Deer Run Trail, By David R LewisNodaway Trail, by David R LewisOn the Calico Trail, by David R LewisOn the Payback Trail, by David R LewisOn the Ogallala Trail, by David R LewisOn the Killdeer Trail, by David R LewisOn the Cutthroat Trail, by David R LewisGlory Trail, by David R LewisEndless Journey Toward an Unknown Destination, by David R LewisIncidents Among the Savages, by David R LewisFear of the Father:  Call Me Crockett, by David R Lewis

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Float Your Boat

Can You Canoe?

Mammoth Spring, Arkansas is a small community near the Missouri state line.  Ozark-outbackian in nature, it has two claims to fame.  Number one, it is rumored to have been approached, many years ago, by entrepreneurs looking for a country site on which to launch a new venture in the music industry they were going to call “The Grand Ole Opry”.  The city fathers at the time decided that anonymity was a better deal than the possible influx of strangers from the outside world –  especially northerners – and turned the offer down.  The entrepreneurs, as we all know, then went to Tennessee.  Number two on the short list is the fact that Mammoth Spring is the home of Mammoth Spring, an immense cold-water spring that is truly mammoth.  Ratings vary, but it is safe to assume that the spring is one of two or three of the largest in the hemisphere, if not the world.  It is the beginning of the Spring River, one of my favorite places on the planet.

In the upper reaches of the river – the first 13 miles or so – the water is very cold and populated by trout, pickerel, small-mouth bass, a wide variety of flora and fauna, and canoeists.  With the exception of the aluminum variety, rampant on the river when I was living in that area several decades ago, canoes are quiet, slippery things that can maneuver through rocks and falls with wonderful alacrity and grace, sliding over gravel in shallow water with only a whisper, and able to allow passengers intimate views of riverbanks and the creatures that live there.  In those days at least, it was possible – even likely – that two people could beach a canoe on a sandbar and, while one built a small fire, the other could pick enough watercress and catch enough trout to have fish and salad for four in the time it took to get the fire going.  From boat to bite, 20 minutes.

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