Float #71 – 72: Current River

31 May

Pulltite to Two Rivers

F71_Current

Current River
Shannon County, Missouri
Saturday, May 18 – Sunday, May 19
26 miles

Our first overnight float trip of this year was a fun St. Louis Adventure Group trip on the Current River. We met up with the group at Two Rivers campground on Friday night, sat around the fire, ate some food and got to know everyone. On Saturday morning we loaded our boats and gear on the bus and headed up to Pulltite access. It has been a long time since I’ve ridden a school bus on curvy roads and my stomach was not amused! Once we arrived I felt better and we all loaded up our boats for the trip. Most people had kayaks. DW took the canoe so we could pack more gear and overnight in comfort. A roomy tent and an air mattress are 4 star accommodations on the river bank! The day started out cloudy, but not too chilly. This is the first float of the year that has been warm enough for a swimsuit and dry enough to put the rain gear away.

Current River

Pulltite access

Current River

Pulltite spring branch

Current River

DW takes a cold dip

Current River

Right around the bend from Pulltite access is Pulltite spring. If you park your boat at the mouth of the spring branch there is a trail leading up to the spring and an old cabin. We’ve been here so many times that we didn’t stop on this trip, but there are photos of the spring in some of my previous Current River posts. Just downstream of Pulltite spring is Fire Hydrant spring, a small spring that gushes out of the rocks. It is easily missed if you’re not looking for it. DW and I quickly fell behind the group, as we usually do. We were busy fishing and lazing along instead of paddling. We only caught up to the group once at lunch and then again at camp. I like to spend as much of the day as possible on the river and if we paddle we’re likely to finish the whole trip in one day!

Current River

Current River

Sinking Creek

Current River

Hwy. 19 bridge at Round Spring

Current River

Just above Round Spring is Sinking Creek. This is a popular area for swimming and has a large gravel bar. There is a small campground here too, but it gets very busy on the weekends. Soon we passed Round Spring, a large campground, spring and river access. The water is a little higher than I’ve seen in recent years and one of the boat launch areas was mostly submerged. Once you get past Round Spring the horsepower limit for john boats goes from 25 to 40, so there are a lot more john boats on this section of river. After Round Spring the group started looking for campsites. There are a number of gravel bars past Round Spring, but not many of them are big enough for a large group of people. The gravel bars are also starting to get overgrown with willow and sycamore trees. Not a bad thing for erosion control, but it makes finding a clear spot for camping a little more difficult. We finally caught up to the group on a patchy gravel bar they were considering for camp. A john boater told us there was a much nicer, larger gravel bar about a mile downriver. Half of us decided to paddle on to find it. The other half had already unloaded some of their gear and decided to stay there for the night. We did find the bigger gravel bar. It was across from a long, low bluff and fairly clear of vegetation, much nicer than the original spot!

Current River

Current River

Our campsite

Current River

Current River

Current River

We spent an enjoyable evening around the campfire, swapping stories and cooking dinner. DW and I had beef burritos; so tasty after a day on the water! One couple brought their black lab, Daisy, along in their canoe. We enjoyed hanging out with her as it brought back good memories of canoe trips with our black lab, Zoe, who passed away last summer. Some people were anxious about raccoons coming into camp and messing with stuff. I’ve never encountered a raccoon while camping on a gravel bar, only in campgrounds. However, we did tell them to watch out for armadillos. Not because they are dangerous, just because they are very loud and will startle you. If it sounds like there is a bear coming out of the woods, it is most likely an armadillo poking around.

The next morning dawned cloudy yet again, but it was nice and warm. The fog stayed on the river until nearly 11am. It was good fishing in the morning. DW caught two 10 inch smallmouth and I caught one little one and almost caught a bigger one, but he jumped off the hook.

Current River

Current River

Current River

Current River

Once the fog burned off and the sky cleared the day warmed up quickly. It was warm enough for me to swim and that was really nice! As the day wore on we grew bored with fishing and spent the day drifting downstream, mostly backwards as the wind picked up a bit and spun our boats around. In the afternoon the river got busier as many locals put their john boats on the river after church on Sundays. I was reminded why I usually don’t float the Current in the summer as it only gets more crowded into August.

Current River

Current River

Jacks Fork confluence

Current River

Two Rivers

Around 4pm we rounded the bend and saw Two Rivers campground in the distance. Our trip was over too soon! Since DW and I usually spend at least 3 days on overnight trips it was a little disappointing to be finished already. Overall it was an excellent float with a lot of fun people and a great kick-off to the summer season.

Critter Count: Herons, Kingfishers, turtles, 2 Softshell turtles, 2 mink

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