Float #52 & 53: Meramec River

26 Sep

Riverview to Bird’s Nest

Meramec River
Crawford County, Missouri
Friday, September 21 &  Saturday, September 22
8 miles

This weekend we got together with a bunch of friends and family to camp and float on the Meramec in Steelville. We set up camp at Bird’s Nest Lodge on Thursday night and were joined Friday morning by a group of familiar floaters and some of our family members. We decided to float from Riverview access back to camp at Bird’s Nest because it is such a short shuttle and a nice easy float. We did the same float both Friday and Saturday as we had some different people floating with us each day. DW and I brought our entire fleet of boats (4 kayaks and 2 canoes) and were able to outfit everyone for free! Friday was forecast to be raining, but the sky was sunny with not a cloud in sight.

Friday’s float group at Riverview

Meramec River

Meramec River

Jake & Dustin

Meramec River

I brought along my fishing pole again, but didn’t have any luck. I almost caught a bass, but he jumped off the hook before I reeled it in. We stopped for lunch on a nicely shaded beach below some low rock ledges. It was a nice spot and we stopped there both days. On Friday many of us jumped in for a swim. The water was chilly, but not too cold for the weather. Saturday was colder and I don’t think any of us swam that day. There’s a good chance that was the last time I’ll go swimming this year! The weather has been cool and in the 70s lately. It has to be at least 80 before I’ll get in the water.

Meramec River

Meramec River

Meramec River

Meramec River

Meramec River

Baby Snake

Meramec River

There is a nice spring with a cave and a shallow pool on the right of the river. I can’t find the name of it and it’s not on the map, but it is a nice spot. The water is very cold, too cold for this time of year. We went into the cave a little way, but it soon tightened down to crawling and we didn’t have any knee pads, so we turned around. After the cave we soon came to Hwy. 19 bridge. There are about 3 miles after the bridge to Bird’s Nest.

Meramec River

A spring flows from a cave

Meramec River

Meramec River

Hwy. 19 Bridge

Meramec River

Meramec River

A Whistlepig eats his dinner

Somewhere along the trip we saw a bald eagle. The upper Meramec seems to be a good place to spot them. As we neared camp we came across a groundhog (or whistlepig as I like to call them) eating some flowers on the bank. He didn’t seem to mind us at all. I floated right up to him and talked to him, but he kept eating flowers and ignored me. His den was in the bank just above him, so I guess he felt safe.

Both days, we got off the river a couple of hours before dark. Everyone had a great time, especially those who don’t get to go floating often. It was well worth hauling all our boats down so others could enjoy the river. The next day DW and I met up with my sister, Abby to do another section of the Meramec. It was a beautiful weekend and great weather. Next weekend DW and I are tackling a new section of the Current for our anniversary. It should be great fun!

Critter Count: Turtles, Herons, Ducks, 1 Hawk, 1 Bald Eagle, 1 Baby Snake, 1 Whistlepig

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