My first memory of floating in the Missouri Ozarks was in 1944. We were staying at the Alton Club on the Current River and we floated every day, either from Pulltite Springs to the Alton Club, or from the Alton Club to the Highway 19 Bridge.
Those were idyllic times—drifting along in 18-foot wooden johnboats and enjoying the quiet beauty of Shannon County, with an occasional cow in the water but no canoeists, drunken idiots on rubber rafts or jet boats buzzing past.
It was then, at the tender age of four, that I developed an enduring love for the serenity of Ozarks streams.
Unfortunately, it is hard to find a serene Ozark stream these days, isn’t it?
After college and the Army, I returned to the St. Louis area with a goal of floating as many streams as I could in the Ozarks that were listed in that great little book, “Missouri Ozark Waterways,” by Professor Oz Hawksley.