With cool temperatures and a decent amount of rain over the last few days, today was a good morning to kayak. So Grant and I set out for a quick float on a small tributary of the Elk River.
Typically this stream is not considered very float-able this time of year, but we had ample water. It’s a fairly small and narrow stream with a nice canopy covering much of the water.
These rock shelfs were a fairly common sight.
These bluffs were pretty.
We only saw 2 other canoes and a small handfull of people fishing from the bank, so it was a nice quiet float.
I just love clear blue Ozark streams.
We enjoyed numerous fun rapids and a pretty swift current!
We knew we were near the confluence with the Elk River when we started hearing the yelling and boom boxes. The sheer quantity of partiers was mind blowing and so was the transition from one river to the other. Most gravel bars were covered with dozens, if not hundreds of partiers.
Although we only saw a little over 1 mile of the Elk, it seemed like we passed a dozen campgrounds, each enabling thousands of rednecks and college students to abuse the river. I can remember taking family float trips on this river when I was a kid and as recently as high school and not encountering this madness, so I am not sure what has changed, but it’s very unfortunate.
In spite of it’s impairments, the water is still very clear, and there is a lot of it. It makes it easy to spot the beer cans littering the bottom.
There were some pretty fun rapids. The Elk would be a nice river if it wasn’t wrecked by development and crowds.