Tom Sawyer and our Vacation to Missouri

We'll get back to the choose your own adventure later. Watch for the exciting conclusion and the exciting steps toward that conclusion. All coming soon-ish.

My husband and I just got back from a week long trip to southwestern Missouri. We went camping, canoeing, hiking, swimming, four-wheeling, and the whole trip culminated in the wedding of some friends from Brooklyn in Kansas City.

Our anniversary is next Saturday, and this trip was our anniversary trip this year. My ideal way to celebrate our marriage is to go on a trip together. Brian's ideal way to celebrate most everything is to go out for a really nice meal together. We've been combining those ideals for the past four years by going out for a really nice meal in another state or country. It's been working out really well.

Missouri was great or at least the trip to Missouri was great. I don't think that I'd choose Missouri as the spot for my time-share, but it's a fine state. We spent a lot of time outside and saw a lot of animals. Here is our impressive wildlife list in the approximate order seen.

Bison - 30 plus
Vultures - 9 plus
Armadillo - dead and alive
Deer - a bunch
Ticks - lots and lots only two attached though
Great Blue Heron (I bought a bird book and positively identified a couple birds)
Bobcat - has anyone else seen a bobcat in the wild?
Wild Turkey - lots
A Walking Stick
Green Heron
American Bittern - a brown and white water bird (aren't you proud of me mom?)
River Otter - has anyone else seen a River Otter in the wild?

It was a pretty good week for wilderness sightings. A bobcat -- can you believe it?

On Thursday we took a canoe trip. We rowed 8 miles down a river or maybe it should be called a creek. That's were we saw the water birds and the river otter. It was raining lightly most of the trip. It was warm though, so we didn't mind. It kept other canoers away and most fisherman too, so we had the whole river to ourselves. It was beautiful and peaceful. Fog covered the water in most places and made the trip seem a little like a dream. We ate lunch in the boat just floating a long.

To connect even more with the region, we brought along with us a Modern Library copy of the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. We thought if we were going to be floating down rivers in Missouri, we ought to learn what we could from the original Missouri river floaters. One thing we've learned already is a sure fire way to get rid of warts using spunk-water (rain water collected in a hollowed out stump). I'll quote you Tom's remedy.

You got to go all by yourself, to the middle of the woods, where you know there's a spunk-water stump, and just as it's midnight you back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say:

'Barley-corn, Barley-corn, injun-meal shorts,
Spunk-water, Spunk-water, swaller these warts,'

And then walk away quick, eleven steps, with your eyes shut, and then turn around three times and walk home without speaking to anybody. Because if you speak the charm's busted.

I read this book in the 5th grade, and I remember liking it. But I don't remember all these great rhyming superstitions that I'm finding throughout. I also don't remember there being grave robbing in the story or the word "nigger" for that matter. But I'm loving it. I'm hoping that, when we've finish, my father-in-law sends us $5. That was the price he offered Brian to read it in the 3rd grade.


Blogger thisisntjimmy said...

Once, driving my four wheeler on our 40 acres of land in TN, I came across a bobcat. I did that with a momma skunk and 3 baby skunks once too. and river ottors made a dam in our creek. We also had coyotes, deer, rabbits, and other assorted wild animals... my sister and I would catch crawdads in a stream and then go fishing in the creek or our pond using them as bait. Also, we would go frog hunting at night and catch lightening bugs. I had a beagle doggy and my dad and papaw and I would go rabbit hunting with her early in the morning. We also would got squirrel hunting.

Your trip sounds like lots of fun!

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Nathan said...

After 8 years of working at a National Park, I'VE never seen a bobcat. And you go out into the woods for a week and see one??? No fair! :( With all these activities, you're well on your way to catching up with your sister in redneck livin'.

11:49 PM  
Blogger The Wifest said...

Look on Brian's blog for pictures of me on a four wheeler and Brian punting a football to a herd of bison.
Click here to see them.

7:33 PM  
Blogger sooprgrll said...

it sounds like you guys had a blast! what fun! but did you see a double gravestone in a tree?!

11:34 AM  
Anonymous best friend said...

I absolutely loved tom sawyer and did not so much love huckleberry finn. After reading ts a couple of years ago (wasn't much of a reader as a yungin' - I was too busy watching Heathcliffe on Nickelodeon (which we only had while my family lived with my grandpa while we were building our new house)) I realized that I really like Mark Twain. A Connecticut Yankee in KA'sC is still one of a few books atop my all time favorite reads list (those who know me know that I am actually really bad about having mental lists of my favorite things - I'm like the opposite of John Cusack in High Fidelity) or would be if I kept such documentation of past enjoyed entertainment materials. Anyway, sounds like a good trip to me if it involved Mark Twain literature.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Aulden Timmer said...

Okay, just answer this one question, and you can spend the $5...

What does Samual Clemens nom de plume "Mark Twain" mean?

3:57 PM  
Blogger Big Al said...

Okay, just answer this one question, and you can spend the $5...

What does Samual Clemens nom de plume "Mark Twain" mean?

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

This doesn't prove that we read TOM SAWYER, but here goes:

Samuel Clemens usually maintained that his primary pen name, "Mark Twain," came from his years on the riverboat, where two fathoms (12 ft, approximately 3.7 m) or "safe water" was measured on the sounding line and marked by calling "mark twain." However, the name may also have come from his wilder days in the West, where he would buy two drinks and tell the bartender to "mark twain" on his tab. The complete origin of the pseudonym is unknown.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Aulden Timmer said...

Good enough. I will take your kind word as enough.

1:37 PM  

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