August, 2018 – Riverton, MO While visiting with family in my hometown of Doniphan several of us decided to take a day and float the nearby Eleven Point. This river is part of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. It has been under the protection of the national government since 1968 and therefore there is zero development along its banks and relatively few accesses.
The outfitter, Hufstedler’s, said the simplest float for a group our size would be Whitten back to their location, Riverton. We would park at the takeout and they would haul all of us upriver.
We made a late start at 11am. Then we had an hour’s drive to the outfitter and it took another hour between waiting on their bus and a long ride to the put in. At 1pm the eight of us were finally on the water.
It was a perfect day and very hot. That’s a good thing because the Eleven Point is a very cold, spring fed river. On this Friday we didn’t have to share it with one single other floater.
We noticed some water flowing into the river below a bluff and several of us got out to explore up the stream and see if we could locate a spring.
The stream got colder and colder the farther we walked. We came across the remains of what I presume was a mill.
When we finally found the origins of the spring it was unimpressive. The water was seeping out of the ground and pooling in a small pond before making its way to the river.
The river is beautiful and clear with plenty of bluffs along its banks.
It was too late in the day to see much wildlife but we did see plenty of turtles. Most of our crew saw a bald eagle. One person swears they saw an armadillo swimming. I wish I could have seen that!
There were lots of wildflowers along the river. These blooms were impossibly tiny, about the size of my pinky nail.
Although our clan is not a stranger to this river, none of us remember ever floating this particular section before. The water was a lot slower than other sections we have floated.
Late in the afternoon we were all paddling steadily towards the end and not particularly interested in the scenery any longer when we passed a sign that said Boze Mill. Noone cared to investigate but just down river we heard a roar of water. We paddled up the resulting stream and found this magical place.
Everyone forgot their fatigue and their rumbling tummies and got out of their kayaks to explore. If you climbed on top of the dam the springwater continued peacefully upstream.
The abandoned mill parts added to the area’s interest.
Everyone agreed it was worth the delay but we finally had to get back in our boats and make the final push. Not far above the takeout were the biggest rapids of the trip. Jim was watching to make sure everyone made it down safely but no one had any trouble navigating them.
Shortly thereafter we rounded a bend to the most beautiful sight of the day: the bridge that signaled we had made it to the end.
Although the outfitter claims this is a 7 mile float, my GPS clocked it at over 9. We finally made it back to our trucks at 6pm. While we were taking out we witnessed something you just don’t see every day, a stretch limo hauling a boat. lol
This was an awesome float and everyone agreed they wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Jim would like to come back and do it again so he can fish it more. We’ll just get an earlier start when we do!