Support the Big Muddy
So we unfortunately missed the Perche Creek Gutbuster, a ten mile race on the Perche Creek near Columbia.  Our plans for this weekend had developed last fall for volunteering with a great group of people with the Ozark Trail Association.  We worked all day Saturday repairing tread on the Ozark Trail between the eleven point and current rivers.  On Sunday, our initial plan was to paddle a 20 mile section of the Jacks Fork River, but when we arrived at the river we learned that just downstream from where we wanted to put in was closed due to large debris blocking the only accessible route.  Without hesitation we altered our plans and drove to Houston to paddle the upper stretch of the Big Piney River, starting at Baptist Camp (the location of the first reintroduction of River Otters to Missouri).  It is an amazing stretch of river that recieves very little use due to it only being navigable in higher water.  The narrow twists and turns require slightly technical maneuvers with logs strategically aligned for barriers of a safe passage.  The spring sunshine beat down on us as we paddled along the rock outcropping and overhanging sycamores.  We passed dripping spring’s natural area with its two natural springs that cascade 30 feet into the river and were briefly graced with the presence of two river otters as they scurried down the bank and disappeared.  Multiple pairs of wood ducks and kingfishers skimmed the water’s surface at our arrival and turtles of various size splashed from their sun bathing log perches.  A great day for an Ozark Float…….errr……I mean an Ozark Training day!    

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