Halter loves being on the Eleven Point

By Steve Halter

It was April 1st and “Stay at Home Orders” were being tossed around like corn hole bags on the 4th of July on Current River.  

I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and also get a break from the texts, emails, and news concerning COVID-19.  

I have always wanted to kayak all 49 miles of Eleven Point River (in the state of Missouri) but never carved out the time to do it.  

I have done many sections from Cane Bluff to Highway 142 bridge, but I have never been above or below either spot.  My favorite section has always been from Greer Spring to Riverton. 

The Sunday before my planned trip, my wife and I took off and drove to the put-in spot at Thomasville, Mo., and the take-out spot at Myrtle access.  

We looked for a place to pull out just at the Missouri/Arkansas line, but it appeared to be a lot of private ground, so I was just going to have to settle with taking out after 48 miles. 

With my sights set on doing it in two days, I loaded all my lightweight/compact mountain gear into my 10-foot Pungo classic kayak.  

The plan was for my wife to drop me off at the Thomasville bridge and pick me up the next evening at Myrtle access. As always, I brought my Garmin Inreach Delorme satellite texting system, in case of an emergency.

As a side story, I recently went out to my new elk hunting spot in Colorado and on the way out came upon two guys walking on a Forest Service road in dry suits and kayaking boots.  

They had overshot their take-out spot by 6.5 miles and it was getting dark and they were tired and very frustrated. Had I not given them a ride, it would have been a miserable night for them.  

The moral of the story, always carry a GPS and a way to communicate when in remote areas!  

Ok, back to my adventure. My wife and I woke up well before daylight and made the one-hour drive from Poplar Bluff to Thomasville.  

It was in the mid-30’s so I layered up and wore gloves to start off the trip. Right at first light I dropped my kayak in the river next to the bridge and off I went.  

After only 5 minutes on the river I came to a bend and all I could see was a large tree over the entire river.  
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The riverbank was steep so I just had to pick a spot with small limbs and plow through it. I just knew I was going to dump my kayak.  

Although everything I had was in dry bags, I sure didn’t want to get my body wet to start the day; especially since it was in the 30’s.  

Luckily I made it through OK, only to find a really nice put-in spot around the bend. Lesson learned; better scouting mission next time. Oh well, it makes for a great story.

The next 9 miles or so were so peaceful and featured incredibly beautiful scenery. I passed through a couple of homesteads that made me very envious.

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