Installment 1

Current River Country claims a top spot on a variety of lists. It boasts of a clear stream, diversified wildlife, lush forests and ample fishing and hunting opportunities. All contribute to its popularity as a prime tourist destination. Those of us who live in the midst of this natural attraction might tend to take it for granted. There are two, though, who have a grand respect and appreciation for this gem after undertaking a canoe trip from the river’s source.

Both grew up in areas bordering the muddy Mississippi – one romping along its banks, fishing and searching for treasure in the Bootheel; the other making dams and floating leaf boats in rain run-off headed for city sewers and ultimately that same river in a different world upstream. One could probably still survive for weeks as an Irish Wilderness Tarzan. The other – an urban mix of Barbie and Nancy Drew – is definitely not a Tarzan’s Jane. Roughing it to her is having only one book for the duration.

Zoom in years later as the lens focuses on the two working for an outfitter serving crowds of tourists seeking relief from heat and stress along the banks of the lower Current. On days off they mastered canoeing on the Current and Eleven Point Rivers with nary a spill and camped on a whim in wilderness areas with no scary encounters to mar the adventures.

Locals and tourists alike fantacize about floating the Current from its source at Montauk to Doniphan. The fantasies vary distinctly according to gender. Males view it as bonding time with the guys only, free to drink, joke, laugh, fart and fish without seeing one raised eyebrow for five whole days, a rowdy romp breaking all the rules with hearty fish feasts nightly. Females view it as bonding time, too, with a strictly select crew, a romantic retreat under the stars, complete with gourmet dinners in the glow of the campfire, fish-less meals, by the way. It seems even the little ones get away if there is a female to feed.

Tarzan, confident in his own canoeing skills as well as those of his counterpart, mentioned that the slow tourist time just before the start of school would have been a super time to undertake such a trip, but,alas, posted work schedules didn’t show matching days off. Not a problem for Nancy Drew. Five minutes later she announced schedules had been duly altered, and the trip was on.

(Next week-Preparation and launching)

About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
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