Beaver Creek Float Day 2

By Dustin on 2013.09.17 In Uncategorized

I slowly open my eyes, although its blurry, I can see that the sunrise is starting to put a pleasant glow inside our tent. I can hear the birds singing their hearts out as they get started on their busy day. I look to my right, beside me, wrapped up in his sleeping bag, my lil buddy, snoozing away, his trusty dog laying just outside the door, also sleeping, paws straight in the air. I stick and arm out of my bag, still pretty chili outside.104_1502

I lie there for a minute, but the sound of the busy world of pure outdoors is calling me out.  I cant take it anymore. I put on my clothes and unzip my tent door……..Wow, what a beautiful sight! The sun rising just over the hill. Just below our camp, Beaver Creek, crystal clear and flowing perfectly. and just on the other side of the creek, the big bluff, with the tall oaks catching some morning rays. Can it get any better?1184791_374737895962940_587366094_n

For those of you that haven’t ever woke up in a tent miles away from the sound of “man”, (and yes, surprising and sad as it is, some people haven’t) you are truly missing something special, and spectacular. This is the way life is supposed to be. Simple. Special. Nothing on your mind but wake up, eat, and explore what was put here. No telephone ringing. No car horns. No TV. Not even an alarm clock to wake you. Your body just naturally waking up with the sun. Perfect.

I’m the type of person that has to have breakfast or I will die, or at least I think I will. And I have to have it now. Not in a couple of hours. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I need to fuel up. So first thing is first, get breakfast started, and of course coffee.

For breakfast, nothing special, just some apple cinnamon oatmeal for me, and fresh blueberries for Jesse. Unlike his father, Jesse hardly eats any breakfast. So I fire up my jetboil and get some water boiling.

For those of you that haven’t ever used a jetboil, they are pretty handy stoves. They will boil water in no time, and everything, including the fuel, packs inside the cup. I opted for the cheaper zip model, not sure why I did that considering I never go for the cheaper version of much of anything. The only problem I have found with it is that when I need a very low heat it is very hard to adjust without it burning out. Although I have been told that the upgraded models don’t have that problem.

Anyway, I get my water for my oatmeal boiling, and pour it over my oatmeal and let it set, then more water for the all important coffee. I just use Starbucks instant coffee, I know, some of you absolutely HATE instant coffee, but I really cant tell much difference between this and the real thing. And for the amount of weight and ease of those little packets, its well worth it.

Now that I have all that going, I start on getting a small fire going again, which doesn’t take long since we still had a lot of coals from last night. As I’m piling the wood on, I can start to hear some rustling in the tent, and soon after a sleepy eyed little boy and ol dog come staggering out of the tent and towards the fire.  I offer up some blueberries, chocolate milk, and some morning conversation. The first two were accepted, the third was denied. So the three of us set by the fire in silence, eating our breakfast, and taking in the scenery.1146611_372616442841752_270852357_n

After eating, I start to gather our things and get us ready to get back on the creek. Jesse finally decides that talking wont hurt him, and before I know it, he is chatting away as we pack our gear. There is no doubt he is ready to get in that canoe.

In no time we are back in our boat and headed down the creek. Its about 9:30 and its looking like its going to be a perfect day to be on the creek!

Now, for those of you that have never been on Beaver Creek, you are really missing out on a great spot to get away. Beaver Creek is small in comparison to streams like the Current River, but don’t let that scare you off. What it lacks in size it makes up for with privacy. To give you an example I floated this same stretch 6 times this year,equal to about 50 miles and we seen 1 other group of floaters. That”s it, one time did we not have the entire creek to ourselves. If you want to truely get away, this is the creek. Granted, its usually to low to float during the summer, but in the spring, when we have had some good rains, this is a beautiful float. Its great to take the family on, or even just going alone to get some peace and quiet. There are many spots to put in and pull out all the way from Jackson Mill, to Bradleyville. And if you don’t have your own canoe or kayak, there is a canoe rental business.

Ok, back to the canoe. By now we are really having a good time. I can only imagine what someone would think if they heard us coming down the creek, because one of Jesses favorite things to do is make load monkey noises and pretend to see them swinging in the trees, and of course I join in with my own monkey yells.

Ooh Ooh Ahh Ahh!! “What was that?” I think it was a monkey!! Yep I see one right there!! ooh Ooh Ahh Ahh! What was that!? I think it was a baby monkey.’ You would hear this off and on for most of our float trips. Im not sure when and how it got started, but I do know that it makes both of us laugh a lot, so its worth looking crazy if someone ever catches us doing it. 1238264_372653139504749_1708244874_n

As we roll down the creek, Jesse talks pretty much the whole way. You can only imagine what a 3 year old talks about on the creek. Its great. One thing I am proud of is that he already knows that no matter what we do not throw any trash in the water or on the ground. He also points out any trash he sees, and he usually asks me why someone would do that, and he tells me that only bad people throw trash in the water. 1234869_372631376173592_2141695425_n1234753_372654316171298_770485920_n1185604_372653486171381_161786248_n1238875_372655662837830_2059219995_n

I started a Missouri Stream Team a few years ago. Stream Teams go around picking trash up out of the creek, and cleaning up areas around streams. I have talked to Jesse a lot about taking care of our creeks, and about the Stream Team. It makes me really proud that he understands the need to take care of our creeks and rivers. He understands that if we dont, one day he wont have clean creeks to float on. Its good to know that i have passed that down to him. I know that he will do his part to take care of this creek. That”s important to me because My ol man grew up on this creek. I grew up on this creek, and Jesse is growing up on this creek. In fact his mother grew up on this creek, and they still live within spitting distance of the creek.

After a few hours floating,we get close to the end of our trip, so we pull over to do some fishing. Jesse has been itching to get out his new pole and lures and catch a fish.

We find a good little hole full of small mouth bass, and perch, and start casting. In no time we are reeling in a few small fish. But to see his face you would think we were catching monsters!! Talk about excited! I would get a hook set, and he would start reeling so fast that sometimes he would be cranking his reel backwards. And of course, every fish, no matter how small, he wanted to take home and cook. It took a lot of work, but I finally convinced him that it was better to throw them back and let them get bigger, and that a picture was just as good. Of course every new fish, I had to have the same discussion.1157573_372631209506942_846359186_n

After about an hour, he was done fishing, and we got back in the boat and finished our float trip.995687_345701168866613_1928207314_n

I cannot put into words what these trips mean to me. They are so special. I can remember my father taking me floating down Beaver Creek when I was little like Jesse. I never forgot those trips, and they have always been some of my favorite memories. Memories of a time when life was simple. When as long as my Dad was there, I didn’t have to worry about anything. When i just knew he was the best fisherman in the world, and the fastest paddler there ever was. When I would hang on his every word about the animals and trees that grew along the creeks banks. I never wanted to see the brownbranch bridge because I knew the trip was over, but at the same time loved that last stretch because he would always paddle as fast as he could and race whoever was floating with us.

I just hope that one day Jesse will look back and think about these trips like I do. I hope he takes his son down Beaver Creek in a canoe, with an old catahoula dog……. making monkey noises the whole way.


From Left to Right= My cousin Bandy, Me (Blonde boy) my brother Heath, My Dad Bill

8 Responses to "Beaver Creek Float Day 2"

    Comments (8)

  1. Cathy Dalton wrote:

    What a wonderful adventure!! I love it! Although the last part made me cry!! Thinking back about the “Good Ole days” My boys were young, brothers were close, cousins were best friends, and dads were you’re “Hero’s” and yea, They knew all the good stuff. Life was simple and we lived it that way!! May you pass it on. I love you…. mom

  2. Kim bingham wrote:

    You are such a good daddy. #soproud

  3. Kim bingham wrote:

    Your such a good daddy. #soproud

  4. Sara Ridings wrote:

    Fabulous writing, it made me feel like I was right there with you and reminded me of the fishing trips my took me on, unforgettable, treasured moments!

  5. Susan Spicer Mason wrote:

    So crazy proud of you Dusty!!!! Floated that river more times than I can count… 🙂

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