Dear Uncle George,
May 15, 1907:
Crooked River. It is true to name. Mr. Thompson carrying the instrument part of the time. Mr. Ray McCollough is name of the boy, I talked to him about smoking. Only seventeen years old and has an old pipe between his lips often.
Sent my instruments to Far West, with Mr. Ruben Sloan. Passed some places with fat stock, sheep that had just been shorn, hogs, goats.
Val May 15, 2013:
Got to the Crooked River in Ray County. Forgot my camera.
Had to go home, 75 miles out of my way, to get it. Feel cranky. May or may not have cussed.
If I had a Sherpa like you did, I bet he would have remembered to bring my camera to the PHOTO shoot.
I have met a Sherpa in real life. His name is Pem. He is so amazing that Glamour Magazine would say he is "bad ass."
He has climbed Mt. Everest. Twice. Without oxygen.
The second time he did it, his fiance and a friend climbed with him. The friend performed their marriage ceremony at the summit. You can read about them here: https://www.pemmoni.com
It took 12 segments of directions to get to the Crooked River, including not one, but two dirt roads with mooing cows. They were laying down so everyone knows that rain was on the way. People don't always believe that old farmer's tale, but Gary Lezak from Channel 41 News says it is legit. This is, however, the same guy that mixes solid stripes with plaid so clearly he can't be completely trusted.
There were so many unmarked roads that I am sure it was practically just as hard as climbing Mr. Everest. That is why I needed Pem.
This is one of the first times I have traveled to the wilds of Missouri (aka no cell service). I think it is the quietest place in the state. It was so quiet that I got sort of scared. Scared enough that I kept looking back at Mrs. Fun, the only link to civilization, and my bug spray I forgot in the car.
I am pretty sure I was trespassing on someone's land.
I mean, who the freak mows this?
Just keep walking, just keep walking
I bet you had long pants on when you were tromping around. I, however, was not as smart. I had on shorts because, my heck, it was 93*. And as the 8th graders on the boy's soccer team voted...I have great legs so why cover them up.
This leads to the the spawns of the devil himself...ticks. I think they originate out of Wyoming...which makes perfect sense.
As my dad likes to call some things, they truly are "little bald-headed bastards." I doubt they have a lot of hair and they are little so the name surely applies. I found 7 freeloaders, burrowing into my skin. We can't forget the chigger bites. Let's not even go there.
The Crooked River should really be named "Crooked Landfill." I found a set of lounge chairs, broken umbrella, and a weird, brown, slimy something.
The river is so filthy that it reminds me of the Ganges in India. That thing is filled with cremated dead bodies, so what exactly is the Crooked River filled with?
Maybe that is why there were lounge chairs there. A guy needs a comfy place to rest after dragging a heavy mobster from the car through the weeds.
I bet somebody somewhere thought "I've got it! We will make steps so the next time we have need to come back here for...you know...business reasons, we can get to the river's edge safely." Safety first as Tom Allison used to say. I've seen the edited version of "The Godfather" so I know how former business partners can end up swimming with the fishes.
Despite one the dirt roads being named "Trout Road," I don't have much hope in the idea that there are actually trout swimming in this
I think the guy is the forefront is happy because he wore his long pants.
Don't let this lovely scene fool you. This place is janky.
All this effort for one George shot. I hope you enjoy it.
The good news is that I made it back to the car, safe and mostly sound.
More good news is that I actually made my way out of the most isolated, silent location in Missouri. And super good news is that I found a Sonic in Lawson that sold strawberry lemonade and had a local car wash.
The best news of all, however, is that I didn't see any mobsters out for a leisurely stroll. However, if I had, I bet I could have borrowed some bug spray.