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2016 Fall Ozark Canoe Rendezvous

-- Last Updated: Jul-24-16 12:54 PM EST --

"I know you think you understood what I said, but what I said was not what I meant." Except maybe Vic REALLY meant what he said: "Let someone else start the next thread." Okay, it's about time to start thinking about fall paddling in the Ozarks. I'm thinking about it, but to actually make the trip south - and get back home before winter hits the Yukon - gives me pause.

Third week of October, 17th-23rd, traditional gathering at Pulltite campground off Hwy 19 on the Current River, attendance open to all who show up for all or any part of the week?

Did I miss any important details?




  • Pulltite ???
    I thought we were going to do 4 days, and 3 nights on the Buffalo river for the Fall Rendezvous........ What
    a bummer dude!

  • Missed conversation ... ?
    Maybe I missed a discussion or two at Ozark?

    Just thought it was about time to start this.
  • Dates should be 10/12 to 10/16
    When we decided to "set" dates a few years back it was spring was the 1st weekend of May and fall would be 3rd weekend of October - so that would make this Fall Rendezvous October 12 - 16 as that is the 3rd weekend. We "set" these dates for the folks who had to put in vacation ahead of time, some of us have to put in a vacation request up to 6 months ahead of time. If I am wrong on the dates someone please let me know.
  • Brad..............
    I was day dreaming, and jesting about the Buffalo.
    A rendezvous trip like I described is "never gonna happen".

  • I'm ready for fall .. Camping and paddli
    And for this fall rendezvous,I won't care if I'm granted vacation or not lol ..
  • Dates?
    Hi. Could you clarify the dates for the Fall Rendevous? Thanks!
  • Dates...
    Go with Pam: the third WEEKEND of October, so 12-16.
  • Options
    -- Last Updated: Jul-27-16 11:39 AM EST --

    Some folks in the past have needed to stay in cabins in the area due to special needs. Another option for cabins and/or camping will be available when Echo Bluff State Park (On Sinking Creek, near Round Spring) opens up in a few weeks. I'll get some pics and post them as soon as I can get in there. At least a person would be certain of hot water since a bureaucrat in D.C. won't be making the decision on when to cut it off?

  • Pam’s got it right
    I have put the Fall Rendezvous down as the third weekend in October on my calendar with an annual repeat until long after I’m dead. The third weekend in October this year is Sat., Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct 17. Right now I plan to show up at Pulltite on Mon., Oct 10, or Tue., Oct. 11.

    And hey Jack, welcome to the Old Farts Club. Membership is free if you don't count all those years of working five plus days a week.

    PS: I only said I wouldn’t start the thread, that didn’t mean I would not add my two cents now and then :-)
  • thanks Vic
    its starting to feel real especially with all these fu#$%$g doctor appointments back to back lol two more months of rotating shifts and ill be home free ...now i need to figure out how to get the Wifey out of here
  • Helicopter echo bluff
    HayTerry, I checked out the Web site for the new state park. It looks down right spiffy. Then I checked it out on Google earth. It looks like all of the river front camp sites are reserved for helicopter pilots. No danger of flooded camp ground here.

    Paddling sinking creek would be a nice addition. We would be cool with either loaction, since they are both on the shuttle rout.
  • Hmmm, Already Reserved?
    You're funny, Tom (LOL)! I wonder if they just don't have the web site ready to take reservations yet? I PLAN on being at Pulltite, but if the NPS starts their shennanigans, we have options as do those who need a solid roof and electricity.
  • Right Terry
    And if they keep up their shenanigans we may need water too.
  • Election year
    There will be more than enough shenanigans with the election. NPS will not have to add any more this year.
  • Checked Out Echo Bluff
    A few small trees in the camping area so it would resemble camping in a parking lot right now. Will check out the food in the lodge soon and see if it's a viable option for those not wanting to cook or drive to Emminence.
  • Current on the current?
    It looks like we cleared the first hurdle in that the kids will be on fall break. Second hurdle will be sport tournaments, but that's looking good also, although it's early yet. So I'm allowing myself to start toying with the idea of making the fall trip. Last spring, we brought along enough boats for a small rental service because we really didn't know what to expect on the Buffalo. So tell us about the Current. Looks like very mild water. Will the day trips be about the same length? I wouldn't mind to bring the WW boats if the length was about the same as on the Buffalo, and would definitely bring them if there was going to be the possibility of a side trip on a little more playful stream. So, what should we expect hanging with you beautiful souls again for the 2nd time?
  • Current
    -- Last Updated: Aug-10-16 7:30 PM EST --

    I think its safe to say its a lot like the flows we saw on the Buffalo between Ozark and Hasty after the rains. (Perhaps last time you didn't arrive at the Buffalo on the first day when the levels were soooo low.) The Current is spring fed and isn't as rain dependent as the Buffalo. It usually holds its levels more consistently. Its not as exciting as the Ponca/Erby stretch, but it requires some maneuvering and line-picking. We usually do 10 or 12 miles per day and self shuttle, though there are often those among us who might leave early and do 16 or 18/day. The last stretch, Round Spring to Two Rivers, is a bit longer. If the water levels are up its not unheard of for us to do a longer day on the Jack's Fork which is within a long shuttle distance from the Pulltite campground. The Jack's would be a little closer if we camp at Sinking Cr which is very near Round Spring.

  • Jacks Fork and Current
    The Jacks Fork and Current Rivers are pretty much all Class I water. I recall one rapid on the upper Jacks on the so-called Prongs that I might rate as an easy Class II. Just like the Buffalo, the major real hazard on these rivers are root wads and other strainers.

    There is the occasional surfable wave. The stream bottoms are primarily gravel and depending on water level, you might experience some scraping now and then. Some people bring composite boats but most opt for Royalex or polyethylene. You certainly don't need a whitewater boat, but the pace of the trips will be such that if you are paddling a whitewater boat, you won't be struggling to keep up.

    The access points on the Current tend to be between 7 and 9 river miles apart. The stretch from Round Spring to Two Rivers is more like 18 miles, as Pat said. Certainly quite doable as a day trip even in a whitewater canoe, but probably not many will opt to do it.

    There are other rivers in the area such as the Big Piney, but they and the upper Jacks Fork are much more rain dependent than the Current, so unless it is an unusually wet autumn, I would not count on them flowing.
  • ONSR map
    Here is a pdf file containing the National Park Service map for the ONSR showing access points and river miles:


    At typical autumn water levels the Current can usually be paddled from Cedargrove down, although the stretch from Cedargrove down to Welch Spring can be scrapy. The Jacks Fork can be paddled from Alley Spring down.

    Most times in autumn the rivers are too low to comfortably paddle above Alley on the Jacks, or above Cedargrove on the Current, but there have been exceptions.
  • Thanks
    Thanks Pat & Pete for the info. Sure do hope we will be able to make it.

  • years ago
    Hey - I met several of you a few years ago, ferried some boats, and wanted to check in and try to join for a day this year. Let me know if I can be of any local assistance. I'm living on the Jack's Fork now, and I'm happy to help however I can.
  • I remember
    That was on the Prong's of the Jacks, no?

    In the unlikely event that water levels on the upper Jacks Fork permit trips this fall (paddling, not hiking) I'm sure there will be someone other than me who would like to do one.

    If not, we will probably be at Pulltite campground, although there seems to be some talk of Echo Bluff or Round Spring. By all means, join us for as many days as you can. Too early to tell when folks will begin to arrive or what they will plan to paddle, but in past years the early birds have typically arrived on Monday or Tuesday.

    If you want to send a PM with a phone number, we could try to call you. Or just stay tuned here.
  • Buffal River to enjoy before?
    I plan on joining up for the Rondezvous probably arriving Tuesday or Wednesday...Oct 18/19... And have several days before if the Buffalo is flowing well would like to do the upper section for some nice moving waters… Looking at driving and arriving on Friday, October 14… Anybody want to join up? I'm open to staying at a campground on the river or base camping in Jasper!

    Anita from TX

  • Possibly depending on water levels
    But based on historic water levels for mid-October the chances that the upper Buffalo would be running are slim to none.
  • Skill level and float bag requirements?
    We'd like to join you this time and have a couple of questions.

    We normally float some easy Texas rivers with the occasional tame rapid. No big gradient here! Will that prepare us for the Current River?

    Also, do most of you use flotation? I don't have any for the tandem (a Royalex Bell Northwind) but would consider buying a center bag (a mere $140 from NRS) since I already have 6 D-rings under the thwarts.
  • No flotation needed
    The Current is a class one river, I guess if it was in flood stage it would be a higher class (but it would be closed if flooded) but you do not need any flotation. The weekenders in the summer go down this river drunk, backwards, upside down, no life jacket, etc. and them seem to make it out alive. This is a beautiful, spring fed river that has moving current. Yes, there are strainers that you need to watch out for but if there is ever a time that your not comfortable you can usually walk around. River is always changing with the floods. Me and two other girls just did 2 overnights on the river last weekend and we had loaded boats and no issues. You'll love it, its a special place that I am lucky to only live 3 hours from. Look forward to meeting you.

  • Staying at Pulltite!
    I know there is some talk about Echo Bluff and some maybe staying there. Rob and I will be staying at Pulltite and have no desire to stay at Echo. Don't get me wrong it's beautiful but they are going for a different market (the folks with the big campers/motorhomes) which is fine but that isn't us. They only have 10 "official" tent sites and they are all walk in. You can put a tent up in the electric sites but there are no trees so no shade. Now if someone is looking for a cabin then Echo Bluff would be perfect, plus they do have a restaurant which I understand is pretty good but a bit pricey. Echo is only about 8 min or so from Pulltite, so closer than Salem or Eminence. Even if you don't stay at Echo I do suggest you go over and look at the park as it is very pretty, even with all the controversy.
  • Staying at Pulltite...........
    That's where JoAnne & I will be.

  • NPS Suggestions?
    Talked with Ranger Dave Tobey with the NPS last week and discussed the Rendezvous. We discussed past "Issues" and he assured me hot water for the showers, etc will not be an issue this year. He also asked for any suggestions that could make for an even better experience for the group?

    I'm very impressed by his interest in our Rendezvous and willingness to do any and everything within his power to make everything go smoothly. Great guy, stop in at Round Spring and say "Hello" if you get the chance. If you're interested in a cave tour I have another old friend, Monty Heise, whom is also working as a seasonal ranger. I've been very impressed the last couple years with the area NPS ranger staff.
  • suggestions
    -- Last Updated: Aug-29-16 3:43 PM EST --

    Install ice machine (free ice for coolers and margaritas)
    Free beer
    Install hot tubs and jacuzzis
    Free morning coffee service
    Valet parking, tent setup and tent take down service
    Free shuttle service

    I'll think of some more later.

  • Great!
    Thanks Pam, that sounds great. Y'all booking the campsite right now?
  • Hmmm.....
    .....Margaritas and valet shuttling? Sounds like a damn fine suggestion (LOL)?
  • Marty Koch's fall Ozark float trip
    -- Last Updated: Aug-30-16 9:02 PM EST --

    I haven't posted on P-net in so long that I couldn't remember by password and so had to look it up. I just noticed that Marty Koch's Fall Ozark Float Trip is same dates (Oct 10-16)as your gathering. Guess this happened before and likely makes no difference to those coming to the Fall Ozark Rendezvous but posting about it gives me a chance to say hello to those of you I know. I miss you guys. Thinking I might try to come down and join you next spring, maybe,,,especially if the improvements suggested by Pete are put into place.

  • probably not necessary
    That time of year, it is unlikely that Pulltite campground will be fully occupied. In fact, October 15 is the end of the regular season and marks the start of the "walk in" season. In years past, we camped there for free, as there was no campground host, nor anyone emptying the cash drop box. A couple of years ago, they started charging for sites off season at a reduced rate.

    Campsites are allowed 2 tents and up to 6 people so doubling up is also an option.
  • Camping at Pulltite
    Dick made reservations for us at our favorite Pulltite campsite. Should be arriving sometime on Tuesday
  • Might be coming from Utah
    I used to be semi-active on paddling.net, but not for the last few years. I attended three or four combined Marty Koch/paddling.net get together a, paddling with both groups depending on who was going where. We moved to Utah 4 1/2 years ago, but we might be heading to the Current this year. It is kind of nice to be retired! We do intend on camping at Pulltite since we really like the place even though we use a travel trailer these days.

    Since it has been a few years, what are the generic plans? Decide each night who is going where? Central campfire or not? Pot luck on not?

    Pam (the other one)
  • Rendezvous
    The group "usually" decides the night before what will be paddled the next day, depending on what people want to do there could be multiple trips. Usually someone will have a "general" campfire each night. We stopped doing the potluck but started what we call "high tea" which is just drinking and more snack type of food (dips, cheeses, etc), we usually get one of those in with the whole group and then other nights people may break off and do their own thing.

    Not that getting a campsite will be an issue this time of year but if someone (like myself) like a specific site you might want to reserve it. Walk-in starts on 10/16, so for our dates of 10/12 to 10/16 you can still reserve or just pick a site when you get there, even with Marty's group there should be no issues, haven't been in the past.

    Just about 4 1/2 weeks away now - looking forward to seeing old faces and hopefully some new ones.

    See ya,
  • Pam
    Some of us may have "old faces" but we still have young souls :-) - - -

    "Sweet sixteen is turning 31" ... well, more like 51, 61, or 71 for some of us; Rock and Roll Never Forgets
  • Not me
    I'm old and so is my soul. Old and rotten.
  • Corsica kayak for sale by Pat2?
    Was told that Pat2 may have a Corsica boat for sale if so would he please respond to me at apgoss@sbcglobal.net...was told by Pat Cannon that he might be interested in selling I will
  • Rendezvous Dates
    Are the correct dates 10/12 thru 10/16? Thanks
  • Dates
    Yes, dates are 10/12 to 10/16, of course some people come early. I know a few will be there on Monday 10/10.
  • Big foot siteing
    We are expecting a big foot siteing on Monday the 10.
  • Appropriate clothing?
    We paddle in Keen sandals/Astral brewers and synthetic shorts and shirts here in Texas.

    I was thinking about buying at least some NRS neoprene paddle booties for some added warmth. Maybe wool underwear under the shirt? We also have some rubber boots, but I don't want to use those on the river.

    What do you all wear in the cold October Ozarks?
  • It's not usually what I'd consider cold
    in October, just very pleasant with moderate temps and low humidity. In my experience convertible pants and a t shirt with a jacket handy are sufficient. YMMV
  • Brewers are fine
    I do not wear waterproof shoes or high boots although some do.
  • Holy schnikeys. I just realized
    I answered every question but the one you asked. Sorry bout that!
  • Tom's Sunny Camping Spot?
    Tom - what camp site were you in last year? It was in full sun where your solar cells worked. I've looked at the NPS map and can't figure out which one you were in last year.

    If anyone else knows please chime in because I don't know if Tom posts or not.

  • The same one I am in this year.
    I have site 23 reserved for a week from now.
  • See you all next week
    Boy did I ever get snookered at my retirement party ....had to practice for high tea. Glad I had a ride home
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