Sunday, September 14, 2014

September: Roaring River State Park, first campout for Des

Jenn, Brent, Des and I had the opportunity to camp and fish Roaring River State Park for a three-day weekend. On Thursday and Friday the days were hot with temperatures in the mid-nineties. There was a thunderstorm that moved through Saturday morning with a few sounds of thunder and a soft rain until 8:30 AM. Saturday was cooler with temperatures reaching into the mid-seventies with a cloudy day to fish.

September 4, 2014 (Thursday): I left early Thursday morning and met Fred Fregin at Village Inn before driving on the Roaring River.  Fred and I drove in separate vehicles and made it to the park before noon. I picked out a campsite and paid for the two nights. Fred and I fished in zone one for a few hours before stopping to take a break from the sun and heat. We went back to the campsite, which had plenty of shade. We sat in the shade exchanging stories and sipping cool water. Fred returned to Springfield at 4:30 PM, with Jenn and Des coming in after 7 PM. I fished the wading area near the campsite in zone two; it was refreshing to wet wade in the cool waters of the spring creek with the given heat. Des and Jenn were in by 7 PM, with dinner delivered and served by Jenn. After dinner, we relaxed by the campfire, checking out the northern sky. We had a strong flash light that allow us to point out stars and constellations. Des found the seven stars of the big dipper and could locate the North Star. We did stay up to 11 PM, hoping to see some passing satellites, but the moon was too bright with the moonlight washing out the sky. It was a quiet night, even the raccoons made it to our campsite without waking us; they took a bag of chocolate, gram crackers and marshmallows.
September 5, 2014 (Friday): We woke at 7:30 AM; it was a bright sunny day. The coffee was made with a breakfast burrito for each of us. We fished to waters near our campsite. There was a gentle sloping gravel bar in complete shade throughout the day and cool waters to soak our feet. The fishing was good but the catching was more difficult this day. It could have been the sound of rocks being thrown in the water, the movement of small feet along the water’s edge. Needless to say we caught a few trout and that was enough. I packed a small net and we scrubbed a few rocks and moved some gravel to find some under water bugs; aquatic worms, scud, mayfly nymph, snail and leaches. Jenn and Des sat down and looked them over and stretch an illustration of each insect in Des’s notebook. 

Checking out the water bugs
We stopped for lunch at noon, with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips and apple cider from Murphy’s Orchard. After lunch, Jenn and Des decided to check out the Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center. Des was given full attention with hands on activities, information about stream team and checking out skull bones from a beaver and blue heron. I returned to the water looking for enough trout for supper. 

Nap time for Des
Brent was to leave Springfield at 4:30 PM and meet us for dinner at 7 PM. I finished the day with just enough trout and when Brent arrived we started to prepare dinner. After dinner, we started a campfire and watched the sky. There were clouds building to the north and signs of rain. The sky to the south was clear. Brent brought the telescope and we focused on the moon with a great view of the craters and landscape. Brent spent some time with the image and captured the moon with his IPhone. The moon was very bright this night so we did not have the opportunity to look at planets. 

The moon as seen from Roaring River SP: Photo by Brent Simmons
We spent the rest of the evening sitting by the campfire and fixing some smores. The clouds to the north continued to build and I figured rain before sunrise.
September 6, 2014 (Saturday):  There a light rain that fell until 8:30 AM. Des was in my face asking for breakfast. We started the coffee and had breakfast on the plates in a short time. The threat of rain remained through the morning and we decided to break camp. Jenn had a wedding to official, Brent wanted to get back to Springfield and visit with his mother, Carol. We had to take tents down, cots to disassembled and damp sleeping bags roll up. Brent and Des left by 10:30 AM. Jenn and I fished together for a short time before she left. I stayed and fished until 4 PM. The day remained cloudy with an occasional light rain. The trout were taking #20 Adams with the best results pulling them under and using a quick strip.
Roaring River State Park is a family friendly camping and fishing area. I camped there when Jenn and Sean were the same age as Des is today. We have many fond memories from twenty-five years ago and now making them with Desmond.

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