spot Amy also swore she saw a big goldfish swimming around, and as we rounded the bend we saw something in the bushes Amy firmly believes was a wombat (might be time for an intervention). Floaters must also be cautious as these untraveled waterways are often filled with fallen trees often lurking unseen around a sharp bend. With little information available about many of these creeks, if you decide to try it you may end up having the float of a lifetime, or you could end up dragging your kayak around trees and over shallow spots all day long. Regardless of what the float might bring, it is definitely exhilarating floating new water for the first time, and the sound of water rushing around boulders as it drops through narrow canyons is sure to get your heart pounding as you approach unseen obstacles waiting just around the next bend.

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