Float #38: Meramec River

27 Jun

Woodson K. Woods to Scotts Ford

F4_Meramec

Meramec River
Crawford County, Missouri
Sunday, May 13
9 Miles

My youngest sister, Abby recently graduated from university. For her gift we threw her a party and took all her friends on a float trip. I took my kayak and DW took the Paddilac (our canoe) out for its yearly float. We loaned our other kayaks to Abby & her boyfriend and got canoes from Adventure Outdoors for her other friends.

We put in at Woodson K. Woods conservation access and floated down to Adventure Outdoors, which is across the river from Scotts Ford conservation access. This is a float we’ve done many times before, so more detailed descriptions can be found in blog posts, Float #4 and Float #19.

Meramec River

Meramec River

River Monster

Meramec River

We saw some cool wildlife on this float, including a really large snapping turtle sunning itself on a rock. I had never seen a turtle that fat before! We stopped for a while at Maramec Springs to swim and eat lunch. There were some Northern Water Snakes chilling in the vegetation where the spring water meets the river, and a large group of Gar swimming around. Not far after the springs we passed the Bald Eagle nest that I have seen every time I’ve floated this section. This time it had a couple of juvenile eagles in it! That was a really cool sight. I’ve rarely seen juvenile eagles, much less sitting in their nest. We saw a couple of adult eagles near there as well.

Meramec River

Maramec Springs

Meramec River

Eaglets in their nest

Meramec River

The Paddilac on a rare outing

Meramec River

The graduate paddler

We got off the river around 4:30. Everyone had a great time and I don’t think anyone capsized. Abby had fun paddling in DW’s kayak and I was happy that all her friends got to share a fun weekend together.

On a less happy note, this float was the last for our beloved lab, Zoe. She passed away of old age last week. Zoe was a dedicated floating enthusiast and our canoe rarely went anywhere without her. She floated with us on many week-long excursions in the Ozarks, swimming all day and sleeping on the gravel bars at night. She was the only witness to the one time we flipped the canoe (an early spring float on the flooded Courtois). We (and our canoe) will miss her dearly, but we have many wonderful floating memories to share.

Zoe

Critter Count: Turtles, 1 fat Snapping Turtle, Herons, 4 Bald Eagles (2 juvenile), Northern Water Snakes

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