Holiday Crisis Averted

I walked up to the young man stocking the soda shelves and said, “Kid, the fate of the Fourth of July is on your shoulders.”

I don’t know if Walmart employees are issued a panic button to push if confronted with “odd” customers, but the look in his eye made me believe he wished he had such a device.

“Here’s the deal. It’s not the Fourth of July unless I can pour strawberry soda over vanilla ice cream. I’d hate to have to tell all those folks who are waiting for fireworks to go off that you’re responsible for it not happening.”

He and a second stocker scoured the aisles and came back with the sad news: the Jackson Walmart had no strawberry soda in any brand.

(By the way, you can click on the images if you want to make them big enough to see the bubbles.)

Schnucks Saved the Day

Hoping to salvage the holiday, I went to Schnucks.

They, fortunately, had at least four brands of red soda on the shelves.

Cue up the firework displays. (For the record, this was taken in Middleport, Ohio, in 2015, while escorted by Curator Jessica, who is still young enough to get excited about things like this.)

After it was over, she asked how I liked it.

My answer was to play Peggy Lee singing Is That All There Is? 

More Fourth of July posts

Castor River Shut-Ins

Wife Lila and Grandson Malcolm came up for a visit. When Malcolm was here last year, we went to Johnson’s Shut-Ins and Elephant Rocks. He liked them well enough he told us he wanted to do the same when he came back in 2018.

“I LOVE this place,” he commented. It’s good to see him infected with the Midwest. There may be hope for him.

Anyway, just as we were getting ready to pull out of the driveway, I saw Neighbor Bill across the street and told him where we were going. He asked, “Have you ever been to Castor River Shut-Ins.

I allowed as how I hadn’t, but since it was about half the distance to our original destination, we decided to check it out. (You can click on the photos to make them larger, by the way.)

Their new favorite place

My visitors said they liked it better than Johnson’s Shut-Ins. It has all the rock climbing of Elephant Rocks, with the water fun. I agree that all the pink granite is pretty, but Johnson’s has more cool water flumes to shoot down.

Traded bold for old

My bold days have been traded for old days, so I was conservative about where I stepped and climbed. Wife Lila was a bit more aggressive because she wanted to keep an eye on Malcolm so she could write the “Dear Matt and Sarah, Guess what we did to your kid” letter.

A gasp and a splash

It wasn’t long before Malcolm was playing mountain goat and heading up a near vertical wall.

I heard Lila gasp, followed by a splash. Showing that she really is a photographer at heart, she complained that there was a branch in the way that kept her from getting a good shot when he slipped and bounced on his backside into the river.

He sat in the cool water for a few minutes regrouping before frolicking some more. About the only thing injured was his pride.

Beautiful scenery

The place is pretty, offers plenty of room to spread out, and wasn’t overrun by people, even though it was a hot day.

Google says that the Castor River Shut-Ins are 45.7 miles (1 hour, 9 minutes) from Cape via MO-72. Johnson’s Shut-Ins are 88.6 miles (1 hour, 53 minutes), also on MO-72.

Earlier visits to Johnson’s Shut-Ins and Elephant Rocks

Road Warriorette Shari and Curator Jessica also made it to the parks in 2017, but they didn’t do anything outrageous enough to publish.