The May 15 – 17 weekend's “leaderless adventure” TN Buffalo river overnighter trip was attended by Charles Neikirk, Teresa Tilton, Igor Veksler, Paul Beebe, Mary Jackson, Jill Norvell, Ken Joerger, Rick Watkins and Peetey (Mary’s Dachshund pup).
We floated from Texas Bottoms to a Crazy Horse, a distance of 21 miles. The group arrived at the Crazy Horse campground Friday night for a great evening of food and fellowship. The Crazy Horse shuttled us up river to Texas Bottoms. The put-in was somewhat challenging where our boats and gear had to be carried over large boulders into the water. We were finally on the water at 11 AM, made several stops along the way to have lunch and rest and end up floating about 16 miles until we found a good gravel bar to camp on.
Teresa cooked dinner for us both Friday and Saturday and it was excellent. Saturday night we gathered around the campfire, exchanged great stories and memories, observed a fast-moving satellite in the night sky and enjoyed the company while placing emphasis on social distancing.
Along the way we saw the occasional snakes, cows and lots of turtles. One of the turtles was hung on the a fishing dropline, many along the banks, and had to be rescued. But the greatest treat was spotting a bald eagle sitting not far from his giant nest, talking to what appeared to be a young eagle. Peetey, the “River Guide” took frequent jumps in the river, right out of Mary’s kayak, which made the trip even more entertaining (sort of). He friended Igor on the second leg of the Saturday’s paddle and all day Sunday, and both enjoyed each other’s the company.
On Sunday we broke camp and floated the remaining 5 miles to Crazy Horse. We were off the river and on our way home well before noon.
The report came from Charles, Jill (two trip’s co-organizers) with added thoughts by Igor Veksler.