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!