Buffalo River 6 mile float and campout on the river from Tyler Bend put in to Gilbert take out.

July 26th - 27th, 2014.   We did this float a bit different.  Left from my house on Saturday morning drove to Tyler Bend 97 miles south of my house on 65 hwy.

Nice easy drive of 1 hour and 45 minutes and all asphault.   Meet up with the rest of our group there.  We unloaded and while we were shuttling the vehicles over to Gilbert the rest of the group got our gear down to the river.  It took about 38 minutes for the trip and we hit the water at around 11:00 am. 

I have never been on a river that had that many people floating before.  Hundreds of canoes and kayaks the outfitters were making a good living this day and I know it was a welcome income.  Often this time of the year the rivers get to low to float.  Thankfully 5 days before they got a 5" rain up stream and it raised the river level by 3 feet just 2 days before our float.  The river was still higher than normal and through the night it dropped about 1 foot. 

We had 15 in our group.  Rangers has a way of making bonds that last through the years.  In our group we had boys that started out in Rangers at the age of 10 now 25 years old.  We had leaders that now had Grandsons that are 13 years old.  We have Adventure age boys enjoying the challenges of floating and camping.  Right off the bat we had to hit a rope swing and it was fun to watch as the boys took the challenge.  The river current was moving pretty fast and to swim across the river would take you down stream farther than you thought it would.  We enjoyed taking it easy and just swimming, fishing and floating. 

At about 3:30 pm we hit the 4.5 mile mark in our float and chose a nice flat rock bar that had some firewood for our campsite.  A big bluff right across from us would block the morning sun and the shade was adequate and got more and more as the afternoon progressed.  5 of our group finished the float and stowed the kayaks in the trailer and locked it up and headed home after a fun 5 hour float.  I think a person could do this float in 3 hours easy if all they did was paddle. 

We sat up camp and dragged up firewood and the boys and leaders that had Arkansas permits fished.  The water was merky from the rain and we only caught one sun perch. 

We had a good time hanging out swimming and cooking around the campfire.  At about 9 pm I had the council fire service and asked each person 10 of us to give us their favorite scripture verse and why.  We shared around the fire and enjoyed the ministry that God had for us there. 

Sunday morning 7 am everyone was up and cooking around the fire.  The sun was blocked by the cliff and I encouraged everyone to break camp while it was cool.

Rob brought the morning service as I cooked hot donuts with powdered sugar being passed around the campfire while he spoke.  We broke camp at 9:00 am and floated about 45 minutes to the truck loaded up and headed home.  Stopped in Harrison for a lunch break at the visitors center and through the frizby and then got home at about 1:00 pm.  A very nice relaxing trip and special thanks to Jim and Julie for the use of their canoes and the fun fellowship they brought to the float.

Mark Jones.   Click on a picture for a larger view.

The current was faster than it looks

4 canoes and 7 kayaks

River was merky due to 5" of rain a few days before

Group break on sand bar

David jacketing on


Group shot hang out.

some guys are made for the river

Jim and Julie Baggie Omlets

Slept out on the river bank

Young men take great pride in their gear.

I love hanging out around the camp fire.

No sun burns for me. I had it covered.

Guess who cleaning up after breakfast

Boys cooking their own food

Base Camp on the river bank

A bunch of buzzards