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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