Rock Bridge Stream


I went back to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park this week, but this time I stayed out of the caves and followed the stream in the open air.

The two most important things I learned are:

1. It’s better to walk in the creek than try to navigate the banks. I saw deer tracks in the mud, so deer can do it. But I can’t. I slipped and fell partly into the water twice before I decided I would stay drier walking in the water.

2. Check for ticks before you drive back. It’s kind of gross, but every time I come back from the woods in the spring and summer I find at least two ticks chilling on my legs. It’s not a hugh deal to pluck them off…unless you’re driving at 50 mph and freaking out because you blindly went to grab a tick off your leg and then dropped it some where on your person. I did the whole bug-spray thing before hand this time, too! I think it helped. Fingers crossed I don’t have lyme disease or whatever else ticks spread. Plague, etc.

But ticks aside, I had a good time. I wasn’t expecting to run into a deer so close to the trail. But I heard a-rustlin’ on the bank as I was wading through the stream. I scampered over some fallen trees and there she was. I was surprised at how loud the doe was. She sounded like a horse. Which I guess makes sense, since deer a like little forest horses, at least in my mind.

Next week I’ll be going to Eagle Bluff State Park to see what the waterfowl have going on. My guess is flying and pooping but there’s no way to be sure without going there.


Missouri Flood “Voyage”


On Monday, two friends I packed into what was advertised as a “four-person” inflatable boat and paddled our way through some flood waters near McBaine, Missouri. A short video summarizing our experiences below:


That video shows most of what we experienced: there was a lot of water and we couldn’t get moving very fast. However, there are two key elements of this adventure that the video does not show:

1. How very wrong “four-person” turned out to be. To put it in literary terms, there is no way to accurately describe how we arranged ourselves in the raft without treading the thin gray line between “Huckleberry Finn” and “50 Shades of Grey”. We were on top of each other. Which is probably for the best because if we weren’t so concerned with not trying to fall out of the raft we might have noticed more of element number two.

2. This could of have been a poop joke. The waters we were paddling were right next to the water treatment plant. Some, if not most of the water we waded and paddled through, was waste water run-off. But the real number two was drowned rats. Or more accurately, drowned rat. I almost stepped on one but as the saying goes: “for every drowned rat you see, there are ten more under the debris you were walking through.”

Aside from one large, mysterious splash, aquatic life was at a minimum. At night, however, the noise of wildlife replaces the sounds of the trucks coming in and out of the water treatment plant. While the bird calls of the day were mostly gone too, the air was thick with frog noise. There were frogs advertising their sexual prowess (“ribbet-ing” for her pleasure) on the road, on the banks, and deep out in the water. While some might find the performance an impressive display of nature’s chorus, that feeling will wear off in a minute. It’s loud and annoying. Aside from safety reasons, this is why I’d only venture into the water during the day.

As impressive as the flooding was, the water was off the road by Wednesday. Good news for people who’s homes were surrounded by water and needed to use a boat to come and go, bad news for frogs looking to score.

This concludes flood posts. Next week, I’m heading to the forest.