North Fork River

sunrise.jpg A Sunrise in Kansas of all places. On the way to the great North Fork River float trip of '98. I finally found somplace to camp on the drive from Boulder to St. Louis. So we got 2 hours of shut eye. Arrived at the state park just in time to see a clear view of the Milky Way, and for the weekend's fishermen to wake up. Then, conveniently left before the rangers made their rounds for fee collections.
camp.jpg Camp the first night Only supersize burgers, beans, and salad for dinner. The following evenings' entres included smoked pork and steak!

In Missouri, almost all of the river banks are coated with huge gravel bars, and Uncle Bernie Brinkmann (on left, flanked by dad on the right), has the best float trip camping system for it. This picture shows his huge nylon tarp that we tie down to the gravel bar with buried sticks or rocks, and proped up by several paddles. It comfortably slept five of us the first night, and protected all eight of us from the rain on the second day.
dad_herman.jpg My dad Bill Brinkmann (in back), and (great) uncle Herman soaking up the sun that we didn't have on the second day. We got rained on just about all day long on the second day. At one point we took shelter under some overhangs in the cliff along the river, and waited for about an hour for the rain to pass over, before we decided that we had better push on in search of a camping spot - especially since we had a group of scouts pass us while we were waiting, and wanted to make sure there would be a spare gravel bar.
joe_paul.jpg Joe (in the back) and Paul Brinkmann catching a few ZZZs after sweating the night out worring if the river was going to rise up to the level of our campground and flood us out. Eventhough it rained all day and most of the night, the river only came up about an inch - much to everyone's pleasant surprise. After setting up the other tent and attending to other duties during breaks in the rain, I was able to change out of my soaking wet clothes. Mental note: Gortex might be waterproof but zippers are not. Unfortunately, I had been sitting in the canoe most of the day, which wrinkled my jacket into a water funnel aimed at my zipper. Oh well, live and learn.
stand.jpg Hard to believe someone would be silly enough to stand in a canoe (through rapids even). Eventhough the rain had only swollen the river a little, it was enough to make the river significantly easier to navigate. Now, instead of standing in the water and dragging the canoe along, I could surf the (not exactly) white river.
joehermpaul.jpg Herman Brinkmann (center) and two of his boys, Joe (left) and Paul (Right), taking a rest before we hit the road back to Missouri. A 5+ hour drive is easily done when you have all day to do it, but it can still be pretty draining.
Note: All these photo's were taken with a disposable camera and scanned in during development.
gEEk at large
last updated:Jul 12, 1998