Another state park I was fond of as a kid was Johnson’s Shut-ins, here in Missouri. The East Fork Black River runs over these erosion resistant rocks and creates swimming holes and carved-out gorges to explore. Again, I haven’t been back here in almost twenty years and it was still so much fun! I was careful though because when I was kid I really twisted my ankle when I slipped on a rock.

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri

I went swimming again and climbed over rocks feeling alive and overjoyed. That sense of adventure and child-like curiosity will never leave me. I like that.

I would have gone further downstream but it seemed overrun with a large group of screaming children and their chaperones. My God they were loud! Was I like that when I was their age? … nah.

Oh, and I did go on a short hike. Summer hiking is Missouri is nice, minus the spider webs across the trail that you walk right into with your face. Yuck. But I bumped into this little guy and he was friendly.



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