MAKING YOUR OWN FUN
We grew up exploring the hills around Camp Wood, hunting along the creeks, floating on the river, building forts just about anywhere there was to build a fort, riding bikes for hours (often times out to the city dump where we could legally light fires, blow things up, and destroy things), and of course, we worked. Spending the summers on my Grandfather's farm, I learned how to weld well enough as a kid to BUILD OUR OWN GYM EQUIPMENT. I even grew up with some guys that built their own dirt track at their farm. They hold annual races the day after Thanksgiving with cars that must be purchased for under 100 bucks. In fact, along the way, I have been privileged to come across numerous people who like to make their own fun just as much as I do.
One of those is Lieutenant Commander (ret) Jack Hines. Jack was a combat helicopter pilot for two decades serving in the Middle East. When it comes to tactical situations, there is not much he has not seen or been involved with first hand. About 7-8 years ago, Jack and Ann invited us to their annual 'Flour Wars', held just prior to Christmas. The Hines live in the valley of a steep 80 acres in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks near Willow Springs. Jack came up with the concept for Flour Wars almost two decades ago, and it has morphed into something that we do not dare miss.
It is essentially a souped up version of Capture the Flag, but the twist is that people can knock out members of the enemy team by hitting them with thin plastic sandwich bags filled with white flour and taped so that they 'explode' when they impact. Although we usually bring our paintball guns to this shindig, the flour is extremely safe and allows everyone ---- even little kids ----- to play. BTW, there is nothing worse than being taken out by a 10 year old. Needless to say, things can get rather wild --- especially with as many people as now show up (over 100). But when it comes to making our own fun, not many things can top hunting Pack Rats with our dogs.
MORE PACKRAT HUNTING
They live near the town of Melvern (we can actually see Beto Junction in the distance). My dad has a camper shell on his truck, so we simply load it up with people, gear, and dogs, and start driving the gravel roads looking for packrat nests in the hedge rows (big mounds of sticks, leaves, hedgeballs, trash, etc). The VIDEOS speak for themselves. We did not have an official videographer this time, so we only got one short video that was shot with a cell phone. This video is of one of our group (no names mentioned) up in the top of a particularly tall hedge row shaking a packrat out. (The sound you hear is a paintball gun my son uses to knock rats out of trees once they come out of their nests. This particular tree was too tall and the wind too strong for an accurate shot).