Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Team Picture

Click it:



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Final Details

Jim, Jim and Vernon are either leaving late tonight or first thing tomorrow. If they leave early in the morning the plan is just to have everybody head up the interstate and we'll reach each other by cell phone and find a place to meet.

Rob is still arriving late tomorrow and we are going to leave a canoe at Turner's Mill for him. Although there is no camping allowed at the put-in itself, our goal is to find a gravel bar as quickly as possible. There is a Float Camp less than a mile downstream ("Stinking Pond") and we have agreed that under no circumstances will we go farther than the Float Camp since Rob will be paddling in the dark and we know we can camp there for sure.

Rob will be equipped with an RRCC-procured mega-spotlight for his midnight ride. One if by land, 5,000,000 candlepower if by sea. He could gig a blind frog with that thing.

We have given up trying to reguluate tents. You can save space by pairing up with someone or just bring your own. Either way, make your own arrangements.

Ever since the Great Utensil Crisis of 2007 we have been gradually acquiring tableware but have never had proper drinking vessels. We've been getting by with aluminum cans and styrofoam cups. Now, as a reward for your participation in both the swamp attempt and the cold weather alternate river, all Fall 2010 attendees will get official RRCC-issued authentic tin cups. Hand-made by a tinsmith in Bell Buckle and ribbed for her pleasure.

So that's it, nothing more to say before we go. Can't wait to pull the trailer across the Ohio and the mighty Mississippi over those huge double bridges in Cairo.



That's where Huckleberry Finn and Jim were trying to get on their raft - because if they made it to Cairo Jim would be a free man. We weren't the first ones to have some good times on the river.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Field & Stream

Apparently Saturday is opening day for deer season in the Show Me State. Everyone should wear a little bright orange, even if it means shoplifting some UT paraphenalia at the Mapco when you're getting your BYOB. The orange letters on the camo Busch cans don't count.

Shots, far back from the river . . . Deer season, and
a Saturday, which would likely make for hell on the hills
. . . I guessed that not even the normal quota of whisky-head sports would probably shoot a boat for a buck, but decided to wear a bandana if I went rambling ashore.

Goodbye to a River, p. 96.


You should also know that most of the Ozark streams are pretty heavily patrolled by wildlife officers on normal weekends, so they may be out in force for opening day. For those of you who are fishing, you better get a license. You can buy one and print it out on-line. Go to http://mdc.mo.gov/fishing and choose Code 018 "Daily Fishing" when asked. It's only $7 per day and worth it because the Eleven Point is an elite smallmouth stream and rates as a "Blue Ribbon" trout stream below Greer Springs because of the cold water.

Eleven Point fishing links:





Near the Oakes crossing where the old road between Weatherford and Palo Pinto used to hit the river, the water's surface was much as I remembered the surface of the classic Test, in the south-English chalk country, from once when I stood there on a bridge watching the big, incredibly uniform trout at their feeding stations over the gravel. Smooth, with little swirls forming everywhere and drifting downstream to disappear, a dry-fly man's reverie . . . The Brazos runs wide there, with a large-gravel bottom about a foot and a half down like the Test's, and that was why they were alike. I wished it might also have held such trout, and in memory of not having been able to fish those rigidly owned foreign waters, I began to cast a little golden spoon with the spinning rod as I drifted.

Goodbye to a River, pp. 102-03.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Eleven Point Turn

Maybe this will help on the last part of the drive. You can hit fullscreen or you can just print it out like a regular document. If nothing else, the topo contours of the river valley should get you fired up for the trip!

Eleven Point Roads

Monday, November 08, 2010

Conference Call

If you did not dial in you were nominated, seconded and elected for firewood gathering, K.P., latrine entrenchment, guitar re-stringing and cooler re-icing.

There are 8 confirmed members for this trip. Jim M. and the other Jim M. and Vernon are leaving Thursday. Sands will be coming up from his lakehouse in Arkansas. Rob is arriving late on Friday. That means leaving Nashville with the trailer Friday morning are the three stooges Skip, Josh and Kirly. We will leave Friday at 6:00 am. That's early but it's only 7-o'clock under the old Daylight Savings Time and it's going to be worth it to get some daylight on the river the first day. Regardless of where you are coming from, the plan is to meet at the put-in at 1:00 pm. Friday afternoon.

The put-in is called "Turner's Mill North" which is one of the public access points on the Eleven Point River. The closest town is Alton, Missouri, but the river is east of Alton so those of us coming from Tennessee will hit the country roads before reaching Alton. If you can get "Riverton, Missouri" on your GPS, that is our take-out and would be even closer. Here are the maps and directions:


Take I-24 West to Paducah about 135 miles

Get off I-24 at Kentucky EXIT 4 onto Hwy 60 West

Take Hwy 60 west about 115 miles all the way to Poplar Bluff, Missouri which is tricky and involves the following: crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois, driving all of 5 minutes across the State of Illinois and into Missouri, following I-57 a short way (but still on Hwy 60), then continuing into Poplar Bluff, Missouri (still on Hwy 60)

In Poplar Bluff, turn south on Hwy 67 and go about 10 miles to Hwy 160

Take Hwy 160 west about 45 miles to the Eleven Point River in Riverton, Missouri

You are now at the river, but the Hwy 160 bridge in Riverton, Missouri is our take-out. About 6.5 miles before you get there you will pass Hwy J which is the way to the put-in. There are no landmarks, but if you see it you can turn right onto Hwy J before Riverton and save yourself 15 minutes. Otherwise, from Riverton see below:

To get to the put-in from Riverton, Missouri do the following:
Turn around. Retrace your route (i.e. go east) for 6.5 miles back up Hwy 160
Turn LEFT (north) off of Hwy 160 onto Hwy J (may also be called County Road J)
Go 7.5 miles north on Hwy J
Turn LEFT on County Rd. 164
Go 3.8 miles on County Rd. 164
Turn LEFT on County Rd. 158
Go 3.1 miles on County Rd. 158
Turn LEFT on County Rd. 3152 (I know it sounds like you're going in circles)
Go 0.9 miles on County Rd. 3152
Turn LEFT (it's true) on Forest Road 3190
Go 2.6 miles on Forest Road 3190 to Turner's Mill North Boat Ramp.

That's the put-in. We will meet there at 1:00 on Friday. Note that there is also a "Turner's Mill SOUTH Boat Ramp" on the other side of the river. You won't get there by accident, it's fifty feet away but an hour's drive by car. Just wanted you to know another one exists to avoid any confusion or in case you stop and ask for directions.

The other things we decided are:

1. Definitely BYOB. That includes beer and brown liquor;
2. BYO Ready-rolls too;
3. Jim M. will bring both his canoe and the other Jim M.'s canoe on his truck. Chris will bring his own. We will bring canoes for Vernon, Kirk, Rob and Skip. Josh, drop yours off this week if you can;
4. Guitars are covered. Rob is bringing two and Chris is bringing one. Kirk: do not bring a guitar;
5. Jim M.: we still need to figure out Saturday lunch, and bring your big dining fly if you still have it;
6. Our float time on Sunday is short - about 90 minutes. Everyone on this trip has personal experience with RRCC Sunday departures so do your own estimate of ETA for the return. But allow time in your calculation for the shuttle, a six hour drive to Nashville, and a long lunch stop at Lambert's Cafe for some throwed rolls. It can be a long wait for Sunday lunch but we're going right through Sikeston and we have to do it.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Food and Drink

In case you thought the cooks would be at a loss just because our river doesn't bear the name of some edible game animal. Announcing the Fall 2010 menu:

Friday dinner:
Brats and Kraut on Ol Smokey

Saturday breakfast:
Provencal breakfast potatoes, sausage and scrambled eggs

Saturday lunch:
TBD (will discuss on conference call)

Saturday dinner:
"Eleven Points of Asia" Pac-Rim-Oriental-Fusion-Stir-Fry
Ga Ngu Vi Huong (spice grilled chicken)
Tom Kha Goong (lemongrass coconut milk soup with shrimp)
Potstickers with dipping sauce
Bhutanese Red Rice

Sunday breakfast
Cofee and Ready-rolls

We also need to talk about how to handle beverages when we're on the call Sunday night. We may let everyone BYOCooler, even though there is some risk to the individual in an all-your-eggs-in-one-basket way.

Canoe trip 2008 Pennsylvania Rednecks

Metafor Myspace Music Videos

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Virtual Pre-Trip Meeting: Sunday at 7:00 pm

We ran out of time to have a real one, which is a shame because the patio is now open at Brown's. Instead we will have a Club conference call this Sunday (Nov. 7) at 7:00 pm. Dial-in instructions are:

(866) 506-1416
Passcode: 6157267381

Don't forget Daylight Savings Time ends Saturday night Nov. 6.

It will be helpful if you have a computer and a cold beer in front of you. The RRCC uses the Acme Mapper at http://www.acme.com/ instead of MapQuest or Google Earth because you can switch back and forth between satellite, road maps, "terrain" view, and the USGS topos. We'll need all of them to figure out access points, shuttles, potential gravel bars, etc. Search and zoom to Alton, Missouri and we'll go from there.

There will be lots more to discuss because there are all kinds of moving parts for this trip. Tim still has a yeast infection and can't go so we need to address the beverage situation. Rob has a major transaction closing on Friday the 12th and may need to arrive late. That will, of course, make choosing the put-in and campsites that much more challenging, but that's half the fun. We did get the official phone call from the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge telling us that our trip is cancelled, so at least that is settled. We also need to get a head count, a canoe count, a guitar count, set a departure time, etc. Here's an agenda you can follow during the call:

By the way, since we are not limited by our permit or by the space on the platforms, anybody who still wants to go can join this trip. It also means we can paddle solo, overloaded canoes again.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

So Much Older Then, Younger Than That Now

It's been hard to do any serious planning for this trip without knowing where we're going to be, especially because the new destination is so completely different from the old one. We are changing from swamp to river, we're going northwest instead of southeast, and instead of moderate November temperatures it's pretty much guaranteed to be freezing cold. But Ozark rivers are like so many rivers we've done before (the Stones, Duck, Piney, Green, Buffalo, Sequatchie, Yellow Creek are all similar) that we should be able to do it with our eyes closed. For a Club like ours, this is not rocket surgery. Still, we should cover a few things.

If you bought a plane ticket to Jacksonville, save it. We will try again in the spring. March and early April are the best times to go just FYI.

Departure: We had planned to leave for the Okefenokee after work on Thursday the 11th because the park and the alligators demand that you put in before 10:00 am. Lest darkness should fall before you reach your platform. Now, according to MapQuest, it is 5 hours and 27 minutes from Brown's Diner to our new put-in in Missouri and we have no real deadlines. So, since we were all planning to miss work Friday anyway, it seems the thing to do is leave Friday morning and still spend two nights on the river. We'll decide on an exact time later but count on leaving early Friday.

Camping options: The land along the Eleven Point is all public. In addition to Wild & Scenic River status, it is within the boundaries of the Irish Wilderness Area which itself is in the Mark Twain National Forest. Not only does that make the gravel bars fully legal (not that we have ever really cared), but the Missouri D.N.R. has built what they call "Float Camps" at various points along the river. Like this one called "Barn Hollow":

The existence of the Float Camps creates a dilemma for us. Our first choice is and always will be to camp on gravel bars, preferably next to a riffle or rapids. But having not been on this river in, oh, about 25 years, we don't really know where they are. We know exactly where the Float Camps are from the maps and they would give us complete certainty in planning, but they are a little less desirable because they can be grassy places with muddy banks. And there is also the problem of working out the right mileage between them. We know we want to put in at Greer Spring to get the best water level and we do know there is a Float Camp ten miles downstream which would work well because Greer Spring has a developed campsite at the put-in.

So this is our choice: (a) take the cautious approach - with the first night at a drive-in campground and the second night at a DNR Float Camp or (b) roll the dice and spend both nights somewhere downstream on two gravel bars we hope we will find. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside a conundrum. The last time we did a trip without knowing where we were going to stop was on the Green River and we were sweating bullets until we found (what turned out to be) the last gravel bar before the take out.

But it was a good one.

Young, one moves in upon the country and thinks himself a tile in its tessellated ecology, and believes that he always would have been such a tile, and hoots with the owl, and scorns even tents.

Older, one knows himself an excrescence upon the landscape and no kinsman to any wild thing; one hears the bass drumbeat and the gabble of the rapids below and the roar of the rain and feels abrupt depression and wonders why he barged out alone into the wetness and the winter. And thinks that perhaps, in the old time, he would have been one of the cautious who stayed in the jammed East.

I lay awake for a long time with a kind of three-o'clock-in-the-morning apprehension on me. The pup shivered against my side. The river boomed and burbled against its rocks. The night was black but starry. The wind kept on in the darkness, unnaturally; later I woke once or twice as it popped the tent flaps. Big wind depresses when it continues without the normal wanings of evening and night and dawn, whether it's called sirocco or khamsin or whatever. I lay feeling soft muscles ache and wondered if they would tauten to the work or whether I'd finally arrived at that point where the body won't snap back into tone with a few days' misuse, and wondered too what weather the wind might portend, and what idiocy had brought me out there to lie on the graveled ground, in November. . . .

Goodbye to a River, p. 67

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Member Recognitions

The RRCC would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Sands who helped select the the Eleven Point as our alternate river after hours of subcommittee meetings in the parking lot of Municipal Auditorium last week.


And a double dose of Vagisil goes to the Beverage Manager, who intends to be "too busy at work and home" in mid-November to go on the trip. Note to Tim: if you thought you were avoiding the swamp trip you're in for a big surprise. We'll be back at the Waffle House about January.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Here's a good, slightly funkadelic video shot on the Eleven Point by a couple of blackberry eating hippies. Probably a little farther upstream than we will float but it shows some of the springs that will be helping us along downstream...

Another good one:

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Show Me" Another River

It did rain a little, but the Okefenokee canoe trails are all still closed and would have to come up almost two feet for us to make the trip. That is looking pretty unlikely, so with less than three weeks to go it's time to seriously consider another option.

For our selection criteria, we decided to go with knee-jerk reaction and overcompensation - prized attributes in the RRCC. We figured that if we're getting shut out because of low water levels, then we'll just go wherever the biggest, baddest high-volume natural springs are within a day's drive of here and we'll be drought-proof.

The Ozarks of southern Missouri are famous for that - all of the canoeable rivers there have headwaters called "Mammoth Springs" and "Big Springs" and other names that suggest massive discharges of water that will sweep us and our cast iron happily downstream. One of the best rivers in the Ozarks, and the one with the most springs of all, is the Eleven Point. Therefore, we decree that the Eleven Point River is the Official Alternate River of the RRCC for Fall 2010.


Nice, isn't it?

The Eleven Point is in southern Missouri just west of the Bootheel, right on the Arkansas border.

It gets most of its flow from fabulous Greer Springs, which is like having a whole nother river come gushing out of a cave in the middle of the trip. 222 million gallons per day.

There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of smaller springs all up and down the Eleven Point. Not to mention perfect gravel bars, limestone bluffs and (because of the springs) crystal clear and ice cold beautiful blue-green water.

In 1968, Congress passed the "National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act":

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

The first eight rivers to receive the Wild and Scenic designation under the law were the Middle Fork of the Clearwater and the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho, the Feather in California, the Rio Grande in New Mexico, the Rogue in Oregon, the St. Croix in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Wolf in Wisconsin, and the Eleven Point River in Missouri.

Although now there are 156 rivers on the list, there is only one in Tennessee and the RRCC will never canoe it.

No fun for dogs or drunks.

And even though Missouri has legendary canoeing streams in the Ozarks like the Current River and the Jack's Fork, to this day it still only has one on the Wild and Scenic River list. Unless the swamp rises dramatically, we're going to be on it in about three weeks.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The answer to the question you're all asking is we don't know. RebelRivers.com is paralyzed with indecision until we know more about the water levels in the swamp. But if we don't go to the Okefenokee the trip will still be that same weekend, so don't pack away your swinging beverage holders for the winter.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Our Permit Has Arrived

Regulation No. 7 sounds like a job for the Beverage Manager.

And an item of interest from the court docket today:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

This Ship Right Here is Kinda Crazy

Don't be too alarmed by the odds we were quoted for keeping our permit. As Dr. Sands always says, everything is 50/50. It either happens or it doesn't.

Also, the Suwannee Canal into the swamp will be open for sure - it's not affected by water levels. We may be able to get Canal Run shelter or they may open the day use shelters along the canal for us for overnights.

What you should be alarmed by is the alligator count. According to the Famous Alligator Forecast, the canal is a quite a popular hangout.

Even the fall forecast of "Very High" is a slight downgrade from the summer when the canal red-lined at "Gators Galore."

That probably had something to do with the rare "cooperative feeding event" that occurred there on July 10, 2010.

Here is the unedited footage:

But please, if you only watch one version, watch it narrated:

Ok, it's true that low water level is a contributing factor to these feeding frenzies. But the chances of it happening to us are still just 50/50.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rock Me Like a Hurricane

You would think since we're not on a shallow Middle Tennessee stream this fall we could take a year off from worrying about water levels. Turns out that is not the case at all. When we called back this week to pay for our permit, the rangers said that we can only pay by check because there is a "50/50 chance" we won't get to go at all. A check is easier to refund than a credit card payment.

The Okefenokee is 13" below normal and we are about to enter the dry seasons of October and November. All of the trails except Canal Run are currently closed. Apparently it takes a hurricance to really fill it back up, and there are only a couple of weeks left in hurricane season. So everyone needs to sacrifice a coon or oppposum to the rain gods and pray for about a Category 3 (don't want to overdo it).

"Swamp's got to rise or no boat's gonna row."

Only in the RRCC will you get to use a line like that at a cocktail party and have it mean something.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


For those of you who plan on flying, here's an itinerary that should work. Kirk's already on these flights.

But following the trailer is a lot more fun. You never know when it might pull over for a guitar pull.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Making the Big Dance

You may have noticed there is a finite amount of space in those Okefenokee overnight shelters. Unfortunately, it means the RRCC has no choice but to take the rare step of limiting attendance on the Fall 2010 trip. Basically, we need to be half the size of the Spring trip on the Buffalo.

We regret having to do this and are aware there will be a lot of competition for the chance to sleep on a hard wooden platform in a mosquito infested swamp 18-inches above an alligator nest. So for that reason we are announcing the following criteria for determining who gets to go. In order:

1. Participation in reservation call parties;
2. Postmark of checks received for full payment of Fall trip;
3. Number of previous RRCC trips attended;
4. Essay contest.

If you are really interested in going, send your money to Josh ASAP because you're already behind the Waffle House Seven. $150 mailed to 4015 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 203, Nashville, TN 37215.



Monday, September 13, 2010


On our second try, we doubled our cell phones and got the exact route and weekend we want. So it is official. The 2010 Fall Trip will be the weekend of November 11 - 14 (leaving after work on Thursday the 11th, returning very late on Sunday the 14th).

Our permit is for Route #5 on the Green Trail. See this map.

Put-in: Kingfisher Landing
First night: Bluff Lake shelter
Second night: Floyd's Island
Take-out: Stephen Foster State Park

When we put in at Kingfisher Landing on Friday, the 12th, we have to be in our canoes by 10:00 am Eastern Time. Water level permitting, we will have a very doable 8 mile paddle through Durdin Prairie and should arrive at Bluff Lake with plenty of daylight.

Here as some pictures of the Bluff Lake platform:

Can't wait to see Mullowney try to sneak off to his tent on this one.

Here's the Bluff Lake Throne Room.

Note to cooks: Let's eighty-six the Chili Verde this trip.

Friday, September 10, 2010


This week was a practice round of sorts. We're meeting again on Monday (Sept 13) at 5:30 am to try again for the next November weekend, which is what we really want.

We are not the only ones who think Waffle House is the best place for important events, by the way.