How to spend your summer vacation Missouri style

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hi neighbors.

Remember a few weeks ago when we were complaining about the cold? Hold that thought. Turn it over and over in your mind. It might cool you off, might.

Many people can't wait for summer. Most of these people like water.

Dreams of warm sunshine, swimming, boating, fishing, canoeing, river rafting -- all that stuff -- keep them happy while the snow flies.

If the local rivers and lakes can't satisfy their need for big water, they can go to the ocean. We are centrally located so both oceans, the Great Lakes and the Gulf, are not too far away for an extended weekend trip.

Oceans offer surfing, boating with bigger boats and bigger fishing poles, faster speed boats, floating RVs and beaches.

I am not a water lover. I don't swim. I don't boat. I have no desire to go to any island in the known universe. I like Missouri, where most of the water springs quietly from solid ground and makes beautiful, clear, SMALL, creeks where the amount of water is manageable and predictable.

Missouri creeks and branches are usually ankle deep at most. They flow gently and are clearly limited by banks of dirt and grass.

I have waded out into the Atlantic off Florida once. I didn't like it and can think of no reason why anyone would expose themselves to a hungry wet monster that tries to pull you into its gullet. Two steps in and the water was over my ankles! I could feel the tug of that mighty maw trying to pull me out to sea!

That was enough! Back to Missouri and dry land where the water has the good sense to stay put without sashaying back and forth all the time.

But water sports is only one entertainment summer folk enjoy.

Some people like to bike, hike and even balloon ride. Others camp out in the big woods (Missouri has lots of camping options) and go hunting for edible wild plants.

Other people like to look for mythical creatures like Big Foot, or his brother the Boggy Creek Monster. I will admit to watching a couple of these shows once or twice. It always amazes me that these hunters, armed with a vast array of devices for seeing and photographing things in the dark, hearing devices, cameras to record all they find, usually end up like most ghost hunters. Tired, hungry, disappointed, lacking any tangible evidence and empty handed.

If they would just listen to the people telling them about these monster sightings (or ghost sightings) that happened during the daytime. If they really wanted to find Big Foot, they should go camp out where he has been seen for a week, day and night, and see what they can see. Of course, actual proof would end the series immediately and make international news.

People argue that Big Foot is really good at hiding. I don't really see that any creature would have to be that good at hiding in today's society.

Most people never look out their windows, never hike around their own back yard, and can't hear anything but MTV or a video game.

Many people don't know they have mice till the snakes show up to catch them.

I think Big Foot could live in the courthouse on the Square and no one would see him.

The smell might give him away though.

It seems odd to me that very few stories of aquatic monsters are passed along. We have big lakes in Missouri, and I've heard that big "monsters" live near dams and in abandoned rock quarries.

These all have reasonable explanations for being there; and often get caught. They are called catfish -- real monsters! But they don't take very good pictures.

And like all the water in Missouri -- they stay in their own place and don't walk around peeking into windows, shaking trees, throwing rocks and banging clubs on trees while screaming like Banshees.

Until the next time friends remember if you have reason to fear 100 pound catfish, stay out of the water.

If you fear Big Foot, fearlessly go wherever you like.