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Finding Sunlight

Silver Mines

October 11
December 4
January 8
March 12
I wandered down Missouri D Road in Madison County and discovered Silver Mines, where the St. Francis River runs over hard rhyolite rocks. Missourians call it a "shut-in." Between Tiemann Shut-in upstream and the low-water footbridge at Silver Mines the river drops sixty feet over the course of 2.3 miles. It's a wild ride and kayakers love it. They put in at Tiemann, slalom through the Big Drop, the Cat's Paw, the Double Drop, and the Rickety-Rack; rest in the slow water between Mud Creek and Turkey Creek; negotiate a willow jungle before facing the Silver Mines dam. If the river is up and the eight-foot dam is submerged, they portage around it to avoid the hazardous "pourover." If not, they steer through a breach in the dam and through the the rocks at Silver Mines. The ride ends in quiet water near a low-water bridge.