I have floated everything floatable on the black river from where the river is just a trickle down to the corps of engineers camp at the hiway K bridge and it is always a good float.
I too have two *cheap* inflatable kaykas http://www.sevylor.com/canoes_3.html K79 Tahiti classic. and float the way you describe. Find a spot to put in, and take out and go. Easy to do with the inflatables but with a hard boat the logistics get a bit harder.
For those folks with their own boats, I have also floated the section that SLAGA has selected for the trip several times. and twice in the last 2 weeks. The 10 mile float puts in at "butts slab", it is a low water bridge. That will give us 6 miles on the COURTOIS, about 1.5 miles on the Huzzah and 1.5 on the Meramec rivers. That is a long ride in any inflatable as they move slower than a canoe. When the water is low like 2 weeks ago, the courtois is pretty painfully tedious because of so many dry spots. 2 weeks ago everyone pretty much walked the canoes and rafts down the courtois. More water pickes up when the Huzzah adds in and more still when the Meramec adds in. Last week, with all the rain, the Courtois looed like it picked up about 2 inches of water and the river looked doable. Still we put in at the "Scotia" conservation access and things were lovely.
The cache that is along the river is 0.6 mile UPSTREAM from the "courtois primitive camp" access. (this is where we always put in for floating, 5 miles takes 5 hours and by then, i want to be done) and it is 5 miles DOWNSTREAM from "butts slab". (I drove to this cache and never saw the river. It's doable but not recommended, see my log)
Bottom line of all this... unless you want a *really long* day on the river, I would only recommend canoes for the 10 mile run. It would be 10 hours by raft (give or take). The last 3 or 4 trips I averaged about 1 mile/hour in the inflatable. Canoes can easily double that (or tripled if motivated) even with the river being *very* crowed.
For folks that *really* want to float a raft or the SOAR inflatable canoe http://www.soar1.com/soar_16.htm (the SOAR would be my choice, it's a very nice stable boat) you could give the others a head start, they could put in at the 10 mile float, inflateables could wait at the courtois primitive access (0.6 from downstream cache and 5 miles downstream from the other canoes), listen on the raidoes for the big group to get close and in the meantime walk upstream to the cache.
At 03:50 PM 7/20/2005, joe wrote:
I did alittle of the river before, as I parked at the MDC area and someone was nice enough to give me a ride upstream, and quickly put in (I got 2 inflatable kayaks... stil got to re-register them though)
Yeah I know I am a Cheapee. My GPS is the most expensive thing I own.... LOL (refering to Mid-Grade quality-garmin Etrex legend)