November 6th, 2009 Buffalo River from Ponca to Kyles Landing.  5.5 hour float depending on the river and what you do.

Click on a picture to get a larger view. Lots of pictures found at bottom of the report.

The weekend following the territorial was the only weekend available by my work schedule. The night before we were to leave got a phone call from a Ranger Commander up north and he said he was interested in going. When I called him back at 8:00 am on Friday morning he indicated he wouldn't be coming with us.

So Commander Batchman and myself were all that was going. (it wasn't pushed as a RR event as my son said he was staying in this weekend) So off we headed out. I met Rob at his work. He works in sales at Sight n Sound Theater in Branson and had a record crowd. It was busy. Every parking spot full and 23 tour busses. "Noah's Ark". We loaded up his stuff and headed out. Pitch dark.

2 hours later, got down to Kyle's Landing unloaded had the fire going just about to make coals for steaks and here comes Commander Mike and his 7 year old son walking into camp. We were surprised they were there and that they found us as the park was full of campers and canoes and kayakers.

We enjoyed a night of cooking and fellowship and talking and camping. Hit the sack about 11:45 pm. It was a perfect night. Stars were out and the temperature was perfect.

Next morning bacon and eggs, biscuits, fried potatoes, hot chocolate. 9:15 broke camp loaded up and headed over 12 miles to put in the kayaks. Mike shared with us about how the Lord had used him and his Pastor Dad to pray over a deacons son that had been away from God for many many years using a prayer shawl. I told Mike. We like to put God in a box and say he can or can't do this or that...yet He can do what ever He wants to He is Lord of Lord and King of Kings. Lord provided Mike to relay the vehicle with his son so that saved us 40.00 dollars. We showed Mike a couple of great trails he could take with his son that would be perfect for them short yet scenic.

So at 10:15 am we started the float. The river was busy with floaters, hikers, kayaks. The views can't be described. Big Bluffs at every turn. Lite rapids that would give you a good soaking. We were blessed we didn't flip...yet we passed by others that were soaked when they did flip.
Lots of great rapids every 10 minutes or so the whole trip. We got off on a few explorations up some cascading waterfalls and hiked up a little ways. We say a bald eagle in a tree, hawks, deer, horses, fish, squirrels and folk loving the out of doors.

Made it back to the truck about 3:30. I just got a newer truck and had a key stowed on the truck. It wouldn't unlock the door. I tried for about 10 minutes. Rob tried for about 10 minutes. I was close to calling my wife 2 hours away and have her bring a key or busting out the back window... Rob prayed in faith to open that door. He tried again. He told the lord God you tell me to trust you and I am trusting you for this to unlock this door.. click. The door opened with the key. (You can imagine our praises to the Lord) We even testified to some folk next vehicle over of God's intervention. This was a major faith building as that key wasn't working.

We made it back home after stopping for some Mexican food and unloaded for a perfect over night event.

This was probably one of the best weekends of the year as far as perfect weather and fun. We took lots of pictures. Will post them as soon as I get them.

Mark Jones

Put in at Ponca

Just enough water to make it through

Bluffs all around

Hamming it up

Big Bluff. Trail that cuts along 3/4 up of this Bluff

Folk hiking in from Centerpoint Trail

Foundation up on hill of old cabin

Cascaiding Water Falls Keep going on and on

A Bald Eagle with a Big White Neck He was huge!

As the days go by.  It's always good to go for a float or a backpack.  The Glory of God is declared boldly by his creation.