Fall Ozark Rendezvous - Current River

I hope all are having great summer and that you and your families are well and safe. I guess we need to discuss if anyone is interested in having Ozark Rendezvous this fall. Unfortunately Covid cases are continuing to rise in Missouri, St. Louis City and County have more restrictions than most of the other parts of the state but that could change. I know with the age and health of this group most are considered “high” risk. Rob and I have paddled the Current a couple of times this year but of course we shuttle ourselves so we were comfortable. JoAnne and I are going in September, should be even less people. But I know with a group of this size we would have to shuttle each other and I’m not sure what eveyones comfort level is with that. Would love to hear thoughts from others.

Greetings Pam & Rob,
Thanks for putting this post up. A couple weeks ago I heard from Anita and Pete and there was some emailing back and forth about the possibilities. Anita will, I guess, be passing through the Ozarks during the first week of Oct. - that is what started the conversation.

Anyhow, cases are presently up even more here in WI than they are in MO or Il, but that could well change by Oct. I’m thinking that in considering the ‘vous we should also give a bit of thought to the areas we will be traveling through as well. It wouldn’t do to pick up cooties at a rest area, convenience store, or restaurant on the way and spread them far and wide before symptoms appear… Nevertheless, I think if we’re mindful (and we pretty much are) we can travel pretty safely if we’re careful about such stops, especially if infection rates drop appreciably between now and then. It would be a risk, but perhaps a manageable one.
The shuttles, as you mentioned, are the issue. We can distance around the fire, distance at camp and on the water, but I don’t see how we could do shuttles. So maybe I should float this thought…
A couple years ago some of us did our Daryl Bathel (AKA DuluthMoose) memorial paddle up at Sylvania Wilderness. We base camped, since our group was too large to share the sites up there, but did lake paddles and returned to our point of put-in each day. We could do a couple lakes with short portages if we wanted, but it avoided shuttles all together. I know it runs against the grain, we’re a bunch of aging river rats, but maybe it would be a safer way to do the ‘vous under the conditions. More like the Raystown bunch used to do. So, for those of you who live closer to the Ozarks and know the possibilities better, are there any suitable lake venues in the vicinity, with campgrounds, that aren’t motor boat havens and are kinda’ wild? What about that area in southern IL that we went to with JBoyd and ChuckIL all those years ago - Hell’s Kitchen in Pawnee Forest, wasn’t it? There must be other spots as well… or maybe we can come up with some way to do a river. (Shuttle in “pods” kinda’ like some of the schools are doing this fall?) I haven’t any answers. Just thought I’d float the idea and see how youse guys feel about it.

Hi all,

I do miss these events, but unless things change dramatically I think the risk is too great. It is not so much the event but because I have to spend three days traveling there and the same on the return. In fact, as things stand now, I would have to quarantine for two weeks on my return to CT. Sadly, you probably need to count me out.


Pat, thanks for your input. I agree for folks coming from out of state that it could be an issue. We drove to CO at the beginning of July and did make stops for gas and potty breaks, did drive thru food and ate in the car, we were as careful as we could be with masks, hand washing and hand sanitizer but we all know there is still a risk. I know of no lakes that you really want to take a canoe on and not sure for people driving a long way going to a lake is really want they would want to do. I have no problem with shuttling if people in my car wear a mask and I don’t think we can have people shoulder to shoulder on a shuttle. Hopefully others will comment and see what thoughts are. I know right now being a few months away Covid cases could go higher or they could get better, its a crap shoot right now.

Completely understand, I have a a feeling the risk for a lot of folks will be too great but I at least wanted to put it out there and see what others thought.
Take care, stay healthy and hopefully things will be back to something of “normal” next year and we’ll see you then.

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I’ve always been impressed that you (and Brad, Darryl/Ginny, Barb & Danny, TexasLady and Ugly Okie - lots of us back in the day) made that long drive. You, Kayamedic, and BradAK are the distance record holders, I believe. The Current is a special place though and well worth a drive… anyhow, I sure understand and share your concerns myself.

Does anyone know anything about Pere Marquette park in Illinois? If I’ve been there it was when I was a kid and I don’t remember it… but its at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers so there must be some paddling somewhere there… and it appears to have some pretty impressive bluffs. Here’s all I know about it…
Just a thought.

I have been operating more or less under the assumption that there would be no Ozark Rendezvous this Fall, and perhaps never again, so I have looked into some alternate opportunities around that same time. But I have not committed to any as yet. If a group does want to try to get together at Pulltite and paddle the Current, I will make every effort to come assuming there is someone for me to shuttle with. Mary would not come as she will no longer camp in a tent, so she would not be around to help shuttle me. And our remaining dog, Buddy is too frail now for the trip. Mary’s father’s health is quite fragile as well and she could be called away to the Chicago area at any time. If that happened she would not be able to take the dog, so I would need to stay home to look after him. That possibility is obviously completely unpredictable but if it happened I might have to cancel at short notice.

As for the risk of acquiring an infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus, if there is an event this Fall I suspect the group will be small. If we have a group of known and presumably responsible individuals who can be trusted not to come if they have any symptoms suggesting infection or known recent contact with a person who tested positive then the chances of anyone in the group being infected would probably be quite small. This is very different than attending some gathering of individuals open to anyone where there are many people unknown to you. Yes, I know about asymptomatic and presymptomatic infections but if the group participants have been using reasonable precautions that risk would be small as well. As for acquiring an infection in transit, I can understand why one would be hesitant if travel required staying in hotels or motels. But as for using restrooms, shopping for groceries, or buying gas en route so long as one used common sense and washed their hands afterwards and avoided touching their face until that was done, the risk would also be very small.

As for shuttling I am perfectly willing to shuttle with anyone that I know well enough to judge that they have been using reasonable precautions. But I would have to be absolutely certain that there was someone willing to shuttle with me before I would plan to come. I would have a vehicle big enough to take at least two people with their boats and gear and possibly three if the need arose. I would also need a reasonable estimate of when a prospective shuttle partner planned to arrive and leave so that I could make appropriate plans. If someone is interested in shuttling with me, please indicate so in this thread or send me a PM.

As for getting together to paddle day trips on lakes, I have zero interest. As for the covid-19 risk, nothing is going to happen between now and the middle of October that will substantially alter that risk for this group. Cases will be up in some areas, down in others.

I’m interested in the Current in Sept or Oct. Though I’m more at home of a sea kayak & salt water, I dabble in rivers from time to time and have done 4 nights on the Buffalo starting at Ponca. Would like to do the whole river solo, however doubt they will have the water necessary until next Spring. Please let me know as your plans develop. Thanks, Hank

Same for us. While traveling we eat out and as other states may not be as restrictive in ours in requiring face masks to be worn in restaurants ( while enroute to being seated) and in stores ( required here) we are not finding the reward to risk ratio very favorable.
We have the third lowest infection rate in the country and part of that is due to quarantine requirements. I don’t want to have to isolate at home for two weeks on return for a four day paddle get together.

Count Jim and I out.

Eric and I are both eager to go. We recognize the risk and feel we know how to protect ourselves and others. Quick Trip gas stations are very clean and well attended with staff that follow the COVID guidelines. In fact I’ll bet any gas station on the big highways will be safe. My mental health will be in tip top shape just anticipating and packing for this trip, let alone doing it. It will buy me my sanity injection to carry me though what looks to be a hard winter.

Count us in. We can participate in shuttles too, without cramming. The only thing that will force us to change our minds is if Eric gets overloaded with work he can’t get out of.

This will be our first year together as a Rendezvous group without Terry. We need to get together my friends. A nine-year-old littlesistergirlfriend taught me a way to do an air hug that is awesome and I’ll teach it to you. It goes a long way.

Unless somethng changes, Tom and I will not be coming down. With over 300,000 deaths predicted by the end of the yesr, we are not doing any traveling. Like Kim said, the rewards vs. risk are just not great enough.
Hope to see you all in the spring.

New member from So IL: Devil’s Kitchen Lake (Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge) and Shawnee National Forest.

We just got to a weighted 7 day average of three new cases a day
Latest two days were 1 and 0
Hard to envision leaving to travel through “ignited” states Missouri being one
And the leaves will be out and the Maritime provinces might include us in my state in their bubble in which case we will be off to Nova Scotia! Canada is scratching their collective head how loose the US has been overall
EDIT today 0 new
Restrictions do help
We have been travelling all over Maine canoes in tow. Lots of new discoveries!

I totally understand everyone’s concerns that have to travel from afar and just the situation in general. I’m not comfortable saying that there will be an official “Fall Rendezvous” this year. I may still try and get some local folks together for the the 3rd or 4th week of October but again all that will depend on who would be interested and what is going on with Covid cases, also I have no idea what is going on with my job as well. I just don’t want to put something out there and then it not happen. That is kind of where I stand right now.

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I would be interested in getting together in October and as it turns out the fourth week would probably be better for me than the third week.

Looks like my schedule is such that I will no be able to make it this fall. Hope everyone has a great time.

I’ll have to see how work goes. I can’t get off a week but could do a Thursday-Sunday, fourth week is fine with me.

With climate change on our side, 4th week will probably be quite comfortable. Or bitter cold. It’s the great midwest! I still would like to do it Thursday - Sunday. Seven of us just finished the unofficial reignited Wisconsin River Rendezvous: John Hayse, Tom Schneider and his new woman friend Patti, Eric, my two students from Panama, and me.
You couldn’t have had more perfect weather. We social distanced and wore masks for the shuttle. I brought an extra car for that so all vehicles with racks could be at the take out. I tell you, guys, we need this river medicine.


We just returned from a trip to Yellowstone and several states, with no problems. We came back by West Plaines, Missouri and Twin Bridges. We were going to camp there in our Class C Motor home, but no one was around at 6:00 pm. We saw two tents down by the water. Does anyone know what is going on there? We won’t be able to attend the Fall Rendezvous, but would hopefully be able to attend the Spring one.

I just called them (Twin Bridges Campground) and they are open for business. I was told they close the store around 5:30 PM unless someone has called ahead to make a reservation. The restaurant is usually open until around 9 PM except on Mondays when it is closed.