A New Adventure Begins

14 April 2013 in Friendship, Memories, Traveling

Today we set sail for Yosemite, but the winds would first lead us on a small detour to Arkansas. With a little time to spare and our friend’s home almost perfectly in route we rolled over the great flat expanses of Illinois, cut through the industrial Gordian knot that is St. Louis and pulled into Fayetteville after a brief and restless sleep at a truck stop near Rolla, MO.

Tom has been a friend of ours for a seemingly impossible span of time. We’ve known Tom since grade school so I guess it’s been roughly 20 years. Surprisingly no matter where life has taken us neither the time we have spent apart nor the miles that lie between us have kept us from remaining good friends. After leaving Wisconsin Tom met Brittany and she has been a wonderful and fitting addition to our rag tag group of friends.

Another friend of ours Randall and his friend Alex were also down for a visit. The first couple days and nights were pretty laid back. We played cards, went for a day hike, saw a little bit of the city and sampled some amazing burritos at the Flying Burrito.

Then we headed to the Ozarks for a hike in, overnight camp. We’re used to the dramatic heights of the mountains of the west, but there is something to be said for the rolling, wooded masses of the south. We were taken back by the beauty and more so the solitude. The trails were well maintained and our chance encounters with other humans were few and far between. We observed grand walls of exposed rock, a two hundred foot waterfall that swayed and danced in the wind, and camped next to a bubbling creek set deep in the valley. In the middle of the night we were awoken by booming thunder that rolled through the canyon like a giant bowling ball and flashes of lightning so bright I swear they were cutting through our tent.

After hiking out we resumed the easy life – mostly hanging around the house. And on our last day we celebrated Easter together with some of Tom and Brittany’s friends. This was not our mother’s Sunday dinner of ham, mashed potatoes and all the standard fixings. This was an adulterated mixture of children’s games and booze. Brunch consisted of an assortment of sugary cereals and bloody mary’s with all the pickled garnishes you could fit in a glass. Once we were properly nourished the games ensued with egg wars (smashing two hard-boiled eggs together to see which would crack), egg relay races (place an egg on a spoon, run, pass, repeat) and an egg toss (see how far you and a partner can stand apart and throw an uncooked egg without cracking it). Turns out Tom and I can toss it about 40 feet.

After almost everyone left a new game was created – bb gun “HOG”. Much like basketball’s HORSE, HOG consists of standing in a particular spot, sometimes in a particular stance and shooting a target such as a beer can suspended from a tree. If the shooter calls and makes the shot the next shooter must replicate it. Should the shooter fail at this task he or she obtains a letter – H, then O, then G. Spell HOG and you’re out. Pretty simple, amazingly fun!

Unfortunately we had to depart before too much of the day had passed. The time we spent here at first seemed to trickle by at a slow, southern pace, but before we knew it had all slipped by. We had a ton of fun, but new adventures were awaiting our arrival and so with hugs all around we pulled out, headed west.

14 April 2013 Friendship, Memories, Traveling

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