Springfield to Doniphan

Missouri – July, 2015 We had told very few people we were heading home for the month of July so it was fun to surprise them since they thought we were hundreds of miles west. I finally let the cat out of the bag on Facebook Sunday that we were at Downstream Casino and would be in Springfield the next morning. Our phones were blowing up for two hours with invitations to stay and making plans to hang out. We made the one hour drive Monday morning and set up camp on a some vacant land that good friends of ours own about 30 miles outside Springfield. It was private and had all the amenities. The next two weeks were a blur of pool parties, cookouts, and campouts.

We celebrated Independence Day where we have for many years, by the pool of some friends that live in South Springfield. They have the most amazing view from their deck of a ton of fireworks displays and are just outside the city limits so they can shoot their own fireworks as well. I really wish I had a better camera to capture it but here is a glimpse of the fireworks from their deck and our kids at the bottom of the street shooting off fireworks.

The frustration of not being able to properly capture such an amazing scene led me to finally order a new camera. I look forward to learning to use it over the coming year and next year I hope to have much better shots of the spectacle.

The next weekend we invited all our friends to a home my family built on the banks of the lower Current River near Doniphan, Missouri. Another couple and ourselves managed to get there Thursday and had a great float Friday despite the fact that the water was rising. The Current was flooding up stream and the flood waters were heading our way. We expected the water to be dark and there to be no gravel bars to stop on. The Current is normally remarkably clear with unbelievable visibility. So despite the rising water it was still clearer than many rivers. And there are generally tons of gravel bars so even though the water was a few feet over normal there were still many places to stop. The river here is plenty wide and most people tube it which is what I grew up doing. But there are a lot of root wads and I much prefer kayaking and stopping at the many gravel bars when I choose to. Here is the stretch of the river we consider home. I took this after the river had pretty much returned to normal.

The river forecast called for it to rise to 8 feet above normal so we thought the weekend would be salvageable even if it was too high to float again Saturday. The rest of our party arrived late Friday night and we all set up our trailers on the riverbank below the house. When we awoke Saturday morning the forecast had changed. It was now supposed to crest at 12 feet. This would get up into the yard and make it impossible for us to camp there. I suggested we move the trailers to a safe place and all pile in to the house but our friends with campers that had just arrived the night before were ready to find some floatable water so they headed to the northern Current where the flood waters had already passed.

The remainder of our group spent the day Saturday watching the water rise. Yes this is about as exciting as it sounds but somehow we kept ourselves entertained. Jim and I moved our trailer to the tiny front yard of the house right by the road. I’m sure the neighbors just loved us! The road is 20 feet above normal river height and the house was built 6 feet above that, which is 1 foot over the highest point the river has ever crested. Sunday morning we awoke to water across most of the lower yard. Our friend decided kayak around ours and the neighbors’ yards. Here is a pic from the deck of him in our yard.

We would have joined him but had already loaded our kayaks and were too lazy to take them down. The water crested just before noon and then receded remarkably fast. By Monday morning when we left it was well within its banks again.

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