An RV Trip to go River Paddling

Written by on August 27, 2013 in Laura Robinson, People & Places with 14 Comments
Here I come!

Here I come!

I was sitting around last week, thinking, “Hey! I don’t really have anything planned the next couple of weeks, how about a quickie trip up to Iowa or something?” Then I got an email from my friend, Barb, who is an expert canoeing fiend from way back, inviting me on a trip to the Buffalo National Scenic River this last week.  I got home a couple of hours ago.

We started about 5 hours southeast of Kansas City, in northern Arkansas.  Barb, Kerry and I had caravanned down and arrived at Tyler Bend campground at the middle Buffalo about 4 o’clock and met Jim, another paddler from the KC area. We all got acquainted, set up camp, had supper and strategized for the morning.

I bought my Canak, as I call it, about 3 years ago. It is a 12 ft, Native Watercraft, Tegris recreational kayak. It has a kayak hull but open on top like a canoe. It’s very stable in the water, which is a good thing considering what a rookie I am.  The other good thing – it only weighs 35 pounds!  I can carry it with one hand tied behind my back, literally.  It has taken a bit of a beating (I’ve gotten stuck on submerged trees, hit rocks, dragged it over sand and gravel and dropped it) but it still looks sharp, due to the very strong material invented by the manufacturer. There are all sorts of floatable things available, including inflatable kayaks that are easier to transport, but I love my little boat.

Free camping on the river.

Free camping on the river.

I wondered how I was going to do this with Olga, my Roadtrek. I used to go canoeing, and tent camp, by car with a top rack. (I enjoyed it very much, but I’m sort of over tent camping now; spoiled by my RV.)  I realized that the Canak might just fit inside! So I measured and knelt down to the god of  Sizes and by golly it worked!  I lower the bed in the back, open the back doors and slide it in on its side, over the bed and right down the aisle. She goes to about the end of the bathroom so I can still use the side door and even open the fridge a bit to get a cold drink while traveling. I put a blanket over the bed and also one where it leans on the cabinets so nothing gets scratched or dirty, and Voila!

Right down the middle

Right down the middle

I don’t need to take my gold tuille evening gown, tiara, satin slippers and all that fancy-schmancy stuff when I am canoeing.  Basically shorts, t-shirts and sandals so there is plenty of room for my paddles, life jacket, etc…  The first time I did this, about 2 years ago, it was my very first trip in my brand new RV and I even had a passenger.  We fit everything in just fine- her canoe came down with Barb.

When I get to a campsite, I just unload the canoe and put it outside. If I worry about someone filching it, I have a bike lock that can attach to the trailer hitch.  I can’t haul canoes back and forth, but I have carried 6 other paddlers so I felt good that I could chip in with shuttling duties.

I belong to the Ozark Waterways Wilderness Club, which was founded decades ago to keep the Buffalo River in Arkansas from being dammed, and eventually was also instrumental in the river becoming a National Park and Scenic Waterway.

We paddled 2 days on the Buffalo and 1 day on the north fork of the White River.  Kerry left and we met 5 other people for 2 days on the Eleven Point.  Then back down to me, Barb and Jim for 1day at the head waters of the Current which was a bit tricky as it is narrower with lots of trees down due to heavy rains and recent flooding.

Over 50 miles and 5 campgrounds, some of which were free.  3 of the rivers are National Scenic Waterways and all were gorgeous. Most were spring fed so the water was nice and cold making paddling comfortable and swimming refreshing!

One of the many springs.

One of the many springs.

We visited many of the springs- incredibly blue and green water and some with remnants of old mills.  Lots of trout, herons, kingfishers and eagles and otters.  Much of this was in the Mark Twain National Forest- home to plentiful wildlife, caves, trails, lakes and rivers.

There are loads of campgrounds and accesses, but not a lot of showers if you’re doing state and national. No problem for me with the Roadtrek!  I also cooked up some great, hot dinners for some of the other tent campers with my groovy kitchen.  And I was glad to shuttle folks back and forth over rougher roads that big RV’s wouldn’t handle.

All in all, a fantastic week and I didn’t dump my Canak even once!!!!!



Be informed about the latest RV and motorhome news!
Get insider tips on how to make more money from your blog Get insider tips on how to make the most out of your RV and motorhome travel, plus the very latest RV news compiled by journalist Mike Wendland and emailed directly to you. as well as how to bring thousands of new visitors to your blog for free
We respect your privacy. Your information will not be shared with any third party and you can unsubscribe at any time

Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

About the Author: Laura Robinson is a photographer and writer from Missouri and loves to travel in her Roadtrek RS Adventurous motorhome with her dog Ruka. She's also a naturalist and birder and says she plans on touring until she can't see over the steering wheel. .

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Pinterest Connect on Google Plus Connect on Flickr Connect on LinkedIn Connect on YouTube

14 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. Laura H Postema says:

    Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Jacquie Neale says:

    My husband would like to know how you get into the bathroom while on the road??

  3. Sandy says:

    What a wonderful trip.gave me great info about a place I knew nothing about.it sounds and looks gorgeous..thanks for sharing

  4. Cheryl Gregorie says:

    Fun! Thanks for sharing. Our RTs can handle just about anything!

  5. Laura Robinson says:

    Jacquie, I don’t use the bathroom on the road, I just stop at gas stations or restaurants.
    Also, I forgot to mention that there are plenty of outfitters if you don’t want to bring your own boats. But if you do, and can’t do your own shuttling, you can pay them to do it for you.

  6. Nancy says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun.

  7. Pam Hicks says:

    What a wonderful trip!
    Our RT’s are truely all purpose dream machines – I was able to get two hardshell kayacks over the lowered rear bed & down the aisle of my 170, using several fleece blankets as protection for the cabinets & fridge :-)

  8. Pam Hicks says:

    oooops…..sorry for the “kayak” typo – that’s embarassing!

  9. I have a place on the river in Van Buren. Live it

  10. Edna Plett says:

    Jenni Engelbrecht

  11. will have to check if my kayak will fit in my RV. I need to measure how long my kayak is first. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Subscribe to our mailing list

Top
Invalid query: 1146: Table 'roadtrek_forum.wp_elbp_optin_options' doesn't exist