Float #47 & 48: Eleven Point River

27 Aug

Greer to Riverton

Eleven Point River
Oregon County, Missouri
Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12
19 miles

Every year we try to float the Eleven Point around my birthday in mid-August. This year it just happened to coincide with the annual Perseid meteor shower and a St. Louis Adventure Group float trip. Rather than do the trip on our own we decided to join the SLAG overnight trip, meet some new people and watch the meteors with them. DW took the canoe this time and I took my kayak. This way we were able to pack as much gear as we wanted without worrying about space or weight. Taking the canoe also gives DW some practice on maneuvering the “gear barge” all by himself, a task he thoroughly enjoys. We also took our fishing gear for the first time in a long time. I had never fished from a kayak before, so it took a little adjusting, but was a lot of fun in the end.

DW and I headed down to Hufstedler’s campground on Friday afternoon. We set up a minimal camp, ate dinner and met some SLAGers. We hit the tent early and woke up early to get a good start on the weekend’s float. Hufstedler’s shuttled everyone and their gear to Greer access. DW and I paddled upriver to the bridge and did some fishing while everyone else geared up and pushed off.

Eleven Point River, Greer Access

Greer Access

Eleven Point River

Eleven Point River, Mary Decker Shoals

Mary Decker Shoals

Eleven Point River, Turner Spring

DW tests the waters at Turner Spring

Eleven Point River, Turner Spring

Turner Spring

Eleven Point River

The Eleven Point is a spring-fed river and the waters are some of the coldest in the state. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit chilly with highs in the upper 70s, which made swimming uncomfortable. We usually don’t have a problem with it being too cool in August, but we really can’t complain too loudly since the temperatures have been so hot most of the summer. I managed to go swimming once or twice and DW dunked himself in Turner Spring; waters that are too cold for me even in the hottest weather.

We spent a lot of time fishing and drifted along at the back of the group, catching up to them as they made gravel bar stops. I almost caught a rainbow trout, but it jumped off the hook right as I was about to reel it all the way in.

We passed Whitten access, which is scheduled to be closed for renovations for the remainder of the season. The park service is adding updated campsites and improvements. DW took a few dives off of the jumping rock near Whitten. Even though the Eleven Point still has plenty of water in it, we did notice it was down about a foot. Even the springs were a little lower than normal.

There was one tricky spot above Whitten where a tree trunk leans out into a narrow river channel. The combination of the fast water, tree obstacle and the eddy made for a lot of overturned boats. I made it through just fine as my kayak maneuvers quickly in tight spots. DW made it through also, but nearly missed an important paddle stroke that was the difference between floating through smoothly and capsizing. Luckily, there were some people hanging out on the gravel bar that were helping the capsized boaters.

Eleven Point River

Eleven Point River

DW dives off the jumping rock near Whitten

Eleven Point River

Eleven Point River

Shoving off Sunday morning

Sometime in the early evening we all pulled up to a large gravel bar to camp. There were 33 people in the SLAG group, so finding a large gravel bar was a blessing. The Eleven Point is known for its lack of large gravel bars. There are several float camps tucked into the woods, but none of them are very large. Luckily, this gravel bar had a great view of the sky to watch the meteors. We saw so many huge shooting stars that looked like comets themselves! We didn’t even stay awake for the peak of the shower, which is after midnight and mostly in the early, early morning hours. Since there is a fire ban throughout Missouri due to the drought, we didn’t have a roaring fire to keep us warm. The only way to fight off the night chill was to burrow into a sleeping bag in our cozy backpacking tent. The next morning we all broke camp, packed up our gear and headed toward Riverton. Even though DW and I were some of the first boats on the water we were soon at the back of the pack again. Fishing while floating will do that.

Eleven Point River

Eleven Point River

Eleven Point River, Boze Mill

Boze Mill Spring

Eleven Point River, Boze Mill Spring

Boze Mill Spring

Eleven Point River

A Green Heron hunts for lunch

Eleven Point River

Snaaaakke!

Eleven Point River

Eleven Point River, Riverton

Hwy. 160 Bridge at Riverton

Sunday was much more cloudy and slightly cooler than Saturday. We got a few sprinkles in the morning, but not enough to get us wet. We decided to fish and not paddle until Boze Mill, which was about 4 miles down from our campsite. DW caught some small mouth bass, but nothing big enough to keep. We stopped at Boze Mill and took a couple dips in the freezing spring water. It was really cold, as usual, and the lack of sun did not help. However, swimming at Boze Mill is something we do every time we go to the Eleven Point and it cannot be skipped because of chilly weather! After Boze Mill we went through Halls Ferry rapid. The water level was down enough to not be tricky and I think everyone made it through just fine. After that we floated and fished the rest of the way to Riverton. We saw a beaver along the banks and a huge snake swimming on top of the water. It may have been a rattlesnake, as we’ve seen one or two on this river before, but I can’t be sure. After getting to Riverton we loaded our gear and headed to Van Buren for pizza and wings at Stray Dog BBQ. The next weekend we did another overnight trip on the Current River that was equally as much fun. Too bad all my weekends can’t be spent this way!
Critter Count: Blue Herons, Green Herons, Kingfishers, Bats, 1 Beaver, 1 Water Moccasin, 1 huge unidentified snake

Bonus Prizes: 2 cooking skillets left on a gravel bar

Advertisements

One Response to “Float #47 & 48: Eleven Point River”

  1. Ozarkanglers (@Ozarkanglers) August 27, 2012 at 4:57 PM #

    Very nice article on your float. Great images too.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: