Living in the South: Creekside


It's pictures like this that inspired our own creek visit.

It’s pictures like this that inspired our own creek visit.

A couple of weeks ago I innocently asked my cousin Rachel if we could visit the creek she’s always talking about when we visited.

Let me tell you something: the Bartons and Hignites take such a request SERIOUSLY. Before I knew it, we had three cars, two trunkfuls of BBQ supplies, rafts, and other sundry creek essentials piled to a precarious capacity. The girls, Mancub and I showed up with nothing but the 110 SPF sunscreen I found especially for my skin tone: pale Irish vampire. This is a necessity if we don’t want to end up the shade of red usually reserved for fire hydrants or Target insignia.

It’s not that we MEANT to be a pack of freeloading panhandlers. We just didn’t know what we were in for. We thought we’d show up, swim around for a couple of hours in the hot Missouri sunshine and be done with it.

Oh no my brotha.

Instead, we were able to intertube, eat a giant feast, and even jump off a bridge. That took some persuading on Rachel’s part. I wasn’t sure that the good people of Missouri were quite ready to see my over 40 self in all my glory dangling off the precipice over the roaring waters.

I’ve seen footage of this event, but I’ve paid big bucks to have it burned.

I can’t describe how graceful I looked as I sank like an anvil to my death. I lived to tell about it, but just barely. When Rachel was able to take a breath (not because she was drowning but because she was laughing so hard), she offered her assistance (she’s always nice to the elderly) as I hobbled from the water like a wrestler who just had his man parts handed to him. I’m sorry but that’s what I looked like: my hair piled in a wild nest suitable as a habitat for local wildlife as I navigated over the jagged rocks barefoot, searching for the beach in my blinded state, the subzero creek water still swishing through my ears in a deafening roar.

It was super fun. I’m serious though. Rachel is the ONLY one who can talk me into such craziness.

Did I mention that right before I hurled myself toward my icy death, much like Rose on the Titanic, Rachel asked me “What are you thinking right now?”

All I had to say was, “I’ll tell you exactly what I’m thinking…” and Rachel spit beer all over a small child who was innocently wading nearby. Paying for the poor kid’s therapy is really the least she can do.

After the jump, we all gathered around the coveted picnic table (there are only a few, and Uncle Gene staked ours out with all the vigilance of his Army Reserve training.

Would you fight him for a picnic table? I think not.

Would you fight him for a picnic table? I think not.


In seconds, the table top was covered with every kind of snack ever created, including Aunt Mollie’s freshest produce, sliced and ready to go. SOOOO good. Our Redneck Hotdog is pictured below.

Top it with freshly sliced tomatoes and onions and...cilantro?

Top it with freshly sliced tomatoes and onions and…cilantro?

Paul didn’t let the “No bbq grills allowed” rule stop him. He grabbed a spare tire rim, filled it with bbq coals and BAM. Hot dogs that were just as delicious as if Bobby Flay himself materialized to tape his cooking show. It was pretty ingenious.


Even though our party was prematurely rained out, we still were freaking exhausted when we returned to the hotel. I felt like I had just been through rigorous exercise. On second thought, I really had.

Thanks family for the memories! I can’t wait to do it again.