IT'S ALMOST RIVER TIME AGAIN
"Listen Russ, I've been meaning to talk to you about something. Next turkey season you should really use a shotgun instead of your Goldwing. Not glad to see you damage your bike, but it was the perfect excuse to get away." -Fred Harmon of Angel Ride Enterprises
After arriving on Sunday evening, Fred spent Monday working on the bike, taking it apart, putting new parts on, and then putting it back together with a couple of twists (a MADSTAD Windshield and a pair of LED RIDER "anti-deer" lights), while Diane spent time with Amy and the girls. Since Fred finished the GOLDWING on Monday, we all went to the CURRENT RIVER on Tuesday. We ended up taking a 20 mile boat ride up to BLUE SPRINGS. We then spent the afternoon cooking (pics below), floating in the boat, swimming, and hanging out on the gravel bars. We even stopped by Big Springs on the way home. It was a great day in every sense of the word!
For the record (and particularly for the guys on the GL1800Riders Board), I want to let everyone know just how terrible a person Fred really is. He actually "forced" me to ride his Traxxion-equipped 2012, for which he just happens to be a dealer. All I can say is DANG! The custom suspension by Traxxion Dynamics is the real McCoy ---- especially considering he is running their "Mega Monty". Can't justify it for my bike (I broke down and did the upper and lower Triple Trees with a brand new rear shock from a GW being triked), but the ride, cornering, and low-speed turning were ridiculous.
I can adjust the ride so that if I want, I have almost no air on me whatsoever. Interestingly enough, there was so little air behind the windshield that I had to take my foam Tunnel Blockers out in order to hear the radio through my external speakers. Not sure why, but the acoustics were different with the Madstad (BTW, the Madstad does not cut down on road noise even though it cuts way down on buffeting). My wife also gets less buffeting with the Madstad, although the Baker Hand Wings do an excellent job of helping with that situation (we did have to use a Dremel to cut a small notch in the bottom of the Bakers to accommodate the lights).
I went with the Madstad over the Windbender because of good reviews on bigger Harleys, and because the rake is a built-in feature as opposed to being a one hundred dollar option. If anyone has any specific questions, just leave a comment and I will answer it for all to see. By the way, I would like to give a huge thank you to FRED HARMON. There might be someone on the planet who knows more about fixing Goldwings than Fred, but I would not have a clue who it is.
CURRENT RIVER, MISSOURI
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF THE OZARKS!
"Rivers, being what they are, like fickle women, can change their ways ever so subtly..." From 1959's Vanishing Ozarks.
As many of you may know, the Park Service is once again trying to push the Jon Boats off the river (HERE). I have no doubt that one day they will achieve their goal. My best guess is that this time around they will gain a little bit more, but not get everything they asked for (they will probably outlaw 25's above Round Springs --- a serious blow to the giggers). This means that it won't be long before they'll be coming back for more. That's how it works. Chip away a little at a time until there's nothing left but government regulations. This is sad for many reasons. For one thing, no one --- and I do mean no one ---- takes better care of this river than those who grew up here, live here, and use it on a regular basis. I couldn't even begin to guess how much trash we've personally hauled out of the river or how many capsized drunks clinging to rootwads we've pulled to safety (rootwads are the trees and root systems you'll see many of in the video), and then turned around and salvaged their canoes and gear. We've even hauled them downriver for medical attention (stitches, broken bones, and the like). It's no secret that at certain times of the year, insane amounts of alcohol and drugs can turn portions of the river into a free-for-all. That's why we avoid those parts of the river.
If we are out on a Saturday, we almost always put in at the Chilton Creek boat ramp (just above Waymeyer and just below Pin Oak) in order to avoid the most heavily trafficked 10 miles of the lower Current (Waymeyer to Big Springs). Why might you ask? Let me put it to you this way; there's good reason you never see church groups using that part of the river on weekends. In fact, the problem has been so pervasive that you can tell that summer has arrived when you start to see the seasonal billboards springing up along I-44 north to Saint Louis (Trouble on the River? Call 1- 800- JAIL BREAK to Speak with One of the Attorneys at Dewey, Cheatam, and Howe).
By the way, while the video itself is excellent, the title of the documentary, "Vanishing Ozarks" is sort of a misnomer. This is not a video about the Ozarks 'vanishing' because people are somehow over-using the rivers. In fact, the point of the movie was to show the public that our area could handle far more tourists than it was currently handling. It was essentially a video promoting the creation of the 'Monument' (their word, not mine), and the way the Ozarks improved after the great logging operations of the late 1800's and subsistence living of the Depression Era left some of it in rough shape. Isn't it interesting how the same group of people who were saying there were not enough people using the river 50 years ago, are saying there are too many using it now?
GROWING UP ON CURRENT RIVER
MALACHI AND MICHAELA HAMMING IT UP ON A ROOTWAD
MICHAELA KAYAKING WITH BOBUS
HAULING OUR KAYAKS PAST MILL CREEK
DISCOVERY MINISTRIES STYLE
THE ENDEAVOR TRIP
The trip was somewhat 'minimalist'. They were constantly on the go. Sometimes they were on trails (the Ozark Trail), sometimes they were going cross-country). They made camp late and were up early each day. All food, clothing, rock climbing / rappelling gear, was packed in with them (no re-supply). There were no tents (see pic above). Many of the meals looked like a single hors d'oeuvre. On top of all that, it rained on them a great deal last week.
Mix in the fact that they had no idea of their destination (they were all learning how to use a topographical map and compass), and it made for a strenuous and difficult week. But it's those difficult things that toughen you and make you stronger. Through it all, Malachi's body, mind, and spirit were all strengthened. He definitely came back a different person than the one who left a week earlier. BTW, everything in these pictures is within 30 to 40 miles from our house (as a crow flies). Click on the small images to enlarge them.
UPPER CURRENT RIVER ACROSS FROM TWIN ROCKS
CURRENT RIVER NEAR OWL'S BEND / BLUE SPRINGS
KLEPZIG MILL ON ROCKY CREEK NEAR THE CURRENT RIVER
ROCKY CREEK SHUT-INS AND ROCKY FALLS
IT'S A GREAT TIME TO VISIT MOUNTAIN VIEW
"There's nothing quite like Indian Summer in the Ozarks." Dr. Russell Schierling, Mountain View, MO
Sincerely, Dr. Russ
CURRENT RIVER SNORKEL TRIP
VAN BUREN TO BLUE SPRINGS
Although Alley Springs is my favorite Ozarks spring (it is the spring featured on the huge wall mural in the lobby of my office), Blue Spring (the one on the CURRENT RIVER, not the JACKS FORK RIVER) is a close second. When Amy said that she needed a day to herself to get ready for the upcoming homeschool year and politely asked us to spend the day at the river, she did not need to tell us twice. We put the boat in at Watercress Access area in Van Buren, Missouri, and ran up-river to Blue Springs. The day was incredible!
The weather was perfect, the sky was blue, and the water was all different shade of jade and turquoise --- and crystal clear. It was a perfect day for snorkeling. Snorkeling you say? In Missouri? Absolutely! I have been a CRSJ (Current River Snorkel Junkie) for almost 25 years. It allows us all to not only see some really incredible fish (Small Mouth, Large Mouth, Walleye, Buffalo, Drum, Hellbenders, and who-knows-what else), but also allows us to feed our scavenging habit. Allow me to explain. It has never ceased to amaze me what people who have no idea how to canoe, bring on their river trips. Couple this with copious amounts of alcohol, swift currents, and rootwads / trees in the water; and the treasure hunting possibilities for serious snorkelers are endless.
Over the years, we have found all sorts of goodies. Among our best finds are several guns (pistols --- all loaded), more knives than I can count, diamond rings and wedding bands (ask Rick and Kate B. about this one), enough fishing tackle to start a Bass Pro Outlet, cash, jewelry, tool boxes, tools, car keys, phones, wallets, kitchenware, all sorts of t-shirts & towels, hats, caps, sun screen, bungee cords, enough sunglasses that we keep them in buckets to hand out whenever we have company, a waterproof GPS, and just about anything else you can think of ---- and that's just for starters. If someone was crazy enough to bring it with them on the river, odds are that we found it on the bottom --- or maybe hung up in one of the many rootwads.
In the pictures at the very bottom, you'll see our latest haul. A very nice portable chair, a couple of canoe paddles, a wide brim hat and a couple of caps, a really cool IU basketball T-shirt, a number of "quality" sunglasses (including a really nice pair of Ray Bans that Malachi has latched on to), a "good" towel, some beverages (many of which are in the trash), and the finds-of-the-day (made by Michaela) ---- a unique flip-blade dagger with a pocket clip and a Smith & Wesson SWAT Knife. Malachi hung in there though, finding a good knife of his own to add to his massive collection. When you see the pictures, you can understand why we think that it really doesn't get much better than a day on the Current River. Don't get me wrong, snorkeling in the Caribbean is fantastic. But it's hard to beat the snorkeling right here in Southern Missouri!
CLICK ON THE SMALL IMAGES TO MAKE THEM BIGGER
MALACHI AND BOBUS WITH A TURTLE
GRAVEL SPRINGS AT THE BASE OF PAINT ROCK BLUFF
THE DAY'S FINDS: KAYLA OUT-KNIFED MALACHI 2:1
THIRD ANNUAL FATHER / SON CAMP OUT
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Although the water was a bit murkier than usual from the recent floods, it's always a good time when you're on the CURRENT RIVER. It's all the boys talked about at church on Sunday morning. It was a day of boating, floating, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, cooking, eating, praying, and laughing. Everyone is already planning next year!
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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