Archive for February, 2023

My goal in this “Last Pair Of Boots” blog post is twofold … First, to briefly cover the most recent weekend in the mountains … that being our traditional Superbowl Weekend Campout. Next, to take a photo journal walk down memory lane to a time when we were younger, could hike farther and could carry a fully loaded backpack. Times and our bodies have “matured” but the spirit still lives!

This is one of the highest elevations in North Central Arkansas … Mount Sherman near the amazing little city of Jasper, Arkansas. We hiked this areal

I may have left out a few photos I wanted to include and possibly have posted duplicates. If so, please accept my apology. Most of those who subscribe to this blog should know the places, people and time frame so I have not done any detailed captions. One photo I do wish to mention is the last one on the bottom. This is one of those rare moments when my wife, Patti, and JC’s wife, Gwen, agreed to backpack with us. JUST HAD TO INCLUDE IT.

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For over forty years a group of male friends has had lunch together once a week and taken a trip together once a year. I’ve written about this unique friendship several times before and the trips we have taken to first class places like Park City, Utah; Breckenridge, Colorado and Scottsdale, Arizona. Not that Branson is less than first class … in fact we stayed in a beautiful 7 bedroom, 7 bath home overlooking Table Rock Lake. So why “did” “we choose Branson? Mainly because it’s close to Little Rock, has a lot going on and more of our guys could make the trip. Good Move … Until the Major Cold, Ice and snow event threatened to disrupt our plans. The weather. as predicted, was bad … even the owner of the house we rented recommended we reschedule. No way for this group! There was a little drama and uncertainty before, during and along the way … but, We made it and SST 2023 (number 44) is now in the record books.

Typical scene along our route to Branson

Mr. G’s Downtown Branson, Missouri

We have several good cooks and most meals were prepared in our well equipped rental home. Below is a photo sampling of food, fun and fellowship.

In spite of our penchant for the fun facet of our time together, we always find time for something a bit more culturally enriching. This trip, we visited Bass Pro founder, Johnny Morris’s Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum at Ridgedale, Mo. There are over 75,000 artifacts representing about one third of Mr. Morris’s Collection.This place is truly a “must visit” in the Branson Area. Plus, this is only a small portion of attractions under the Top of the Rock/Big Cedar umbrella. Below are a few photos. Of particular interest to me was the Edward S. Curtis Gallery. I just recently read an amazing historical biography … Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan. This book portrays the lifelong passion of one man in the early 1900’s as he captures in photographs the pictures and stories of disappearing Native American Indian Tribes. This gallery alone is worth a visit to Ozarks Natural History Museum.

Once again it was illuminating, energizing and reassuring to know there are friendships that can last a lifetime. I have seen old guys (ROMEOS … Retired old men eating out) in small town restaurants across America. We are they! However, I bet there is not another like ours that has for over four decades had the consistent commitment to keeping a friendship bond right at the top of the calendar and priority list as we have. Thank you Fellow SST members.

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