Float #156: Courtois Creek

26 Apr

Berryman to Huzzah Conservation Area


Courtois Creek
Crawford County, Missouri
Saturday, March 3, 2018
15 Miles
Temperature: 61˚/33˚
Wind: SE at 11mph
Water Level: 3.6 at Huzzah gage

It’s time for 2018 floating season, and I am already well behind on writing blog posts! Our first trip of the year was on March 3rd. We had some good rain earlier in the week and planned on doing Big Creek, but the water level dropped too much by the time the weekend hit. So we went to the Courtois instead. This was DW’s first real paddle trip since his shoulder surgery in fall of 2017. He did well, but was pretty tired by the time we were done! Our brother-in-law Henry came along with us on this one. The weather was pretty nice for early March and was one of the few days this spring with warm temps and sunshine.

Courtois Creek

Encountering a tree portage

Courtois Creek

DW and Ocoee

Courtois Creek

Clear water of the Courtois

We started our trip at Berryman access. Henry took his new kayak that he bought for his wife (my sister Emily). The new kayak has a bit of a keel, so it was hard to maneuver on the twisty Courtois, but Henry managed it alright. Except for the part where he dumped his new phone in the creek. Always tether your valuables to your boat or your person!

We encountered a few portages where a tree had fallen across the creek and was impossible to paddle under or around. But those were in the uppermost few miles and most of the creek was easily navigable. We had a decent water level too and didn’t have any low areas to scrape our boats on.

Courtois Creek

Courtois Creek

Juvenile Bald Eagle

We saw a fair amount of wildlife on this trip including one adult Bald Eagle and two juveniles. Henry raced a beaver in his boat (the beaver won). And we saw some deer, in addition to the usual array of birds and turtles.

Courtois Creek

It was a nice start to the paddle season. The cold, rainy weather and our busy schedules made it hard to get much water time in this spring. Our next trip was the annual Easter float in Arkansas, which was a lot of fun!

Critter Count: Turtles, Kingfishers, Herons, 3 Bald Eagles, Deer, Turkey, 1 Beaver

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