Friday, July 31, 2009

State Park Expeditions on the Water

For folks who love to be out on the water, but do not own a boat, Bull Shoals/White River State Park offers several options: One can rent their own boat and motor to take them anywhere the river goes; one can rent canoes and kayaks to paddle yourself to your heart's desire, or one can go on a guided boat ride where all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the scenery. That's exactly what I did one afternoon this week, with BS/WR State Park's very own "Papa Bill" as the operator of what he referred to as "The Cadillac of River Boats" that the park uses not only for rescue purposes, but also for tours of the river. Besides me and Papa Bill, there was a couple in the front of the flat bottom boat, who were serving in the park as volunteers. So our group of four "river rats" set out on an eight-mile trip down the White River. ( Even though it was a hot July afternoon, the cool shoals in some parts of the river, combined with the speed of the boat, made it actually chilly, so a light jacket might come in handy) A river trip gives you the opportunity to see "the other side of the coin", so to speak, of things that you normally see from the land side, such as Gaston's Resort (upper left photo), as well as glimpses of resorts you had no idea were there, because they are not visible from the main road (middle photo). There is an opportunity to see wildlife, like the crane in the upper right photo, as well as deer, foxes, blue herons, and of course--fish! You also get to see more of those gray limestone bluffs the Ozarks is famous for (lower left), as well as the river side views of BS/WR State Park campground (lower right). The trip lasted about two hours, and the friendliness and knowledge of our guide made it quite enjoyable.
On the lake side of BS/WR State Park, guided cruises are also offered in a lovely new pontoon boat, purchased by the park for just such a reason. You meet up with those cruises at Bull Shoals Boat Dock. The boat dock is famous for its school. That would be "school of carp", that surround the entry ramp, always eager to be fed. It is a very enjoyable thing to do, while waiting for your cruise to start---or , worth a trip all by itself, especially for the little kids! (See photos below) One can buy small bags of fish food at the boat dock.
The pontoon holds about ten people, and is skippered by Park Volunteer of the Year "Captain Chuck" (lower left). Besides the family of five that sat together in the back, there were five of us in the front of the boat, two of which are pictured in the lower right photo. The cruise started at 7 pm, and after cruising down to the dam, by the scenic bluffs (upper left), Ozark Isle, and other points of interest, Captain Chuck had us in perfect position to enjoy a magnificent sunset over Bull Shoals Lake. For the schedule of cruises, and fee information, contact the park at 870-445-3629 or email I had such gratitude in my heart for my many blessings on this day, plus seeing that gorgeous sunset, reminded me of the Bible verse that says "For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down. . . My name shall be great among the nations, " says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:11 I pray that you will have miles of smiles from the rising of the sun, even to its going down! Tricia
Posted by Picasa