Larry's Short Stories

Walking Two Miles of Creek

The rubber boots are a requirement, my handgun is optional – S&W M-65, 357 Magnum, with Bianchi 5BHL Holster.
The rubber boots are a requirement, my handgun is optional – S&W M-65, 357 Magnum, with Bianchi 5BHL Holster.

There’s an interesting creek I like to walk a couple of times a year, looking for arrowheads - if my schedule allows. This is normally a few days after a heavy rain washes the leaves away, reshapes the gravel bars and turns over some root balls – hopefully exposing a few new rocks. My access to this creek is just below its source, on both ends of a large farm bounded by county roads, with a couple of low-water crossings in the middle.

It’s a creek, not a river, winding its way through two miles of fields and woods, headed to the Missouri River. The floor is perhaps 20-30 feet wide and the banks maybe 15-20 feet. The bottom is sandy, with occasional gravel bars; some places are easy walking, but other parts are like an obstacle course. The total drainage is huge, but it doesn’t run year-round and you can walk it in knee boots, once the water goes down.

The creek divides into three sections, with low-water crossings serving as dividers. I’ve walked each of these, but never in one day or even during the same season – “my time” and the “right time” just didn’t

In six and one half hours, over three mornings and covering about two miles of creek, I found these twelve pieces.
In six and one half hours, over three mornings and covering about two miles of creek, I found these twelve pieces.

fit together. So, logically it became a “bucket list” item – walk the entire length in one day, looking for arrowheads.

But, there were two problems; first, I didn’t have a full day to give – the job, you know. Second, it’s important to stay focused when looking for arrowheads, which requires a high energy level and a mind that doesn’t wander. I knew my mind would wander over that much time; there had to be another way.

It had been a wet spring and summer; the creeks never had a chance to clear up before the next rains came. Finally we got a dry spell and three mornings in a row were open on my calendar. This was my chance, and perhaps my only chance, before the falling leaves covered the ground.

Each morning for three days, I drove to the top of a section, unloaded my 4-wheeler, rode it to the lower end, put on my boots and pitched into the creek. For the next two hours or so each morning, it was just me and the creek bed; what a wonderful break. I found a few rocks and crossed one more item off my bucket list.

This is the last rock of my first day, as I first saw it, and after lifting it out, cleaning it up and putting it back in the same spot.
This is the last rock of my first day, as I first saw it, and after lifting it out, cleaning it up and putting it back in the same spot.
Larry's Short Stories