Saturday, 27 May 2017

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River Trips

Get out there and Explore!

While you're here visiting us this summer, don't forget that there is more things to do than just hang out at the resort! This week, I thought I'd highlight some of the tourist attractions close to Bass'! When you drive through Steelville, it may not look like much, but looks can be decieving. There are tons of award winning wineries, local shops, antique stores, restaurants, and other attractions.

      If you make the 10 mile drive into Steelville, you can get your shopping fix on, as well as grab a bite langeto eat. Lange General Store is an old time one-stop-shop located on Main Street. They have an assortment of nostalgic candies, sodas, and creeksideother items that will take you for a trip down memory lane. If you continue down the sidewalk, you will find Creekside Fudge & Gifts. The shop was purchased from its longtime owner this past fall, and has expanded to include local area themed t-shirts and other knick knacks, as well as some delicious fudge! There are a few other stores in town, including Yadkin Creek Mercantile and Edie's Backwoods Antiques, which you can check out as well.

     If you continue down the road another 10 miles or so to Cuba, there are two very well stocked antique stores located on the outer road by Interstate 44. Old Crow & Lonestar Antiques have a wide variety of items. There are a number of other stores in Cuba as well.

     If you're hungry and don't feel like one of our homemade pizzas from the store or cookingfountain over your campfire, there are plenty of local dining options as well. In Steelville, you can get some mouthwatering BBQ and steaks at Missouri Hick South, located right by the 3 way stop light in town. If an old fashioned burger and milkshake is more what you're thinking, Dairy Isle is the place to be! Another place that will take you a step back in time is The Fountain. They serve homemade ice cream, shakes, and floats, as well as serve gourmet food out of the old 1900s drug store/soda fountain.

     There is also a Chinese restaurant, Subway, Taste of Home Cafe, and Spare Rib Diner in Steelville. If you are in the mood for some south of the border flair, Riviera Maya in Cuba should definitely be on your list. It is located right across the railroad tracks from another local favorite, Frisco's Bar & Grill.pbvinfall

     If you are a wine connoisseur, there are lots of wineries for you to visit. Peaceful Bend Vineyard is located on Highway T in Steelville. This quaint little winery is tucked away in the woods, and has many award winning wines for you to sample. You can visit them at!

    Located stjameswineryalong the outer road in St. James, there is three must stop wineries/breweries to add to your list! St. James Winery has been producing wine for over 40 years and have become the most awarded winery in Missouri. You can visit them at! Right across the parking lot is Public House Brewery, specializing in craft beers. You can check them out at! If you continue down the outer road, you will find yet another winery, Meramec Vineyards. Find out more about them at!

     When you come down for your visit this summer, make sure to check out all our local businesses! You can also go to for more information on these businesses, as well as others not mentioned!

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The Secret to River Discovery

The Secret to River Discovery

When the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark stepped off the banks onto their flotilla of pirogues and keelboats to sail west in 1804, they knew they were leaving behind all signs of civilization.

Isolated fishing CourtoisPhoto: Robyn Areno Ehrmann
Empty stretches of river during the week are perfect for anglers floating the Courtois.

“We were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civilized man had never trod...” contemplated Meriwether Lewis in 1804. In his imagination he conjured colorful imagery of what they might discover.

You can still experience a similar sense of wonderment to what Lewis and Clark experienced. It awaits every river floater traversing the Courtois, Huzzah and Meramec rivers.

Floating backto campsitePhoto: Robyn Areno Ehrmann
Floating back to your car is a convenient benefit of floating the Courtois.

But, you have to know the secret to unlocking the beauty deep within the heart of Ozark river country.

By departing a day or two after the weekend crowds have thinned out, your river excursion can literally float you back in time to your own “expedition of discovery.”

Floating during the week can be a solitary experience. Fewer floaters venture out on the river during the week. You'll encounter longer stretches of empty water and more chances to view wildlife or fish the bounty of the streams.

With less crowds, you may float silently near groups of aquatic box turtles sunning themselves on a partially sunken tree limb. Wild turkeys inhabit these wilds and are plentiful so keep your eye out for a flock feeding on a river bank. The great horned owl and bald eagle have also been spotted.

Small Mouth BassPhoto: Robyn Areno Ehrmann
Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) are plentiful in the Courtois, Huzzah and Meramec rivers.

An abundance of critters inhabit the majestic limestone bluffs, rocky outcroppings and cliffs. Salamanders and snakes lie protected under stones and dark passages. Crawfish make their homes in muddy banks and below the surface small-mouth bass abound. They are one of Missouri's most popular game fish and can keep any angler entertained throughout their float.

Floats on the Courtois river are the most popular since you can float right back to your campsite at Bass' River Resort. With nine different floats available on the Courtois, you can experience a full range of floating challenges and each one presents a completely different experience during the week rather than on the weekend.

Longnose GarPhoto: Robyn Areno Ehrmann
A Missouri Longnose Gar fish (Lepisosteus osseus) glides along the banks of the middle Courtois.

Choose your own adventures on the Courtois:

The Berryman to Blunt Slab float is approximately seven miles for canoes and kayaks. This part of the stream can pose a challenge to the novice in the spring after a good rain when water levels rise transforming the rapids to a Class II status; or it can be a great, leisurely outing for the entire family at normal levels. It's tight and twisty and generally has very few hazards.

Blunts Low Water Bridge to Bass is approximately six miles long. It is one of the nicest parts of the Courtois with large winding gravel bars for riverside picnicking. Herons and other wildlife often frequent the long still pools of crystal clear water. This short duration float is perfect for swimming, fishing and relaxing fun in the sun.

Bass to Scotia, starting at the low water bridge at Bass, this trip is approximately seven and a half miles long. Experience a wilderness-type trip where deep, dark caves are located on the banks of this section of the stream. You'll float through sections of the Mark Twain National Forest and on to the Huzzah Wildlife Area. About 100 yards above Scotia's low water bridge is the confluence of the Huzzah and Courtois.

Isolated Rafting on the CourtoisPhoto: Robyn Areno Ehrmann
Rafts are a stable platform to watch the ever changing river scenery on the Courtois.

Scotia to Onondaga is approximately four to five miles and the stream becomes a little wider. It's called the Huzzah for the next 1.5 miles. As the waters of the combined Courtois and Huzzah, rivers enters the Meramec River the water becomes very deep, slow and wide. In most places you can't see the bottom, but it's an excellent trip for the true fisherman. When you reach Onondaga there's a high water bridge. You'll float under the bridge and take out immediately on your right.

Missouri Aster FlowersPhoto: Robyn Areno Ehrmann
Along the banks of the Courtois wild asters come to bloom in early spring and paint the forest with their vivid colors.

The Huzzah river parallels the Courtois to the west and provides a similar floating experience to the Courtois. For paddlers wanting to avoid sharing the water with throngs of other floaters, Huzzah Creek offers a splendid paddling destination. And you have the option of paddling all the way through to the Meramec river from either the Courtois or Huzzah.

Bass' River Resort has been a popular floating departure point for thousands of adventurers over the years.

But to truly experience a wilderness outing, create your own “Discovery Expedition” by floating the river during the week days after most everyone has already left.

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Change is Inevitable, Unless it's from a Vending Machine

Change is Inevitable, Unless it's from a Vending Machine

   Spring isn't the only thing in the air here at Bass' River Resort. Lots of changes are on the way, and I will be your tour guide to make sure you are up to date! First off, I'm going to take a little time to introduce myself. My name is Logan, and I am junior at Northwest Missouri State University. My hometown is here in Steelville, and I 'll be with you all summer, blogging about all that is going on here at Bass! Due to attending school August through April, I am not here year round. This was my first week back for the season, and I was introduced to all the new things that are going on. As we gear up for the approaching warmer weather and summer time, I thought I'd take the time to tell you about all that is happening here at the resort!

    One of the majowebsitehomer changes is our new website,   which you've probably noticed since you're reading this blog! We totally revamped the site during the off-season. Besides making changes to the appearance, our guests can now make online reservations. You don't have to call us during business hours on the phone anymore, although we still love to chat with you all! You can log onto 24 hours a day, seven days a week and make all your reservations for camping, floating, lodging, and most of the other great activities we offer! The new system allows you to see multiple options available for each activity, and is extremely accurate with data entry of all of your critical information.

    In addition to changes with technology, we have also added thredeluxecozy1e new Cozy Deluxe cabins. These cabins, along with our additional Cozy Deluxe cabins, have one bedroom with a queen bed, one bedroom with a double/single bunk bed, and a living room with a queen size hide-a-bed. The units are also furnished with a kitchen that includes a stove, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and table and chairs. The cabins all have heat and A/C, full bathroom, and a deck where you can sit and enjoy the fresh Ozark mountain air!

   Down in the store there is tons of new merchandise available for our guests! We recently added quite a few t-shirts and hoodies with a vintage them to them! You'll be feeling groovy walking around the resort in them! We also have lots of hats, and all of your basic necessities for camping that you'll need! We're always adding new stuff, so check often!





   This about sums up the major changes happening at Bass' River Resort. I'll be keeping you updated all summer, and I hope that you'll keep checking back for new blogs as we spotlight the different activities we offer, as well as Staff Spotlights, recipes, photos, and more!

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44th Annual Winter Float Trip

44th Annual Winter Float Trip

It All Started with 16 Crazy Guys and 8 Canoes

As told by original member: Chuck Gilbert

On Saturday, January 20th, 1974, 16 crazy guys from St. Louis decided after closing up Burnham’s Opera House to go on a Winter Float Trip (WFT).

We called up Bob Bass (actually woke him up) and told him we’d be down on Sunday morning to float on the Meramec River and to be ready for us with eight canoes.

We called up Bob Bass (actually woke him up) and told him we’d be down on Sunday morning to float on the Meramec River

From this humble start we have put together 44 winter float trips that have seen everything from a high of 10º with a foot of snow on the ground to this year’s high in the low 80s and everything in between.

On Saturday, February 20th, 52 intrepid souls braved 81º sunny weather on a perfect day to float the Courtois River for the 44th Annual WFT. The Bass' River Resort team took excellent care of this group and served up fabulous fare for both breakfast and dinner.

We started the celebration on Friday night the 18th by saying high to old friends and getting to know some new ones. The bonfire blazed brightly, aerial bombs were set off, cigars were lit, beer and whiskey flowed and the stories, legends, and outright lies started to be told and retold.

On Saturday, the troops rallied and most answered the breakfast bell, stoked the furnaces and got ready for the pick up by the big yellow bus. Once we were delivered safely to our put in on the river, we gathered our gear and claimed our watercraft. Like all flotillas, there were a few launching problems but soon everyone was on the river.

During the float some of the crew took some extra long swigs of grog and made them less than reliable crew members...

Tradition dictates that we stop early and often to caress each worthy gravel bar with our presence and to let the libations flow along with (of course) additional stories, lies and jokes. Around 2PM the official WFT high temperature was announced (81.6º) along with the official river temp (56.6º). Of course everyone was astounded by the summer like temps and the deep blue sky.

During the float some of the crew took some extra long swigs of grog and made them less than reliable crew members and of course some got a little waterlogged in the chilly waters. Towards the end of the day, some rain moved in followed by a thunderstorm and believe it or not, a pea sized hail storm moved through our camp site.

Fortunately, most floaters were off the river and under cover. Everyone took comfort in the wonderful vitals that Stephan & Julie served up. Even Trent Bass lent his hand on making sure our crew we’re well fed.

Nate Gilbert made sure that the shooting range was safely manned. It’s estimated that the shooting crowd burned through over $2,000 in ammo. No animals or humans were hurt or killed in this event. Nate will attempt to organize an actual contest with a real trophy to be given to the “Best Shot”.

New stories, lies and legends were born on this float and everyone is looking forward to being on the 45th WFT scheduled for February 17, 18 & 19 in 2017.

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In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight

We will be using this blog to put the spotlight on:  Latest Gear, Tips, How-to's, Recipes and our own store merchandise.


 3/2/16: Foil Packets

My job today was to work on my blog and spotlight a recipe.  
I'm not real sure how this became 'my blog', and I'm not much of a cook, but here goes...

I started working at Bass' in 2006, and have only camped a handful of times since then. My weekends are spent here, so although I don't camp much anymore, I still enjoy cooking over an open fire.
So, I'm by far, no expert on this topic! BUT, I hear a lot of stories working behind the
counter and a lot of them have to do with recipes that our guests have tried.(Some successful and others, not so much!)

Foil Packets are a favorite of mine and my family.  They are just so easy. You can prep everything ahead of time and once your fire has a good coal base, you just throw them on. I love that there's no pots and pans to clean up and if you double up the foil, you can just eat out of the packet.

Here's some helpful tips...

*Use heavy duty foil-if you're using regular foil, make sure you double it, you don't want to be eating ashes!

*When preparing the packet, start with the meat - it usually takes the longest to cook

*Bite size pieces! This shortens the cooking time & no need for a knife when it's finished. (Kind of hard to cut if you're using the foil as your plate)

*Spray the foil with cooking spray before adding your ingredients

*Add some veggies & seasonings

I'm sure there's lots more I could add here, but let's make this simple! Our go-to is usually hamburger with some veggies, (or tater tots for the kids) with cream of chicken or mushroom soup poured on top.  Below is a recipe I found that I'm going to try next time we do a fire on the gravel bar:

Grilled Honey-BBQ Pork Foil Packs



1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 pork boneless rib or loin chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick (1 1/4 pounds)
2 large ears corn, each cut into 6 pieces
1 cup baby-cut carrots, cut lengthwise in half
2 cups (from 1-pound 4-ounce bag) refrigerated cooked new potato wedges
1 teaspoon salt


    Heat coals . Spray half of one side of four 18x12-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil with cooking spray.
    Mix barbecue sauce, honey and cumin in small bowl. Place 1 pork chop, 3 pieces corn, 1/4 cup carrots and 1/2 cup potato wedges on center of each sprayed foil sheet; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spoon 3 tablespoons sauce mixture over pork and vegetables on each sheet.
    Fold foil over pork and vegetables so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again. Allow space on sides for circulation and expansion.
    Grill packets 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until pork is slightly pink in center. Place packets on plates. Cut large X across top of each packet; fold back foil.



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