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  • Story Owner: Rolland  Love
  • Story Title: Warning! Don't Float The River.
  • Story Created: Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 3:54:00 PM
  • Chapter Author: Rolland Love
  • Chapter Created: Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 3:57:00 PM
  • updated: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 3:05:00 PM



It would be IMPOSSIBLE to describe the (grueling) 24 mile (4) day float trip on the Jacks Fork River in the Missouri Ozarks that my guide Mike Overmyer and I endured thinking that around every bend in the river us having to get out of the canoe and drag it over slick moss covered rocks through shallow water as we stumbled along at the pace of a couple injured water buffalo. Periodically I looked down river where the sunshine glistened on the shallow rippling water and said things like “Is This Never Going To End.” It did eventually but like Jerry Garcia said"What_a_Long_Strange_Trip_It’s_Been.  

Due to weeks of NO humans to disturbe the environment for the past month except Mike and I floating/walking/stumbling slowly down the long stretch of river from Highway 17 bridge (Buck Hollow) to Alley Springs we saw every species of fish that swims in a spring fed Ozark stream,we had an interesting encounter with nature. Encountering fish, snakes, animals, birds and insects. 

Our first encounter was with a Cotton Mouth (a fearless snake that can bite and kill people) the big brown creature was swimming up the middle of the river head held high the way the always do headed toward us. A couple rounds from Mike’s pistol made the snake dive under the water, which was a bit frightning as they sometimes bite people under water and I figure shooting at it really pissed the sank off and we were camped across from sanke city. We had a close encounter with eagles, hawks, osprey, a family of otters playing in the water edge, a beaver swam under our canoe, a gray squirrel with a white tail, smallmouth bass, goggle, perch, suckers, two hound dogs (one a mom who had pups), a flock of wood ducks, deer running  across the river, herons, a least a dozen kingfishers (Mikes favorite bird) (2) Paliated woodpecters big beauties rarely seen. We saw more that one cotton mouth but the first big brown creature got out attention more than anything.

A hoot owl followed us down river and hooted and hooted and hooted every night I was so exhaused at the end of each day I faded into a dream after hearing only only a few hoots. I said we saw not not a nary other soul but we actually did see one strange looking man sitting beside the river staring into space.  Are canoe was only a few feet away before I saw him. What bothered me was after I asked where he came from. I wanted to know because there were no roads for five miles and he was surounded by 300 foot tall limestone bluff his response was simply to stare at the buzzards circling above. There was not nary another soul except for that strange fella until we reached the take out point. I look a lot better than I though I would after the 24 mile trip.   

On Sep 29, 2014, at 9:21 AM, Mike Overmyer wrote:   One of the reasons we were so tired the last day of floating is because we went over 15 miles on Sunday.Rymers to Alley Spring is a 15 mile float! We’d already been floating a few hours before we got to Rymers. We probably floated 17 miles the last day. And we only  floated a total of about 7 miles Thursday-Saturday.   That’s a new record for us.  MORE LOVE






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