Saturday, August 10, 2013

Expedition Ends in Failure

Our late summer attempt at complete navigation and inspection of the Jordan/Fassnight/Wilson's Creek waterway within the city of Springfield Missouri has ended in disappointment, as we were unable to complete our objectives within the allotted two week window.  We now will examine the events that led to its failure in hopes of greater success in the future:

On Monday, July 29th Ranger E and myself began our urban exploration of the first three miles of Jordan Creek in downtown Springfield, starting at its underground headwaters at Main and Water Street. Our goal that day was to reach the the Bennet Street bridge less than 400 meters from the confluence of Jordan and Fassnight Creek at the head of Wilson's Creek, but unforeseen complications delayed our start until late that afternoon.  Despite a late start we were able to reach Bridge number K420 near the intersection of College Street and Kansas Expressway by 5:30 pm.  



Unfortunately, it was there that we encountered our second complication.  We had planned to resupply at Hillbilly Bill's Trading post, but discovered that it was closed on Mondays. Deciding to continue, we were able to quickly reach the Catalpa Street bridge by 6 pm.  It was near this time that we received our third, most perilous development - a call to return to base.  Weather reports indicated  approaching storms and we were well aware of the potential for these waterways to experience dangerous flash floods.  Due to these concerns, we returned to the Catalpa bridge and ended our journey for the day.  This proved to be a wise decision, as Springfield has experienced steady rain and flash flooding in the days since. 




We want to reiterate that the exploration of urban waterways should NEVER be conducted during rainy conditions.  Even an average thunderstorm can lead to perilous situations for those who are not well equipped or prepared to heed warnings.

Although we saw plentiful wildlife, including two Midland Water Snakes and a Yellow Crowned Night Heron, we were unable to spot any evidence of the Elusive Urban Skunk Ape, nor were conditions at that time suitable for Monster Catfish.  Rising water levels may have significantly changed these conditions, though, and we plan to continue our expedition when weather and schedules permit.  In the meantime, we have taken our search to higher ground, as we will describe in our next post...

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