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Recon on the River

“Not all treasure is silver and gold mate” – Captain Jack Sparrow

Most recon missions begin on a river clean up or perhaps a leisurely paddle on the river. All recon missions are an adventure and are challenging especially on a clean up when the purpose is to get trash off the river.  We have had our fair share of wondering “how the heck are we going to get that boat out of the tree and back to the put in?”

Some items you really don’t expect to find on the river like Santa and all of his reindeer.  The reindeer didn’t make it back though (not enough hands) or a refrigerator (which we hesitantly opened as we have seen one too many episodes of Bones–neither human or animal remains were found just a bunch of melted  push-pops).  Other items you do expect like tires, flip flops and an occasional basketball. With any item except for trash its kinda fun to think about where it came from and how it got there…like really Santa how did you and your reindeer find their way on the Saline River?  What went wrong there Rudolph?

One particular recon started as a leisurely paddle up the river on the SUP boards.  Michael and I paddled about a half a mile up river from our house to a gravel island.  We explored it for a bit.  Then we ferried across the river to another gravel island and explored it.  Here is where we found the refrigerator.  We discussed for about 10 minutes if we should open it.   Both the freezer and refrigerator handles were tied together.  We came to the conclusion that if it were our remains in the refrigerator that we would want us to open it so we could have a proper burial; well and catch the rotten scum who put us there.  ANYWAYS, the serious conversations you have when you find a refrigerator on the river.

After solving that mystery we continued to explore the island and came up on this HUGE piece of wood leaned up against a tree.  Instantly I thought kitchen table and wondered if we could get this thing home?  This was a 6 by 14 ft massive piece of wood.  And not really sure what it is, was used for or how the heck it ended up there.  For the story’s sake we will call it a bridge because we think it may have been used for big trucks to drive over to not get stuck in gravel beds. So the recon mission begins…

IMG_0111 Recon day 1–It took 5 people 4 hours, a come-a-long, ropes, chains and levers to move the bridge onto the ground and 4 ft.

Recon day 2–It took 4 people another 4 hours, a come-a-long, ropes, chains and levers to get the bridge in the water (all the while assuming this would float).  So it floated; sort of…2 people really couldn’t stand on it together unless they were at opposite ends otherwise it would go under.  So it’s in the water…we have to get it a half a mile down the river back to the house.  This half a mile down the river comes with one tricky turn in the river and a strainer (tree down in the river).

So we have ropes attached to the bridge and 3 of us are on the opposite side of the river pulling the bridge as close to the bank as possible around the bend and through the current.  Next obstacle is the strainer in the middle of a very swift current and narrow pass (like I’m not thinking the bridge is gonna make it).  There are now 5 of us (Cohen has joined us) holding onto the rope on the other side of the first island pulling it as close to the bank as possible… SUCCESS!  Now the paddle home. Check this video out.  Down the river

IMG_0115

 

 

IMG_0116So Captain Jack (the dog) and Co-captain Michael make the trek on the bridge home.  Michael had the trolling motor hooked onto the bridge and they started home.  Well remember when I said 2 people really couldn’t stand on it without it sinking…this was true for a dog as well.  So seriously the two floated home and it looked like the opening scene on Pirates of the Caribbean when Jack Sparrow ported his boat. Check this video out-pardon the loppiness. All hands on deck mate

So it is home and disassembled and will be a kitchen table soon.  There is opportunity for more recon missions as the refrigerator still needs to get off the river as well as many tires, part of a porta-potty and some 55 gallon drums.  We will post when we plan to do a clean up and if you are up for an adventure join us…you never know what you are going to find on the river.  ACC BOATR (Arkansas Canoe Club Black Ops Advanced Trash Removal) is another clean up crew follow this link to check them out.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/684199948368763/

With that said please don’t litter the river!!!  Follow this link to the AR State Boating Laws. http://www.agfc.com/fishing/Pages/BoatingPaddling.aspx#1

 

See ya on the river!

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