Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Roaring River is in the southern part of Missouri, just over the border from Arkansas. It is known for its shallow river that is daily stocked with rainbow trout from the fish hatchery on the grounds. On Friday, after breakfast in the trailer, we headed out with the kids and Grammie to see the fish and river and do a tiny bit of hiking. We’d been up since about 6:15 or so – the light came early, and most people were there to fish, so we heard lots of big trucks starting off as men headed to the river bright and early. We saw the fish and went on a short “trail” that went straight up a lot of stone steps to a lookout point, and then straight down again. Matt carried Ryan some, and he walked some, going very slowly up the stairs and down the stairs. Addison and Camryn loved it, and we actually went up twice. My legs were killing me the next day! I told the kids to be careful around the edge of the lookout or else they’d fall down into the trouts’ mouth (the hatchery was below us), and both girls were very concerned about it and started asking me questions about the Trout Mouth. “Is it dark in the Trout Mouth? Will we eat food in the Trout Mouth? Will we ever come out of the Trout Mouth?” I’m not sure they exactly grasped the concept of what I had said, but they sure made me laugh. The rest of the day we played around outside. The girls played with their Littlest Pet Shop toys with sticks and rocks, and did a lot of coloring. My aunt, uncle, and 91 year old grandpa arrived that afternoon, and we went up to the lodge to see them and run around for awhile. I attempted to put them down for naps, but the tent was too hot, and in the trailer, there was only one bed for them to share. Needless to say, they did not sleep that day. There was lots of laughing and loud noises and thumps, but no sleeping. We had foil dinners that night, and tried to put the kids down early, to no avail. We laid in the tent with them and tried to keep them quiet, but Ryan was very wound up. We heard lots of “Yucky Bug, yucky bug, Mama! Yucky Bug! Mama! Yucky bug!” as he saw bugs on the outside of the tent. Also, he showed off his “reading skills” by pointing to the M in “Coleman” on our tent and shrieking, “An Nonalds! An Nonalds, Mama!” Which is clearly McDonalds. Poor Addison never stood a chance at drifting off to sleep. Finally he crashed at about 10 pm.
Oh, I forgot to say that the BK manager called us Friday morning. He found the phone!!! He said that they were doing some maintenance on their drive-thru box and found the phone under it outside. It had rained a lot there, and he said the phone was pretty wet. He admitted that it was probably one of his employees who stole it, and that word got around amongst them about the GPS app and whoever took it was afraid that we could track the phone to their house, so they tossed it as they left work that night. I was pretty sure the phone was ruined, but still felt a lot better about knowing it was found, my personal info was safe, and that I wasn’t a complete idiot who lost it somewhere. We had never been even close to the drive-thru (neither had the car), so there’s no way it could have dropped or fallen over there. The manager said he’d mail it to us.
Also, AT&T had no reception up in the mountains, so Matt’s phone was the only one with service. My mom had to give Matt’s cell to all of her relatives who would be coming in the next day , so they could call and find us.
On Saturday, more people trickled in and we ate breakfast up at the lodge restaurant where I met some of Mom’s cousins and their families. There were a few younger kids (age 8 and 10) and a couple of high school girls. Camryn immediately attached herself to an 8 year old girl named Riley, and poor Addie was all but forgotten when we were around her. Luckily Addison didn’t seem to notice! Cammie would hold Riley’s hand and follow her, and she went off with the kids while we again attempted to put Addie and Ryan down for naps. Ryan was very naughty but I knew they needed sleep, and finally they both did sleep for awhile. Addie and Ryan saw their first Daddy Long Legs spiders, which was exciting. Addie called them Daddy Legs. Ryan called them Yucky Bug. That night, a bunch of people came over for a potluck hamburger cookout at our campsite and stayed till dark. We roasted marshmallows and the kids ran and played with balls. Ryan had no idea what was going on but he loved every minute of it! He ran around, played in the dirt, fell a lot, and ate a lot. Addison had fun too, but she seemed a little unsure of where she fit in with all the kids ( a few more boys had joined the group, 2.5, 5, and 7). She tried to focus on Cammie and do what Cammie was doing, and she heard the fatal words “Quit copying me, Addison, don’t do what I’m doing, leave me alone.” for the first time. I SO remember hearing that from my brother and older cousin, and saying it a million times to my little sister growing up. I felt so bad for poor Addie who was just trying to be “big”, and I also understood how Camryn felt. Sometimes, little things can make a big difference, and doing something like walking by yourself on one side of the road while everyone else is on the other side can make you feel like an individual, or special or different and you JUST DON’ WANT ANYONE TO COPY YOU!!!! However, when Riley and the older kids were gone, Cammie went right back to being Addison’s best friend. It was another late night, with kids too wound up to sleep till almost 10.
Sunday we got up and played outside some more, and then headed up to Mom’s cousin Charles’ lakehouse, about 45 minutes away. It was way out in some winding roads. We got there and let the kids play for awhile, then ate lunch (leftover burgers and fixings from last night), and then road in the golf cart down to the lake for a quick boat ride. All three kids were wearing life jackets and really liked walking out on the dock and climbing onto the boat. This was the first boat ride for all of them. We went pretty fast around the lake, with water spraying and boat bouncing and the kids all loved it. I held on to them for dear life so they didn’t fly out of the boat into the lake. There were lots of people out on the lake, and lots of houseboats. Charles said that up there, people have the houseboats instead of RVs and they go float around the lake every weekend. Some of them had big slides from the upper decks down to the water, and jet skis tethered behind them. After the boat ride we headed back with the kids, hoping for some sleepy time. Ryan fell asleep back in the trailer, but Addie didn’t. Mom took Camryn to a big slide on the river that was right by the campground, and she had fun but the water was freezing cold!
The daytime temperatures had been around 80-84, and as soon as the sun went down, it got cool quick. The first couple of nights were in the upper 40s!! We were in pants and sweatshirts for most of the morning and most of the evening, then in shorts during the day. And the air was so dry – it felt like the perfect fall weather.
That evening we spent time gathering our stuff up and loading the car with as much as we could so we could head out pretty quickly the next morning. We all went up to the lodge for dinner with the whole family that night, since everyone was finally there (about 35 people or so). Both Addie and Ryan were pretty grouchy while we were waiting for the food, so Matt took them and a herd of the little kids to a room in the lodge and let them watch some YouTube clips on his phone while we waited. My grandpa ordered the fried trout that came complete with a head, and he got a kick out of carrying the fried head around and peeking it over people’s shoulders. Everyone came back to the campsite afterwards to have homemade ice cream and tell more stories. Ryan was hamming it up for everyone, singing and dancing, and some of the older kids went on a snipe hunt. After another late night (for the kids), we finally got them off to sleep. Matt tried holding Ryan still in his arms instead of letting him roll around in the pack n play, and Ryan did go to sleep a tiny bit quicker.
To be continued….