Information on Thomas Cr.


Thomas Cr.

	Rating: III-IV *
	TDCR: 6667
	Location: Newton Co;  Put in is reached by taking Shiloh
		Rd. east of Hwy. 21 just south of Mossville.  Drive for
		0.2 miles and take the small dirt road on the right.  
		Descend the hill keeping to the right all the way down.
		After you pass a small clearing on the left the road switches
		back to the right.  This is a prudent place to park and 
		hike down to the creek (unless you have a really good 4 wheel
                drive and a winch!).  The take out is reached by 
		following the right fork of Shiloh Rd. to the low water slab
                that is the take out for the East Fork of the Little Buffalo.
		Area Map
	Topo Quad(s): Murray
	Gradient: 110 fpm  (upper 2 miles at 140 fpm)
	Length: 4.5 mi.
	Season: FLOOD
	Gauge: Only runnable after heavy local rains.  The Buffalo should
		probably be two feet or more over the low water bridge at Ponca.
		You may be able to predict the levels using the Buffalo R. rain
		gauges which are linked below.  The Swain and Deer gauges are 
		the ones to watch.
		LINK BUFFALO NATIONAL R. GAUGES (UPDATED HOURLY)
	Hazards: killer attack trees, big drops, high gradient
	Description: First known run of this creek was in March of 1988 
		by Randy Jackson and his gang.  The gradient in the first
                two miles is a steady 140 fpm.  Some big drops are created
                as the boulder choked creek races down a small gorge.  A
                ten ft. fall is encountered near the beginning of the run.
                This fall is very rocky at the bottom, and equipment or
                paddler damage is a very real possibility there.  You can
                portage this one on the left.  The next two miles consist
                of nearly constant tricky class III drops.  Stay on your toes 
		in this section.  At one point a boulder and log sieve makes 
		for a mandatory 200 yard portage, and strainers can easily 
		block the narrow creek almost anywhere.  One of the rapids was 
		dubbed "Action Jackson" in '88 when an undercut on the left of
                a zig-zag staircase drop swallowed Randy Jackson's paddle.
		The paddle was retrieved several days later after the water
                level had dropped.  The gradient continues to produce some
                good rapids until just upstream of the EFLB confluence when
                everything flattens out for the next half mile.  This is
                a fun run for advanced boaters who are used to narrow, high 
		gradient Ozark creeks, but it could be a nightmare for the
		unprepared.  Get very comfortable on runs such as Richland Cr.
		before trying Thomas Cr. 

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