Current River, Williams Landing - Two Rivers 10/7/16-10/8/16
This twelve mile stretch on the Current River suited our needs in terms of miles and scenery. We invited some friends on our annual canoe outing and we were happy to have Kyle and his son Beckett with us on this adventure. Kyle was interested in introducing Beckett to a canoe and camping outing. We were happy to have them join us on what was to be their inaugural outing of this type.
We started with much initial excitement followed by a two and a half hour car ride. To our surprise when we were entering the town of Eminence we were greeted by a traffic jam. Cars were backed up on 106 and 19 as they tried to gain entrance into an arts and crafts show. With a shrug of the shoulders and a small grin, we navigated the issue and made our way to Two Rivers.
I had called Two Rivers Canoe Rental and arranged for them to shuttle us and our canoes to Williams Landing, thus saving us the extended drive time. When we arrived at Two Rivers, Kyle and I went to check in on the status of the shuttle. The kids where on the deck playing outside and when they began laughing a German Sheppard emerged from a t=shirt rack in the store to investigate. The owner said "Harvey" is always awakened by the sound of kids playing. She then informed us that our shuttle may be a little late due to a traffic jam if you can believe it...we could believe it and it was alright. With only a 12 mile section before us on a two day outing, we were in chill mode and really just enjoying the day. Beckett and my daughter, Sophia played with Harvey for quite a while as we set up lunch and began loading the canoe trailer and van. We were charged less than originally quoted for the shuttle, possibly due to the wait. The drive from Two Rivers to Williams Landing became a bumpy ride after we left Hwy 19. The kids enjoyed the jolts and turns, while the adults were entertained by the stories and banter from our driver.
We arrived at the put in and untloaded our canoes and gear. After the somewhat frantic transportation of gear from the van, the securing of items onto the boat and the configuring of some puzzling gear, we were off. I can't help but go into an, "aaahhhh" type of mode once we stop paddling for a moment and let the current take us. A completely relaxed feeling comes over my mind and body when I begin to take in the silence and scenery. Although it was too chilly to swim, the bluffs and deep pools greeted us with a welcoming warmth. We took our time in the late afternoon, fishing every hole and exploring in the shallows. Kelli caught the first fish, of course and we released the nice smallmouth back into the water unharmed. We traveled about one and a half lazy miles and the shadows were beginning to get long. We stopped at a wonderful sandbar with a creek emptying into the Current River on river left. We dallied about the possibility of moving on, but quickly recalled several other trips when the statement, "we'll stop at the next good gravel bar", and the next good gravel bar never came.
We really enjoyed this area and the evening. A small trail allowed for some easy exploration into the woods, and the gravel was small enough to allow a sound nights sleep. While we were gathering wood up for the fire and beginning to cook dinner we were treated to a nature moment. A sound in the sky drew our eyes to a spot, and in front of us unfolded a scene with a hawk striking a duck with his talons. The duck fell to the water and the hawk flew off as the duck swam away. The duck had obviously been injured and we found ourselves piecing together the fragments of action we all witnessed. The cool of the evening engulfed us as we cooked dinner.
A wonderful sunrise greeted us as it burned off the fog that wrapped our tents. The sun also brought a warmth that swelled throughout the afternoon. It was an 11 mile paddle until reached Two Rivers, but the journey was great. Bald Eagles were perched on the river, their white heads stoic with piercing eyes. Several more fish were caught and the day warmed so much that the thought of jumping into the water nudged into our heads. We saw the Jacks Fork entering the Current as we made our way to our take out. It was a very nice couple of days.