Float #93: Meramec River

10 Dec

Red Horse to River Round

F93_Meramec

Meramec River
Franklin County, Missouri
Saturday, November 9
15 miles

Just as winter began to set in we were blessed with one more warm Saturday with sunny weather and highs in the mid 60s. DW and I set out for a float trip close to home on the Meramec. We dropped the truck at the take out and drove the 10 minutes to our access at Red Horse. The first five miles of this float went by quickly, as the water is swift on that section of the river. As we approached the bend before the highway 30 bridge, the water becomes still and lake-like. Of course that was when the wind decided to pick up as well. It was hard paddling around that corner!

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Hwy. 30 bridge

Hwy. 30 bridge

We saw a large group of ducks on the slow water, there were probably at least 30. As we approached they all flew off down river until we met up with them again. After the Hwy. 30 bridge the water picks up a little bit. There is a large island on the left side of the river. Keep to the right as the left channel is shallow and often full of debris. There aren’t many gravel bars for the next five miles or so and most of the land on either side consists of steep banks and private properties.

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Most of the trees were bare, but the oaks were hanging on to their leaves for a little longer, as they usually do. We stopped for lunch on the first large gravel bar we saw and heated up some leftover chili on our backpacking stove. It was really comforting to have a hot meal on a chilly float trip. I will have to remember to take the backpacking stove more often! We saw lots of birds on this trip, including turkey, hawks and one Bald Eagle. We also saw a buck in the woods. He was busy chasing after a doe and didn’t even notice us!

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Bruns' bridge

Bruns’ bridge

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Eventually we passed under Bruns’ Bridge, an old iron bridge and a modern concrete one. After the bridge the river curves around a large oxbow. The driving distance from Bruns’ Bridge to River Round is less than a mile, but it is about 4 miles of floating. We arrived at our take out before dusk set in and we were back at our house before dark.

Unfortunately this is probably our last float trip of the year. It doesn’t look likely that we’ll be able to get out in December. The weather here is currently below freezing and isn’t going to warm up for the forseeable future. I prefer to have a high temperature of at least 45˚ to float! Perhaps after the holidays we’ll be able to get out on the water again. It has been a great year of floating with a lot of new trips. My next post will be the year in review, where I tally our miles and look back on the highlights of the past year.

Critter Count: Herons, Ducks, Turtles, Kingfishers, Hawks, Turkeys, 1 Bald Eagle, 1 Deer

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