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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Bass Pro Fitness Challage

Everyone loved my shirt

Here I am before the race 20 pounds overweight, with a swollen up ankle from a fall during my long run last weekend just hoping I can survive today's race.  I dropped down from the 50k to the 25k event becuase my training didn't go as I had planned.

I Haven't written much about my training becuase my training has not gone that good.  I'm old and a few injuries and pains kept me from my workouts.  I promise I will fill you in on the race soon.

Needless to say I got a few trail runs in with my longest being 10 miles, which is 6 miles shorter than the 25k distance I will be running today.  I think I can make it if my ankle holds up.  Jami wrapped it for me but it is hurting and very swollen.
The left leg is hurting

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rod Jetton- KC's on the Current, Old Reps. Float Trip

Back when I was a State Rep. a few of us legislators would get together with our wives and go on a float trip once a year.  We usually floated the upper Current River, which is a beautiful river to be on.  A few weeks ago I was having dinner with the Coopers and Mayer’s and they said hey we need to go on our float trip.  So I asked them for dates and started organizing.

We decided to go on the southern Current where my boss, Stan Schultz owns a floating business called KC's on the Current.  I invited all the old gang along with Kenny Jones son Caleb and new Rep. Steve Cookson. We had several takers, but by the time the trip came around, we were down to only three of us.  Tom Dempsey, Carl Bearden and me.  Molly would have come but she didn’t want to be the only girl on the trip.

Stan, Tom, Rod and Carl in front of Stan's Shoal Runner
I guess we should have started planning earlier and more folks could have worked it into their schedule.  We came into Doniphan Sunday night and Stan showed us around KC"s.  Then we had dinner at a very good Mexican restaurant in town.  We stayed at the Days Inn and decided to hit the rack about 9:30.  We had just turned in when a huge storm blew in and the rain started falling hard.

Watching the rain from out hotel at 9:00am

I went to bed hoping it would be hot and sunny in the morning.   When I woke up it was cloudy and soon it was pouring down rain again.  I told Stan well I don't think we will be able to go floating so we headed over to the coffee house for breakfast and enjoyed talking about the old days and current issues till 10:30.  After almost 30 days of 95+ weather and no rain, it looked like today was the day to end the drought.   

Weather map showed it was supposed to clear up by noon, so we decided to get our gear packed and head down to KC's and take our chances.  The great thing about the Current River is that its spring fed, which means the water is clear and cold, which makes it hard to jump in the water on a cloudy day.  Kathy Schultz (Stan’s Wife) drove us up to the put in spot about 7 miles upstream.  The van ride was quite a thrill in itself.  She had no lack of confidence on the curvy Ripley County roads and when it changed to gravel it seemed the bumps almost bucked us off the road.

As we unloaded our raft and tubes the sun started shining but it was having a hard time getting through the clouds.  Patrick Schultz (Stan’s Son) had a kayak and was going to help guide us down the river.  He said it would be sunny soon and he was right.  You should never doubt an old river guide who knows the area like Patrick does. 

If you have never been floating in Missouri you are missing one of life’s greatest pleasures.  No matter how stressed and busy life is, there is no better way to spend a hot Missouri day than floating slowing down the Current River.  It's best to take a cooler with plenty of drinks and food so you can pull over on the inviting gravel bars and take in nature, while you soak up the sun and relax.  Anytime you’re hot you can jump off your tube and cool down.

The Southern Current is a great place to float because the stream just lazily flows over the clear gravel bottoms.  You can see the crawdads and sucker fish swimming below you and sometimes when you’re quite a big smallmouth will meander by.  There is very little danger from strong current which allows you to enjoy the trees, cliffs and rock outcroppings along the way.

Stan the man cooking!!

Carl, Tom and I had a 4 man raft aw well as a tube to float down in.  We stayed up out of the water the first mile or so while we prayed that the sun would break through the clouds.  Thankfully, young Schultz was right- the clouds parted and we had the perfect sunny weather we had hoped for.  Since it was a weekday we also had the whole river almost to ourselves.  The whole day I think we only saw 7 other floaters and a few fishing boats go by.  I guess the morning rains scared them away!

Stan brought the hamburgers and hotdogs up on his Shoal Runner about 2:00 and started up the grill on an inviting gravel bar.  We pulled over and joined him, Representative Cookson and his wife Joy for a nice BBQ right on the river.  Stan did a great job of cooking and we had a good visit with them before we pulled our raft back into the water for the final few curves.

We let the current pull us south towards Doniphan and I must admit I was a bit sad when I looked up and saw the KC's take out sign up ahead.  All too quickly we were pulling the boat out of the water and visiting with Stan, Steve Cookson, and several other locals who had gathered at the dock to swap stories about the fishing and happenings on the river that day.

Stan gave us a ride back up to the headquarters where we dried off and changed cloths.  I said by to Tom and Carl as we talked about what the other guys missed by not being there.  I have floated with several different outfitters on most of the beautiful rivers in Southern Missouri and KC's is a first rate operation.  There slogan is floating the way you like it, and I liked it allot!

Next year we will plan ahead, make reservations and get more of the old gang together. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rod Jetton- Table Rock Lake Swim

I decided to try a swim to give my leg some more rest.  I asked Jami if she wanted to go out on the point by the dam and watch me swim.  She said yes because she likes to go out there and read her Bible and watch nature.  It was a cooler night and I went down to where the ropes go across the water to the emergency spillway Schultz and Summers Engineering worked on.

I eased in the water and started the crawl stroke.  That’s lasted about 50 years and I was tired.  I kept it up but was getting winded.  I’ll make this post short because it’s not that exciting.  I side stroked, back stroked and dog paddled over to the other side.  It took 6 min.

I rested for 2 min then started back.  That took a bit longer, 9 min, but I made it.  I was thinking about entering a short triathlon that Branson is hosting with a 450 yard swim.  I hoped my swim was 450 years but when Dad looked at it the other day he thought it might be 100 yards across which leaves me 250 yards shy of the race distance.  
Does it look like a football field to you?

The worst part is that after I was done I was completely drained.  I mean I felt good, but I was tired.  My whole body was just used up.  I hate to think about having to bike and run after that.  

Rod Jetton- Bike Ride in Branson

Branson and the Lake behind me
Since my leg was hurting I decided to get a bike ride in.  I took my mountain bike because the road in front of my house (76 east) is VERY narrow, and if I had to go off road I wanted the mountain bike.  The first three miles were all downhill to the Branson Landing.  I went through a roundabout and towards Hollister.  Then up the big long hill to School of the Ozarks (Hard work U).  Did I mention this hill is long?  By the time I was at the top I was over 5 mile into the ride.

Then I turned on a residential road that went down to Lake Tanycomo and I mean it went down fast.  It was nice going down but I knew coming back up would not be easy.  The road followed the lake for awhile, which was nice before I again had to start climbing.  This hill was not as steep but it was long and I thought I reached the top twice only to find that I had another long stretch of uphill.  The final level was the steepest and my legs were shot.  I hate to admit it but I got off and walked it up that last part.  

I then rode over to the scenic overlook on 265 and stopped.  That was 9 miles and a great view of Branson.  I stopped and rested took a few photos and started back.  The long ride down was easy and it went fast.  Before I knew it I was headed back up the very steep uphill.  I quickly got off and walked up the hill and was feeling really bad.  It was hot and I was hurting.  

After I finally made it to the top I coasted all the way back through Hollister and to the landing where my final 3 miles were almost all uphill.  Again I got off and walked the steepest parts and slowly rode in my easiest great the flatter uphills.  I made it home jumped quickly into the pool and cooled down.  My camelback was dry because this was an afternoon ride and it was hotter than I expected it to be on the bike.  

Over all it was fun ride and good for my legs to cross train.  My calf felt a lot better after the ride.       

Rod Jetton- Morning Trail Run

Clouds before I started at 5:45  
Two weeks ago I got a morning trail run in on the scenic overlook.  It's the 5.2 mile loop I ran when i started down at the Log Church.  As always it was hot but there were a few clouds in the sky.  I started running down hill and felt good but about two miles into the run my calf tightened up and was killing me.  I don't know that it is badly hurt and I guess it was just a cramp but instead of running two laps I just ran one.

As I finished it started raining which cooled things off, but my calf hurt to bad to run.  I ran it in 1:03 which with the leg slowing me down was not that bad.  But I really need to get my milage up if I am to have any chance of finishing a 31 mile race in October.  

Rain hitting the parking lot

Sun shining through the rain

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rod Jetton- 1 Insane Trail Race- Finishing Award

I forgot to show the cedar medallion we revived for finishing.  It says survivor and that is exactly how I felt. 

Thanks and take care,

Rod Jetton

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rod Jetton- Boundary Waters Day-3-Part 1, Catching Fish!!

I’ve wanted to write about this day for awhile but I have been very busy.  Each morning Dad would get up early and take Courts out in a canoe and they would fish.  I would get up, find a nice rock to sit on, read the Bible and thank the Lord for such a beautiful place. It seems like when there are no phones, TV’s, or radios, it’s easier to talk to God.  It just seems like he can hear you better and I know I can hear him better with all the cares of life on hold.

One of Grants fires in the rain

After that, I started pancakes while Grant built a fire.  Like most young boys, Grant loved building fires.  He hunted wood, chopped wood and kept the fire going even in the rain.  Dad and Courts got back about 9:00am and we finished breakfast.  

It was an overcast day and the wind was blowing out of the west.  Dad has always repeated that old wives tale that says, “Wind from the East, fish bite least. Wind from the West, fish bite best.”  Well I never really thought much about it but this trip to the BW has me believing.  

We paddled up across Bald Eagle Lake, which is the lake we were camped on, and then we turned to the east and fished up the north side of that big cove.  We went right back by our first campsite on this route.  We picked this location because Dad said that back when he brought Mom to the BW’s, they fished that cove all the way back to Bald Eagle creek and that Mom caught more fish that day than ever before.  Dad also added, “I caught my biggest northern ever at the end of this cove.”  That had Grant, Courts and me all excited and ready to hit that cove!

The purple line shows our route from our campsite to Bald Eagle Creek
The great thing about fishing with Dad this year was he let me sit in the front of the canoe while he sat in the back.  He likes to catch walleye, so he would let his line out and troll while he paddled.  This allowed me to fish without having to paddle, unless he got hung.  I was living the life of Riley up at the front!!

We rounded the first outcropping and turned into the big cove and I started fishing.  Dad had given me a hard time about bringing a big dip net I bought, because he said in all his trips he never brought a dip net.  I’m an optimist so I packed it in anyway.  The only problem with this net was the handle had a release button that had to be pushed to get it all the way out.  I had it in the canoe but I had not released the handle yet.  This would prove disastrous!!

Another major concern was my lure.  That morning when we were rigging our poles dad had me put on the red and white dare devil he caught his big northern with over 20 years ago.  I told him I didn’t want to use that one, because if I got hung and lost it, I would never hear the end of how I lost his best BW lure.  He insisted so reluctantly, I put it on while I said a prayer that God would not let me lose this lure.  

We fished about ½ mile along the shore as dad paddled, but had not caught anything.  We came to a small inlet that had two big rocks sticking out with some water in the middle between them.  It was the kind of spot I just knew a big fish was in.  I was a little worried about the cast because occasionally I would over cast and hit the rocks and dad would rib me for scratching the paint off his best lure.  

I carefully flipped the pole and made a great cast with the dare devil landing perfectly between the rocks where my dream fish was waiting.  Sure enough, WHAM, something hit that lure and the fight was on!  I started reeling him in not knowing how big or what kind of fish he was.  I could feel the front of the canoe pull to the right as he took a run out to open water.  Courts and Grant were also to our right and they watched the whole episode.

Just like the old days dad was coaching me and by this time I knew he was big.  He was getting closer to the canoe and dad said, “Wow, he is big you better get the net.”  As I was reaching behind me with one hand trying to grab the net he jumped out of the water and that’s when we could tell it was the biggest smally we had ever seen. The small mouth bass get big up there and they have a brilliant gold color to their bodies.  Even though it was a cloudy day I can still remember the brilliant shine to his scales as he leaped out of the water on the final jump.  

I was reaching for the net, he leaped, we saw how big he was, the hook came out and he was gone.  I just sat their staring at the now calm water that was being thrashed by my monster smally just a second ago.  It was so sad and it happened so fast.  Courts chimed in about how big he was and dad said, “Wow that would have been the fish of the trip, if you would have caught him.”

I just sat their disappointed gazing at the water, but after a few seconds I quickly made another cast between the rocks… nothing happened.  He was gone and I had missed my chance.  Of course, they now started ribbing me about my net not being ready and how I had let the state record smally off the hook.  I just kept quiet, kept casting and made sure the net was ready for the next one. 
I think I’ll finish this post later.  There was a lot of action on day three and it will take more than one post to cover it all.   

Thanks and God Bless,
Rod Jetton

Here is a short video of our campsite the first night.  You will hear Grant chopping in the background! ha ha