Courtois section and float

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Courtois section and float

Postby jyancey » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:37 pm

I just had a really nice walk on part of the Courtois section and a packraft float on the creek.

I got started late on Saturday, so I felt I didn't have time for the full 12 1/2 miles from the Mile 0.0 trailhead to Bass River resort. I left my truck at the Scotia Bridge access and walked the road to the Huzzah Conservation area. After fording the Courtois I bushwhacked to the OT just where it makes a turn uphill toward the Narrows. There were a lot of Yahoo floaters on the creek, but I quickly found solitude on the trail. I could hear people (and their blasted music!) on the Courtois, and then at the Narrows I could hear people on the Huzzah too. I stopped at the bluff overlook at Mile 8 and dozed in the sun. There was a regular party going on on the Huzzah below me. When it looked like rain was imminent I packed up and moved on. I walked in the rain until about Mile 11 where I refilled my water bottles at the "small pool" as noted on my OT map. I then walked until I reached a flat-wood ridge where I camped. Expecting more rain, I set up a tarp, but no bug net. Mozzies weren't a problem, but there were certainly plenty of Harvestmen! They aren't scary, but they are annoying when they walk on your face during the night. Sometime in the wee dark hours I awoke to something sniffing about one foot from my head. I don't know what it was, but it hurridly ran away when I yelled at it. Probably a raccoon or opossum or maybe an armadillo. Glad it wasn't a skunk!

I awoke early, made a cup of tea and then lounged while finishing an ebook. I finally hit the trail a short while after sunup and had a leisurely walk to Bass River resort. When I arrived there I had an inspiration! I asked one of the staff if they served breakfast, and they do! So, I had a filling buffet breakfast (that I didn't have to carry!) and a very nice chat with one of the ladies in the dining room. She is an avid floater, and she seemed intrigued by the Ozark Trail. Of course, I encouraged her to hike the trail from Onondaga to Bass.

After my decadent breakfast, I proceeded on to Butts Bridge, where I inflated my packraft, lashed on my pack and donned my PFD. Down the creek I went. There were, of course, plenty of people in the campground, but once I got past the Bass property, I didn't see anyone at all until the conservation area, save one fisherman in a kayak who was very quiet and respectful.

I encountered something unusual during my float. I was drifting along about half asleep when something started crunching through the leaves on the bank behind me. I very slowly turned around a saw a spotted fawn entering the creek. It then proceeded to swim downstream! I followed at a discreet distance, not wanting to scare it. The fawn ended up swimming for a good half mile! At one point a doe forded the river just as the fawn was swimming by. The fawn reached shallow water and walked up to her. They sniffed noses, and the doe continued across the river, and the fawn continued swimming downstream. It finally left the water at a large gravel bar, and simply disappeared into the woods. I don't think it was trying to escape from me, as I was staying well back upriver. I have no idea why it would swim such a long distance.

I finally connected with the Huzzah, where I encountered hordes of rafters and, yes, more infernal music. I paddled on down to the Scotia bridge, where I disembarked, loaded everything into my truck and started home. Another short, but very sweet, trip on the OT and beautiful water!
jyancey
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: Central Missouri

Re: Courtois section and float

Postby n3870v » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:14 pm

Sounds like fun. What type of packraft do you have, how heavy is it and how do you inflate it?

How were the ticks with no bug net? They were plentiful when I went 2 weeks ago and I was pulling them off every 10-15 minutes or so just hiking. Cant imagine sleeping without a barrier of some type to keep them out.

Do you have any pictures of the float part that you can post?

Thanks for the report

N3870v
n3870v
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 1:26 pm

Re: Courtois section and float

Postby jyancey » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:32 am

I use an Alpaca Yukon Yak that weighs 5 lbs. I have a 4 piece paddle from REI and a Stearns foam PFD that add another 3 1/2 lbs or so for a total of about 8 1/2 lbs to my normal base weight of around 10 lbs. I currently use a ULA Conduit (now the CDT) frameless pack, but am considering upgrading to a ULA Circuit to better handle a 20 lb load. I usually use a tarp for shelter with an SMD Serenity net tent for bugs. If I am just backpacking I use an SMD Gatewood cape for shelter and raingear, but it doesn't work well for boating. This weekend I just rigged the tarp but not the net tent. Probably should have to keep the Harvestmen at bay!

Oddly, I did not see one tick on this trip! I treat my zip-off pants with permethrin, but even in shorts mode and bushwhacking there were no ticks. Maybe the floaters scare them off!

Sorry, no photos. I seldom take a camera to keep weight low. I should probably reconsider that. Thanks for your comments.
jyancey
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: Central Missouri


Return to Trip Reports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron