Float #70: Huzzah Creek

17 May

Red Bluff to Hwy. 8

F70_Huzzah

Huzzah Creek
Crawford County, Missouri
Saturday, May 4
15 miles

Another weekend, another flooded creek float! The weather pattern has been almost the same every week this spring. It rains hard on Thursday or Friday and then there is a window of dry weather on the weekend. Thus every weekend the creeks and rivers are raging. This trip we caught the Huzzah on its way down. It was moving pretty quickly and the water was nice and choppy, but the flood debris was already flushed out.

We met up with our friends Charlie and Scott at Huzzah Valley campground and ran shuttle up to Red Bluff Recreation Area. Red Bluff doesn’t have an official boat access, but there are several spots to access the creek from gravel bars or the campground. We didn’t get on the river until nearly 2pm, but the water was moving so quickly that it was a breeze to finish the trip before dusk. We ended up paddling for less than three hours start to finish.

Huzzah Creek

Red Bluff access

Huzzah Creek

Red Bluff

Huzzah Creek

Low water bridge

F70_04

Once again the weather was cool with highs in the 50s. There was a light sprinkle from time to time, but nothing to really get us wet. There are three low water bridges to cross on this float. We had to portage the first two, but were able to float over the bridge at Hwy. Z. Several of us got pretty wet floating over the Hwy. Z bridge. It was a very splashy drop over the lip! This Huzzah trip was almost the exact opposite of the last time we did this creek. This time the water was fast, there were no trees or log jams to portage and we didn’t get soaking wet from the rain.

F70_05

Railroad bridge

Railroad bridge

The low water bridge past the RR bridge

The low water bridge past the RR bridge

Huzzah Creek

I think I have worn my life jacket more this spring than I have in the last 5 years collectively. Of course, you should always wear your life jacket if you aren’t experienced on the water, or you aren’t a strong swimmer (children under 13 are required by state law to wear one). I wear mine anytime the water is faster than I can swim to shore. I like when I have to wear my life jacket because I know it’s going to be a fun ride!

Huzzah Creek

Huzzah Creek

Huzzah Creek

Huzzah Creek

There was one tree the had fallen across the river, but there was just enough water for us to float over the trunk. I don’t think a canoe would have been so lucky. When we stopped for lunch on one of the few gravel bars above water we noticed a Bald Eagle in a tree across from us. He sat there and watched us eat our lunch and was still there when we left. These days it doesn’t feel like a real float trip if we don’t see a Bald Eagle! As we got closer to Hwy. 8 the clouds started to break up a little bit and we saw a patches of blue sky. The spring flowers were out in full force and bright green new leaves coated the trees. This time of year is so beautiful and it only lasts a couple of weeks before the forests are cloaked in summer vegetation.

Huzzah Creek

Huzzah Creek

Huzzah Creek

Hwy. 8 bridge

It seemed we reached Huzzah Valley in no time (and we kinda did). We passed under the bridge and pulled into camp. When we left that morning we could have floated right up to our campsite, but the water had dropped quite a few feet since then and we had to drag our boats up on the bank. It was a great float with good friends. The Huzzah is really fun when the water is moving.

Our next float is an overnight trip on the Current River, the first of the year. It should be lots of fun and maybe the weather will finally be warm and sunny!

Critter Count: 1 Snapping Turtle, Herons, Kingfishers, 1 Bald Eagle

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