Jeff and I began camping together when he was a boy in Indian Guides. He was Little Gray Wolf and I was Straight Arrow. I can’t remember who suggested that name. I don’t recall arguing about it though. Later on we camped on Swan Creek near Forsyth, Missouri. Our equipment included a butterfly net, fishing tackle and bait, water skis, a bass boat, pup tents, and sleeping bags. We slept on the bank of the beautiful stream by night and went exploring for possibilities by day. I taught him how to water ski there. I also showed him how to arrange stones in a circle to make a fire pit, carefully build a fire, drop foil-wrapped potatoes onto the coals, and set steaks on the grill. I also taught him how baking potatoes that way burned them to little bitty black coal-like lumps and turned the steaks to toast. Real he-men don’t complain. We lived on Smores and carried on.
They say you can’t go home again but Jeff and I still love to camp and enjoy nature together. This time we settled on the Branson area and Table Rock Lake. There were a few changes that we reluctantly accepted. After all, time does march on. The bass boat was now a pontoon boat but it got us there. Jeff was so cute playing with the controls. And he still got such a kick out of splashing around in the water. The lake temperature was 70 degrees but the good news was that his beer didn’t cool off. Lots of gorgeous scenery, just like in the old days. While I admit we were not packing skis or a net or fishing gear, we enjoyed the rugged bluffs in our rugged man style. We saw plenty of dangerous animals out in the wild. This groundhog was actually quite frightening except that we were looking down from fifteen feet. And just like in the old days we saw crows, eagles, and vultures. Really, there were only two significant changes from Camp Little Hatchet 1 to Camp Little Hatchet 2. For one thing, I’ve learned how to provide tastier food. And for another, they make better tents these days so why not take advantage of progress!