Our 7th Buffalo River Canoe Trip was memorable as always.  We left Plano at 6:00 am the day after school got out, made the drive to Silver Hill, AR.  After waiting for a huge thunderstorm to pass we loaded our equipment into canoes at the Grinder’s Ferry access and managed to get a couple miles down the river.   The thunderstorm put us a little behind schedule, forcing us to make camp at a different gravel bar than planned but it worked out well, as usual.  More rain and lightning drenched our camp but after supper we got a fire going and finally got to relax.  What a day!

Our itinerary took us from Grinder’s Ferry (Hwy 65) to Dillard’s Ferry (Hwy 14) – a comfortable 25 mile float.  This wasn’t the longest float in T221 history but with falling water levels it was just right.  The troublesome thunderstorms we’d experienced the day before raised the water level about 9″, which was just enough to make our floating easy and fun.  Not too much paddling, no dragging bottom on the shoals.  As in everything we do in T221 we try to find a life lesson and the rain, which was a beat down to moral the day before, turned into a blessing with some of the easiest floating water we’ve had on this section of river.  The lesson wasn’t lost on the boys or the adults.

24 boys were divided into 3 patrols and 7 adults rounded out the adult patrol.  A crew of 31 meant we’d have 15 canoes and 1 kayak.  The older boys, with river experience, got to trade out using the kayak.  We carried everything we’d need to spend 3 nights and 4 days on the river.  Along with food, we had 4 large tents, a couple of smaller tents, a single bivy, fire-building and cooking gear and lots of water.

After the opening day’s storms the weather was outstanding; sunny and 84 degrees during the day and 55-60 at night.  As usual we had some great campfires, told stories, and enjoyed relaxing in some of the most beautiful scenery Arkansas has to offer.

Our last night on the river, with no sign of rain, the boys decided to sleep under the stars.  It was quite a sight to see a half dozen tarps thrown down on the gravel with boys and sleeping bags piled onto them.  If you’ve never slept under the stars then you are missing one of life’s unique treats!  This spontaneous departure from “the plan” of sleeping in tents is what puts the “Adventure” in our logo.  The boys were rewarded with a cool evening, no rain, and some beautiful fog the next morning when they opened their eyes.

With no tents to tear down and pack away we were on the river in record time Tuesday morning.  After a short walk up Water Creek, and taking a dip in a very cold “swimmin hole” we floated another 45 minutes before exiting the river at Dillard’s Ferry.  After waiting for the canoe outfitter to bring their bus and our troop trailer with Mr. Buercklin’s truck we drove back to Silver Hill to collect our vehicles then headed to our campground in Mountain View.  After setting up camp and running thru some much-needed showers, we headed to Jo-Jo’s Catfish Wharf.  As usual, after dinner half the boys played basketball and the other half took a spin on the merry go round (we call it the wheel of hurl).  From there, we drove into town for ice cream and folk music on the square.  As is our tradition, we sang the crawdad song for the crowd and got to visit with a handful of old-time scouters.

The BRCT is a special part of our troop and keeping this tradition alive is a priority for us.  The unique adventure, incredible scenery, and pertinent life lessons are just too great to forgo.  Another great trip is in the books and we are already looking forward to next year’s adventure.