I’ve done this float a hand-full of times now and it’s definitely one that you need to time just right. We used a 4-seater fiberglass Johnboat each time and when the water was lower, the bottom of the boat started to drag along the bottom.
We drove to a bridge that crosses the river in Valley Head. After dragging the boat down the small hill and through the overgrown brush, we put in just below the bridge. The water is immediately knee high and quickly gets deeper.
If you look at the floor of the river, you’ll notice that you’re floating over all sorts of interesting things – old pipes, pieces of foundations, oil barrels, and- most surprisingly- an entire car. The river is blocked in with trees on both sides for most of the float.
But you’ll pass by plenty of cowfields and meadows, as well. The river takes a few twists and turns, but never turns to any rapids or whitewater. At one point, you’ll pass a long row of vintage cars- we assume they were put there for erosion control way-back-when. Somehow I’ve never gotten a photo of these cars, though.
You will have to brave a small dam, however. Beside the camp closer to Dailey, there’s a small dam across the river. It’s only a few feet tall – easily navigated by a kayak. This area does make for a nice swimming spot- unless the campers are using their area, in which case you may find them bathing in the river.
We did, however, decide to get out and pull rather than try to take the johnboat over the dam (as you can tell, it’s seen many adventures in its day.) The rest of the float is relatively uneventful. As you near the Burnt Bridge and the Back Road near Dailey, the water becomes very shallow. This is a good spot to take out – there’s a wide parking area right before Back Road joins the main highway and it’s not too steep of an incline to get there.
Before we ended our float, we were greeted at one of the fields by a tree who says “Yo.”