Our 2nd Sisters on the Fly (SOTF) was this past weekend, April 26-29, 2018, at Roaring River State Park near Cassville, MO. You can almost spit and hit Arkansas — that’s how far down the state of Missouri we were.
On the drive down from my condo in St. Louis, we stopped for lunch at a great little diner called the Route 66 Diner in St. Robert, Missouri. (http://www.route66dinermo.com/index.html). The décor was 50’s inspired, like the diners that my Mom’s generation would’ve hung out in, 50’s tunes rockin’. I had to do the classic burger and fries, and my sister got a meatloaf sandwich. Both were excellent. This would be a place I’d most definitely stop at again.
The drive was 5 hours from St. Louis, and we got to Roaring River about 4pm. Other SOTF Sisters had driven in a couple of days earlier, and still others were to come in on Friday. We found our site, set up our new Coleman tent and cots, then opened the box wine! What a long day! While we were setting up, a really pretty cat appeared out of the weeds — we had a camp mascot! Unfortunately, after that night, we never saw her again – I hope someone took her home.
Box wine — let’s party!
Our camp mascot — I named her River.
We brought our wine over to the Buffalo Moon trailer owned by Sister Tracey R. She has really done a nice job decorating her trailer – super cute! She even mounted a jackalope inside! Dinner that night was mostly snacks – cheese, sausage, chips, desserts, etc. No one wanted to bother making a large dinner. We met quite a few Sisters that night, two gals who had just joined, and others that had been members for years.
Friday morning came early, as neither of us two gals got much sleep. My sister kept thinking she had ticks crawling on her, and sleeping on the new cots took some getting used to. They are comfortable, just not something my body is used to sleeping on. Also, the temperature got down into the 40’s! Brrrr! I was super-glad I had thought to bring my down comforter. There was tent “sweating” or condensation that also occurred, so each morning I had to grab my down comforter and, with my sister’s help, hang it over a post to dry. Friday was FISHING DAY! YAAAAAY! We garbed up in our fly fishing vests, chore boots, ball caps, and sunglasses, bought our daily fishing tag from the park store, and then headed out to the river. We decided to fish in Zone 3, which was not at all crowded — it’s the farthest Zone from the hatchery, which means that if a big fish made it all the way to Zone 3, it’ll probably be a wily critter. We didn’t really care if we caught fish (although it would’ve been great!), but we were just trying to figure out how to improve our casting. And it was such a beautiful day, we were just grateful to be outside enjoying the sun and the river. We fished 3 different times on Friday, and were basically “fished out” the next day!
Lunch was a burger at the lodge. Really great food at a decent price. We moved to a Zone 2 area for the next 2 fishing excursions, which was strictly a catch and release zone. I got 2 bites — I also waded out into the middle of the water to get my line where I wanted. No, I don’t have waders; I just ended up with wet jean-leggings! Dinner that night was, again, a potluck. There were a few more items to choose from at this dinner: chipotle ham, hot dogs, etc. A few more new gals were “initiated” into the Sisters that night … a shot of Fireball whiskey and goofy photos for all of us newbies!
Saturday was not spent on the river. We started the day by taking a short hike near the trout hatchery. Deer Leap Trail is not long, but it takes you all the way up the bluff to an overlook. I had a tough time with the hike due to my knee and due to the heights! The views were amazing, and you could see some of the super-huge lunker trout below that were the size of a small dog.
We had originally thought to go to a Junk-a-palooza in another town, but that town was an hour north …. We just didn’t want to do all that extra driving. So, we decided to find a winery! We drove towards Eureka Springs, Arkansas and stopped at Railway Winery (http://www.railwaywinery.com/), which was 8 miles from the downtown. The owners, Greg and Vicki Schneider, were super folks and darned good winemakers! I wouldn’t mind stopping in to taste their wines again down the road.
Lunch that day was in Eureka Springs at Sparky’s Roadhouse Café (http://www.sparkysroadhouse.com/). Another fantastic food experience! Our server was awesome – so were the margaritas and pulled pork tacos! The plate was pretty big – my sister and I could’ve split the lunch and still have been full. We took a piece of key lime pie back to our campsite for dinner – we were so full that we could not stuff anything else into our mouths that night. We’d also had enough “SOTF Sister time” by then — we built our own campfire and had a bottle of wine from the Railway Winery. By the way, there is always room in the tummy for wine.
Sunday was the drive back to reality. We had a great breakfast at the lodge after breaking camp, and then headed North. We stopped again for some laughs at the Uranus Fudge shop (poop and butt jokes rule there, obviously), then continued on.
Roaring River is a beautiful State Park, and I look forward to more Sister trips to that area of Missouri.