Missouri and Northwest Arkansas are known throughout the world for our rivers. As locals, we sometimes never pay attention to the fact that we only float the rivers within a short driving distance. Having friends on the 11 Point River about 3 hours from Springfield it was finally time to get outside of our bubble and visit this beautiful river. With a simple Facebook Post I posted the first annual Float Trip Road Trip on the 11 Point river and within a couple of days, we had over 15 people interested in going. As the day came to head out to the river I was looking at the weather feeling pretty bummed about it because the 11 Point is spring-fed and there is nothing better than jumping into that river on a hot day. But I knew it was not going to be the case. Though it was not cold temperature-wise, with rain falling and temps in the 70's it was not the hot sunny day we wanted but we made the best of it. By the time we got to Hufstedler's Canoe rental, there had already been a couple of groups checked in and set up at campsites. I kind of did a mental tally and we had around 20 or 22 people for the float. Not bad for an event posted a month prior with a bunch of people that had never met each other. Good attitudes and great vibes brought this group of people together to enjoy of the coolest "no Pun intended" rivers in the area.
Rains during the week aided in making the river rise and the normal crystal clear water were mucked up with shoreline runoff turning it into a river of chocolate milk. Even though it was a bummer the river is still epically beautiful and once we hit Boze Mill some of the folks new to the 11 Point got a taste of why we love this river so much.
On top of the beauty of the river is the outfitter we use, which happens to be good friends of ours. Hufstedler's Canoe Rental is a family ran outfitter on the 11 Point will primitive camping, electric hookups, and cabins. The Grounds have a full shower house and bathrooms "Ain't no hole dug in the ground here". They are clean and have hot water which is nice after a long day on the river. Mike, Wendy, Karlie and the rest of the crew run a tight shuttle service, we were actually picked up at 11am on the dot. They have a full general store with Canoes, Rafts, and Kayaks. Wendy and Karlie even decided to float with us, this is awesome because they are amazing at pointing out cool little spots on the river and giving you the full guide experience. Even the property at Hufstedler's offers something kind of scenic. There is the Original Hufstedler's family house on the property which we camped right next to. We are told it was one of the first houses that had electricity in the county and it was built in the early 1800's. To some it is a form of Rob Zombie horror movie type house, to others it is a piece of history not very many people know about unless you camp at Hufstedler's
Needless to say, good friendships were revisited, good friendships were had and made for the first annual Float Trip Road Trip - 11 Point River. We will be making this an annual event and next year we might add some entertainment or prizes or something to the trip and of course, bring more paddlers to support local outfitters and friends.
Mike, Wendy, and Karlie Jones
All of Hufstedler's hilarious and efficient crew
Everyone that came to our float....