Are you looking for a simple and affordable way to enjoy the great outdoors?
For Bill and I, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors is one of the best ways we know to enjoy the simple things in life. We took a trip to the Eleven Point River in the Mark Twain National Forest in southern Missouri in July. We enjoyed it so much that we went back again in August.
This was my first overnight canoe trip – and I LOVED IT! We made the 3 1/2 hour drive to Alton where we camped at Greer Springs for the night. When morning arrived, we ate breakfast by the campfire and then drove to the access to put in the canoe.
We packed it full with one cooler, one crate full of camping gear, cooking supplies and clothes, two folding chairs and our life-jackets. And off we went!
We traveled downstream all day, stopping occasionally to fish or eat a bite of lunch.
After traveling 18 miles, we stopped at Boze Mill float camp. You know, 18 miles sounds like a long, long way, but to my surprise it was a very easy trip. Didn’t have to do much paddling…..just floated along most of the time. It was soooo peaceful and relaxing. Bill taught me the necessary paddle strokes so that I could help maneuver the canoe from time to time when we floated through faster waters. He is very experienced at this and had traveled this river many times.
I think Bill and I make a pretty good team setting up camp. Once everything is unloaded and the tent is set up, we both go on the hunt for firewood. He’s in charge of the big pieces and I gather the small stuff. It’s all important though – ya gotta have the small stuff to get he fire started! What do you think of my starter piles??
Bill caught two fish, but only made it to the campfire. I was not paying close attention at one time and we went to close to a tree stump and lost a rainbow trout off the stringer…..lesson learned for me.
On our second trip here, we had an unexpected visitor to the campfire. We heard something scurrying in the woods and then in a couple of seconds an armadillo came out pretty close to the fire! I could not believe it! An armadillo??? Really???!! He quickly went back into another section the woods. Bill said, “He seems to be in a hurry – he must have a date!” Bill just cracks me up sometimes! Sure do love camping adventures with him 🙂
For me, sitting beside a camp fire is such a relaxing experiences. If you have not done this in a while (or maybe you never have) I recommend that you make time to do this….even if it’s in your own back yard.
The next morning we spent a couple hours exploring the spring and old mill site.
I definitely recommend this floating trip to anyone who wants to take a break from their usual busy lifestyle. We were without a cell signal for two days – which was really different for me – but we survived it just fine. There is no camping fee for the float camps. Out-house facilities are pretty primitive and you’ll want to bring your own toilet paper. During our first trip the float camp outhouse was full stocked, but the second trip it was not. But if you are a camper, you know not to ever leave home without the TP!
We camped for two nights on our trip, but for those of you who aren’t keen on the thought of camping, you can still enjoy a relaxing day-trip down the river. There are several outfitters that rent canoes and will drive you upstream to launch and then pick you up downstream. We had our own canoe, but used Hufstedler’s to shuttle our Jeep and were pleased with their service.
Anyone else ever floated this river – or have other recommendations? I’d love to hear from you!