Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lower Current

Our first day of floating and exploring the Current River was on the lower section of the river. While quite pretty, this section is not as scenic as the upper Current. In addition, the day we went was, we later learned, the most crowded the river had been all summer. Our outfitter told us a few days later that they had ferried 3,000 people to put-ins along the river that day. Trying to negotiate between the masses of tubers and canoe/kayak enthusiasts was sometimes problematic. Add to this the fact that boats with motors up to 40hp are allowed on the river, and there is the recipe for some unpleasantness.

However, the water was cool and clear and we still had a great time as we negotiated our way downriver. One nice thing about the Current is that it's spring-fed, so the level of the river stays fairly constant when compared to other such tributaries. Thus, it's almost always navigable along its entire length. If you're not paying attention, you might hit a shoal or barely concealed gravel bar that requires you to get out to find deeper water, but by and large you can float unimpeded the entire way.

Loading up and heading out was something of a madhouse. Believe me...this was only a small portion of the crowd that we encountered along the way. Fortunately, the numbers dwindled the farther we went, since there were various pickup spots along the way, and some people traveled shorter distances than we did.

There is a stretch of the Current that is in private hands and is not officially part of the National Park. On this section there are houses, commercial camps, and other such things. This fellow was using his lot to park a hot dog stand. He was doing quite the business.

Again, this was on a stretch of privately-owned riverbank. This absolutely cool house was perched on the precipice of a cliff face with staircase down to a private dock (down on the lower right). I do believe that the water here was deep enough to allow for jumping from the deck into the river.

Not long before our takeout at Big Spring Campground. This is the remains of an old railroad trestle that once crossed the Current River. Today it's a good landmark to let you know that the canoe ramp is nearby.

Heading back to our travel trailer in the evening after our canoe trip, the deer were grazing in the grass beside the campground.

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