The Castor

IMG_0377What happens on the river stays on the river.

Unless of course, you bring it home.

I brought back plenty from my camping trip to the Castor River in southeast Missouri.

A wicked sunburn graces my lower leg. My thighs still ache from the impromptu footrace I had with a 10-year-old Saturday night.

But when my skin cools and the muscles heal, the memories will linger.

The Castor River is more of a lifestyle than a venue.

It’s a place where people say “Good morning” and actually mean it, where a neighbor brings you a cup of coffee in the morning without asking.

Afternoons are spent swimming — even sitting — in the rock-bottomed waterway, telling tall tales with buddies. Bullfrogs can be heard in the evening, bellowing in the distance. Deer lurk in the glade, a four-wheeler ride away.

I saw old friends and met new ones, such as “Sonny,” the next-door neighbor who treated us like kings, and Eddie, who was 82 but acted 42, dancing the night away. We cooked breakfast and supper over a wood fire. We ate a neighbor’s fried potatoes right out of the skillet, using our fingers as forks.

The moments didn’t slip away. They were seized, celebrated, savored.

I will miss the river. It never disappoints.



3 thoughts on “The Castor

  1. Remember the time at the Crows Nest when Timmy went off the rope and caught you in the head with his foot. I knew then that Rhett Morgan could take a punch

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