Float #44: Current River

3 Aug

Powder Mill to Two Rivers (and Back)

Current River
Shannon County, Missouri
Wednesday, July 4
13 miles

We desperately wanted to go floating in some really cold water on the 4th. All the rivers close to our house are pretty warm in midsummer, so we decided to drive 2 hours south to the Current. None of our floating crew wanted to float that day and we didn’t want to spend money on a shuttle, so we opted to paddle upriver and back. We’ve been doing a lot of upriver paddling on the Meramec near our house. It’s not too difficult if you are a strong paddler and can read water fairly well. Of course there are always some spots that are too shallow and fast to paddle up. A rope tied to the front handle of the kayak makes it easy to pull the boat behind you and walk up the riffles. Then you just have to navigate the uneven footing and slippery rocks and hope you don’t slip and fall!

We left our house around 7:30 and drove to Powder Mill access on the middle Current. Powder Mill is also known as Owl’s Bend. This bend of the river has long been a favorite with owls. Camping here overnight can be noisy with all the hooting. We unloaded and started paddling around 10. As soon as we passed the Hwy. 106 bridge we had to stop for a swim. The first plunge into the cold, clear water made the drive totally worth it!

Current River

Powder Mill access

Current River

There were hundreds of fat dragonflies flying all over the place. You can see one of them in the left corner of the first photo. They don’t bother us much, but there’s always one hitching a ride on the nose of my boat. Anything is better than horseflies! Thankfully those haven’t been too bad this year.

The middle Current has lots of long, slow pools which are easy to paddle up. The shallow and fast parts however, are much longer and a little faster than on the Meramec. This was definitely harder work to get upriver, but still very enjoyable. The river was surprisingly quiet for a holiday. I don’t think there are any outfitters between Two Rivers and Van Buren, so that cuts down on the amount of people. We saw a couple of canoes and some people barbecuing on the gravel bars, but we mostly had the river to ourselves.

Current River

Current River

We didn’t quite make it all the way to Two Rivers. About a mile away we started to get a little tired and it was almost 3pm, so we were running out of time. We turned around and floated back to Powder Mill, stopping to swim several times along the way. There were a lot of snakes swimming across the water. We rarely got close enough to properly identify them. I also saw a couple of deer along the bank and the usual assortment of water birds.

Current River

Hwy. 106 Bridge at Powder Mill

We arrived back at Powder Mill around 5:30, packed up and drove the two hours back home. It was one of the best 4th of July holidays I’ve had. And that cold water was really nice! The next day at work, my arms felt like wet noodles from all the paddling, but it was a lot of fun.

Critter Count: Blue Herons, Green Herons, Ducks, Snakes, 2 Deer

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