This float has been on the books since January. We’ve been so excited to squeeze a canoe trip into our schedule that we literally started pulling out all our gear nearly a week in advance. Originally, tons of people were invited and the goal was to achieve a “mega” turnout and therefore have a mega-float. However, by last week, it was clear it was only going to be an above-average attendance float. Mostly regulars. But personally, we kind of like it that way.
We hit the road Saturday morning and made our way to Southeast Missouri, or as I like to call it “scenes from Winter’s Bone.” Here is a collection of random photos from the weekend.
Travel on the back roads is exceptionally sparse. The roads are narrow, and there are few signs or even signs of life. Cell phone signal dwindles the closer you get to the river and finally you receive the harrowing “No Service” indicator. However for us, that’s when the fun really begins.
The pups spent most of the ride snoozing in the back, completely oblivious to what was in store. We were so excited to see how Tildy would do on the river.
Kabobs for dinner the first night. Mushrooms on the grill = heaven.
Waiting for the inevitable food drops. This pup ate SO MUCH food this weekend.
I found a turtle!
Such a pretty shell.
Crappy picture, but look at its little tail! I melt.
The girls! Siw, Kaycia, Danielle and me. And Zach.
Party barge. Good for socializing, bad for steering and navigating…
While Clive was content to snooze under the umbrella most of the day, Matilda was my eager co-pilot, tucked under my arm nearly the whole trip.
Taking a break while our group explored the caves. We could have tempted a cruise through, but didn’t want to risk traumatizing the pups. They were such good sports, venturing into the water and even laying in it!
Kaycia and Dallas celebrating the end of the nearly 12-mile float.
The double campsite. While we had our tent, most of our compatriots slept under the stars. I love camping, but man, I don’t know that I could sleep wondering what was crawling around my head.
We started the fire in one ring, but it was so sunny that we successfully moved it to another ring in the shade — while it was still burning. It worked, but I don’t highly recommend it. Neil’s brother Ben was relatively calm despite having open flames curling toward his hand.
This is called “The Rusty Special.” Croissants topped with bacon, breakfast sausage, cheese and egg and coated liberally with country gravy. Definitely not Paleo.
But after a float of fruit, veggies and nuts, we were STARVING!
Time to go! Our first float of 2012 in the books and we’re already planning our next trip — hopefully sometime in July. You know you’ve had a successful trip when a pumice stone almost feels necessary for your entire body. The pups were also beyond filthy. Every time we picked them up to move them, a trail of sand and dirt would follow. The white in their coats was almost more of a yellow. Gross!
We’ve also decided to buy our own kayaks! We’ve been renting and borrowing up until this point, but the cost, availability and pre-planning required kills our ability to take last-minute trips and has us convinced that buying them is actually the more economical choice. With the money we’ll save not having to rent, they’ll quickly pay for themselves, and we frankly enjoy them better than canoes. We hope that by adding them to our gear, we’ll be able to take join in more last-minute trips and create some of our own.
Note: I know I promised big news, and believe me, I have not forgotten. Just tying up a few last details!