Winter Campfire Coffee

Winter Water


The air was cold, a few degrees above freezing. A north wind tried to aggravate us, but Cora blocked its best gusts. Cora is the island on our port side. We’d survived the toughest part of the trip: launching a 20-foot canoe into a swift current. “The Missouri River moves fast when the channel comes close to the bank,” Mike …

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Downed Power Lines



Long before The Weather Channel started naming continental storms, this one will be remembered as The Ice Storm of ’09. Its widespread devastation covered Missouri’s Bootheel like a glacier. In the two counties that form the heel of the boot, the ice brought down 12,000 telephone poles. For three days I drove the back roads of the Bootheel, and recorded …

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IMG 55191 E1356645731523



My ride and me, we never used a GPS. No compass. No MapQuest. We abstained from sextants. For the first third of this journey, a state highway map was our only guide. Deeper into our drive, untraveled roads became harder to reach. Just to find fresh pavement, we sometimes traveled a hundred miles over routes already covered. But there was …

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The Graduate


It took all I had to get him to graduation day. Many families feel the same. You work. You worry. You save. You coach and encourage. You pray. And when they graduate, a very big part of you walks across that stage. They’re your children. Been there, done that. But three years ago I saw my last graduate a little …

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Cat Road

Run the Cat Roads


Before there was a lottery, and people had to grab cash the old-fashioned way, Bonnie & Clyde knew about Dearborn, Missouri. Dearborn is popular now because of America’s latest Powerball winner. But until recently, when the equivalent of one half ton of gold fell out of the sky on Dearborn, the little town was quiet, out of the way, along …

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