Roaring River {2013}

We took a little trip to the river a few weeks ago as a family {+ my amazing mom}. Roaring River State Park in Missouri is quickly becoming near and dear to my heart. The Dude frequented this spot as a child and I love that he gets to share it with his family. Fishing

There are specific rules that must be followed when fishing at Roaring Rover with the Dude. Namely, we have to be the first ones out there. I'm talking pre-dawn, people. It's a good thing I'm a morning person. He didn't want me to bring my coffee down to the river. But I won that battle. Second, you can't stay in one spot for very long. If the pool isn't working for you, move to another one. Not the easiest thing to do with three little ones in tow, but we managed. We followed all his advise and caught a bunch fish! I give him a hard time, but he knows his stuff. Good thing he was around to help us strategize.

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The Little Dude was generally happy running around pretending to fight bad guys and look at rocks, but he did try his hand at fishing, too.

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This guy caught the biggest fish of the trip and he was the first to catch his limit on the last day. He's a natural and made his daddy very proud.

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It took her a bit, but she finally caught a couple! She is dedicated and persistent. She doesn't like not succeeding, so she tries and tries until she does! Love that about her!

My mom is in the background fishing, too. She caught a couple and took them home to my dad since she is deathly allergic to fish :).

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Roaring River has a hatchery full of baby fish that you can watch and feed. And a cave with a natural spring for exploring. There are also many hiking trails which will be experienced when we can be sure we won't have to carry four kids through the woods.

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I got an afternoon to myself to fish in a more secluded area. I got distracted with the beauty and didn't catch anything, but that's okay, I've always been a sucker for pretty, quiet scenery.

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I'm pretty sure you can't call what I did camping. My mom, Tiger, and I stayed in a cabin with a shower and air conditioning while the three big kids tent camped with daddy. We did have a healthy supply of daddy-long-legs at the cabin however. The Little Dude is an excellent DLL spotter, so I made him stick close by me.

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In all the years the Dude came here as a kid, he never swam in the river. It was fun to add in some of our own memories to the ones from his youth that he treasures so much.

The water was freezing.

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Fearlessly riding the rapids.

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I was so proud of my mom for venturing into the water. It was quite a climb. She was rewarded with this sweet picture, three freezing kids loving on their grandma!

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We bought the boys rubber band guns at the gift shop. I almost immediately regretted not getting one for Tiger, too. He started stealing his brothers' as soon as he could get his hands on it. The Little Dude still preferred his driftwood gun that he found on day 1, forgot about, and then found again on day 3.

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I love getting away with the family, and 4 days without cell reception was just what I needed.  I was tired when I got home, but I felt refreshed in a different kind of way. Not in spa-weekend, no noise kind of way. More like a I'm ready to go home and love on my family in the everyday mundane kind of way.

Thanking the Lord for precious memories like Roaring River 2013.