More New Territory!
After gentle but prolonged rainfall the streams have further swollen, providing me with another opportunity to travel even further up the basin towards the source of Big Sugar Creek near Seligman, MO.
I decided to take out where I previously set in a couple weeks ago. But, when I took off, I wasn’t yet sure where I would set in. Using Google’s satellite imaging and Street View I found what appeared to be a good roadside access just west of Seligman. The only question was if there was enough flow to actually set in this high up. That much would have to be decided as I made my way there.
Unfortunately, spotting the creek at regular intervals along the way, I decided some miles before my intended destination that there simply wasn’t enough water to set in anywhere near Seligman. So I settled on a mediocre roadside access at mile marker 39.12, about halfway between Seligman and the take out point. The approximately six miles upstream would have to wait for an even bigger flood.
The first half of the float featured a number of hairpin turns and downed trees that were all successfully navigated. But it was the last half of the float that was the most interesting.
Right after crossing the MO-AR state line some four times (around mile marker 36), the smooth, light-colored rock that usually makes up the creek bed was replaced by a continuous slab of limestone. That slab would break and drop to another slab resting right below it numerous times. Each of these breaks produced a solid line of rapids traversing the entire bed. At around 500 cfs of flow that day the rapids weren’t anything that anyone couldn’t easily handle. However, with twice the flow or more this whitewater might well be quite intimidating. I look forward to finding out in the future!
The day ended on a laborious note when I had to pack my equipment up the 60 degree slope of the roadside access at mile marker 34.35. By the time I lugged my aluminum canoe up the 25 foot embankment I thought I would die. So I guess it’s time to make friends with a creekside landowner somewhere in the area!