Archive | April, 2012

Float #33: Huzzah Creek

4 Apr

Hwy. Z to Huzzah Conservation Area

Huzzah Creek
Crawford County, Missouri
Monday, March 26
12 Miles

As March drew to a close I was desperate for a day off work to go do something fun. Monday was a good day to do that as my Aunts, Marcia and Libby, and my youngest sister, Abby all had that day off work. Poor DW had to spend the day surrounded by female in-laws, but we’re cool people so he had fun anyway!

The Huzzah is a big creek/small river that runs through Crawford county. There are only 30 miles of the Huzzah suitable for floating and only 13 of those have enough water to float most of the year. The Huzzah gets its name from a garbled spelling of Osage, a prominent native tribe in the area. There are a lot of place names in Missouri that come from Native American names, translated into French, and then into English so that they sound nothing like the original native name!

Just a reminder that although the Huzzah is a beautiful and peaceful float in the off-season, don’t go there on a weekend during the summer. It’s the go-to float for drunk college students. It’s crowded, gross and obnoxious.

huzzah river, hwy z access

Bridge over the Huzzah at Hwy. Z access

huzzah river

Duck or portage?

We put on the river just after noon. My Aunts took the red canoe and Abby took my old red kayak. This was Abby’s first time kayaking and my Aunts’ first trip in a canoe in several years. Abby did pretty good, she didn’t fall out and only got hung up once at the first turn. Marcia and Libby also did well maneuvering the 17ft. canoe around tight turns and tricky log jams. They did a lot of 360˚ turns in the eddys and a lot of giggling when they got through an obstacle. Thus they were the “giggle boat.” At the low water bridge crossing Abby was the only one who ducked the bridge and floated through (go Abby)!

huzzah river

huzzah creek

Spring colors in the forest

huzzah river

huzzah creek

huzzah river

After we passed the Hwy. 8 bridge and Huzzah Valley campground, we went through “The Narrows” of the creek. This is a short, but very pretty section where the water is swift and the creek is spanned with curving sycamore trees. We stopped for lunch on a gravel bar soon after. My family knows how to eat and we always bring too much food. There was plenty of fancy cheese and fresh veggies to pass around after DW and I finished our smoked pork loin and goat cheese wraps. Just because you’re on the river doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the goodies!

There were a lot of turtles out sunning themselves as the day was really warm. We saw both soft shell and hard shell varieties. The air was so warm that I had to go swimming a few times, even though the water was still winter cold! We also saw a Bald Eagle in a tree who had just caught a small fish. He didn’t like the look of us and flew off to finish his dinner before I could snap a photo.

We pulled into the Huzzah Conservation Area before dark and were home around 8:30. It was a long, but fun day. Having hiked Hamilton Hollow on Sunday and then floating Monday made for an exhausting Tuesday back at work!

huzzah river

huzzah river

huzzah river, huzzah conservation area

Huzzah Conservation Area access


Critter Count: Turtles, Blue Herons, Geese, Ducks, 1 Bald Eagle (with fish)