April 3rd and 4th Easter weekend 2015.  Temps low of 31 for early Saturday morning.  High of 64 during the sunny day's float.  No wind except for the occasional gust while floating through the Buffalo River Valley.

Youtube video of the fun and highlights.   Click on a picture for a larger view. 

Our group consisted of mainly adults this year.  David Yonke, Lee Hildebrand, Philip Antin, Jacob McGuire, Matthew Yonke, Jonathan Yonke and Kristopher Hildebrand.  In the other vehicle Mark Jones, Marshall Jones, Sam Brush, Rob Batchman and Davis Tolbert.   All I can say is those of you that missed out...missed out.  We had a great time.  The River level was at 15 at the Ponca River Bridge.  There was several days of rain in the area but we found the trails pretty dry and the camping real good. 

The days leading up to the event were cold.  So it's to be expected for many to opt out to stay home.  I have found that even if you go out in less than perfect conditions the rewards out weigh staying at home. 

Our group met at in Ozark at 5:30 pm and then drove to Harrison, Arkansas and picked up Phillip at the airport.  Soon we were heading down the 3 mile drive down a bumpy dirt road down to the Kyles landing.  We left our vehicles and boats and headed off into the woods for a nice easy backpack of 1 mile in.  At the trail crossings near Indian Creek and the BRT we base camped down close to the Buffalo River and Indian Creek intersection.  It was a perfect night. A full moon.  A big fire and a full moon and loads of food was cooked and shared.  My chicken noodle soup was delightful.  Yet that famed Yonke steak came around the fellowship of backpackers and we all tasted the art of cooking outside.  YUM!  Marshall and Sam cooked up some tinfoil packs that were mighty tasty as well. 

10:30 pm we had a late council fire service and Rob brought the ripple effect and the story of penicillin and just how many lives are touched by a intentional act of kindness and how the Gospel can be shared through being intentional.  Every day we need to strive to touch someone for the Glory of God.  Several testified around the fire of things they had done and experienced.  A good time of sharing and encouraging. 

Just as the service was concluding we were met by 3 guys with beers in their hands and 4 dogs.  Little did we know they would once again come by camp at midnight many sheets into the wind and stop and talk loudly for quite a while. I was closest to the trail and after quite a while I said "Hey guys how about cutting us some slack, we are trying to sleep over here".  In the wee hours of the night we herd 8 gun shots up the trail and we felt like we needed to have a good loud service for these guys early on Saturday morning.  GRIN!  Shout a few Halleluiah's and shoot off a couple of rounds.... go figure.  This was a good example of why it's really stupid to drink.  These guys just get dumber and dumber.

The sun came up and we had a beautiful morning.  31 degrees for a low but it didn't feel that cool.  As always David and I were first up and it wasn't long before we had a grand fire and breakfast was on it's way. 

Morning devotion was quick and easy.  At 9:30 am we backpacked out and were on the road heading to Steel Creek for the put in.  At 10:35 am we were on the water and enjoying a perfect early Easter float.  Water brought a gasp when it hit you.  We all did a great job staying dry all morning. 

Lunch on the River Bank just down stream from big bluff.  As we ate lunch there was a slow stream of floaters passing by.  The river was at moderate level and there was plenty of water which made the float easy and really enjoyable.  The water was cold enough none were swimming in it until after 1pm ish.

At Hemmed in Hallow we enjoyed a 50 minute hike and I played security over the boats while the rest of the group hiked on.  They enjoyed the short trip.  I enjoyed the easy time and visited with several folks as they came in and left from the falls. 

Well we had no flips and we even had more white water than before.  Yet the day wouldn't go past with out one quick fill of a canoe.  It's part of the fun.  No one hopes it's them but in the end it adds to the fun and experience of the trip.  One quickly gets a lot of respect for the river once they are bound by the flow of the water and it determines just where you go.  All part of it and it's a good experience to share.  Over all this was a real quick float we got back early and it taught me that I can really never know just how long a float will take...it all depends on how many folks need a dunking. GRIN!

Click on a picture for a larger view.

Base camp at Indian Creek and BRT

Master Chef

Opps put the wet suit on backwards..hello

Put in at Steel Creek already saw one flip.

Moderate River Level at 15"

Hero Award Earner

Lunch just down from Big Bluff

3 canoes and 6 kayaks

Hike up to Hemmend in Hallow Falls

A spectacualair Waterfall

Sam and Marsh

Marshalls new ultra cool tarp

Good friends are a treasure

Getting air in a canoe!

Ramming Speed

Waters out now to pick my son!

Ready for anything!

enough wood for all morning breafast

Choping Wood