By: Jordan W Sanders
Vomiting rocks, the tires await my next tactical move. The suburban smiles as its headlights catch a glimpse of a loose rock and one of many washed out crevasses in the gravel road. We tumble along the rocky road, igniting light into the forest ahead for a brief moment. As we pass by, the wilderness falls back into undisturbed darkness. Our heads sway simultaneously side to side, nearly nailing the tinted windows, as the path commands our next decision. The bump bump of the front and then the back tires falling prey to any awaiting ditch or log echoes through the calm of the night. The road is familiar, I have traveled it many times but each time is different. There is always a thrill of awakening the dark lifeless road, if only for a second. Insects of all kinds greet out headlights with a blank stare as if it where a god. The frogs chime in, while many other obnoxious creatures of the night echoes news of our arrival. Suddenly, our path is blocked by a long rusty gate with the sign NO TRESPASSING engraved in big bold letters, surrounded by barb wire and a rock wall. I turn to my friend Brian and say “You’re up”
Tossing him the gate keys, after minutes of finding which solid brass key fit perfectly in the hole we have it. The cold metal gate swings open with an eerie sound and shackles to a pole. This is the first of two checkpoints, in which very few have had the privilege of entering. Cool, fresh, wild air kindly greets our group and guides us to the assortment of locks of locks constraining the entrance of this remote getaway. “Last one”
I say to my shot gun friend with his gedding smile and excitement rearing up. I turn back to my friends Amanda, and Sarah telling them that maybe Brian our truck driving, lawn mowing, guy guy should drive there blue 4x4 explorer down this traverse as so we don’t have an problem sliding or freak outs. Putting the truck in drive the road disappears as we approach and then we find our self on a 50 degree inclined hill going straight down it. Praying to god the brakes don’t go out as for we would become very good friends with a 30’ oak tree at the bottom of the bend. After completing our journey down the hill he hit our last and finally gate, where stands a large red Marlboro sign staring us in the face and an old sign say “beware cattle thief’s cattle are branded.” Thinking to myself even you wanted to you couldn’t get more then one cow back up that hill. Deep in the Mark Twain National Forest in Current River we find out home away from home of this spring break. Pulling in over the hill cascades a picture from Monet with a giant lake and a porched two story house. We pull into the house with a sigh of relief we have finally made it those boring two hours of back roads from Cape Girardeau to our destination. We all get out of our vehicles with a quick stretch and begin unpacking our inventory of essentials and fun. We walking into see two deer heads and fly rods mounted on the wall, lying on the couch, unsettled dust rises and floats to a new home. Below the mounted heads is a schmorgasbored of Marlboro pictures each of which tell a different story. We get some of those bug infested logs and start a fire and wait for the night to die away and the day to come so we could play. The grumbling of the coffee pot wakes up the red head Amanda first and with her goofy attitude says “Let’s go fishing”
Knowing she doesn’t want to do anything but lay by the river I laugh. I wake up the deep sleeper Mike and Brian telling them “Lets get to catching dinner”.
After much shaking and persuading with pancakes they get up and put on their gear. We go to the shed to pull out our 10ft long stainless steel canoe and start the competition. After loading up the steaming hot canoe with tackle boxes, paddles, and yes a small cooler. The sun beaming down on us unbearable. So I decide to...