A Camping Adventure from Tulsa, OK to Roaring River, MO.

Dub's 3-in-1 is the name of our camper... 

As always there is a story with a name.  Our former neighbor, Dub Law passed away earlier this summer.  He was a one-of-a kind fellow.  We loved him as our own family and miss his spirit dearly.  But when he passed, he also passed on a legacy.

 He was and adventurer to the core.

 The water at Roaring River is crystal clear. I am not one to go splashing in a body of water I cannot see what's at the bottom. So this thrilled my soul when I discovered it was such transparent water.  You can see the fish as they are swimming by.  The lower right image is a designated swimming hole of which is easily walkable in most parts.  There are a few areas that get deep, however all of the water is ICE  COLD !

The water at Roaring River is crystal clear. I am not one to go splashing in a body of water I cannot see what's at the bottom. So this thrilled my soul when I discovered it was such transparent water.  You can see the fish as they are swimming by.  The lower right image is a designated swimming hole of which is easily walkable in most parts.  There are a few areas that get deep, however all of the water is ICE COLD!

 I don't know about you but half the love of camping is the food involved.  I have not found one person who hasn't said that food cooked outside at a camp ground is just better tasting!  The first night we had healthy  "tacos in a bag"  with the exception of Fritos (don't judge, we couldn't find healthier chips in a small bag).  Breakfasts consisted of bacon, eggs, GF biscuits with butter and jelly and some good old coffee. YUM.

I don't know about you but half the love of camping is the food involved.  I have not found one person who hasn't said that food cooked outside at a camp ground is just better tasting!  The first night we had healthy "tacos in a bag" with the exception of Fritos (don't judge, we couldn't find healthier chips in a small bag).  Breakfasts consisted of bacon, eggs, GF biscuits with butter and jelly and some good old coffee. YUM.

For Years We Have Wanted to Travel the United States in an RV...

It is truly a dream of mine to be a traveling photography instructor and photographer who documents the stories of other people.  We have looked at several RV's and even owned not one, but TWO pop-up tent trailers.  Sadly the first one we never took a single trip in it.

So when our friend Dub passed away and Clay and I attended the funeral, his daughter gave the eulogy.  Jenny did an amazing job and for a man who didn't want a funeral because he didn't want any preaching. Dub sent his message loud and clear, delivered to our hearts that Monday morning in Bixby, OK.

Life is an adventure...Live!

 This is my very favorite photograph of the entire trip and it was taken on my iPhone.  I have since had it enlarged to a beautiful 12x12 image from  Artifact Uprising .  I am SUPER impressed with the quality of the image between my simple iPhone 5 and the crisp, clean quality of the printed image.  The image just captures the essence of our trip.  It was a simple, beautiful trip, full of new adventures, in memory of our sweet, fisherman friend Dub.  Even the "God rays" shining down from the heavens above are like Dub smiling down on us. 

This is my very favorite photograph of the entire trip and it was taken on my iPhone.  I have since had it enlarged to a beautiful 12x12 image from Artifact Uprising.  I am SUPER impressed with the quality of the image between my simple iPhone 5 and the crisp, clean quality of the printed image.  The image just captures the essence of our trip.  It was a simple, beautiful trip, full of new adventures, in memory of our sweet, fisherman friend Dub.  Even the "God rays" shining down from the heavens above are like Dub smiling down on us. 

Every Story She Told...

The undertone in every story his daughter told was about some adventure that Dub, his kids, he and his sweetheart of a wife, Mary, had taken.  And we cried and cried through the laughter of the stories.  We knew what he was saying to us...go, travel, keep it simple and have fun! 

 So before we left in Jenks, OK, we went and purchased fishing poles for the kids.  They were giddy with excitement!!! That is all Colin talked about for days before, that he was going to go catch a fish!!!  As we pulled in we saw everyone wearing these BIG tags on their hats and shirts and it dawned on us that they were fishing licenses.   Click HERE  for information on fishing at Roaring River, MO.  It is the home of the  Roaring River Fish Hatchery.  The hatchery in itself was pretty cool for sure!

So before we left in Jenks, OK, we went and purchased fishing poles for the kids.  They were giddy with excitement!!! That is all Colin talked about for days before, that he was going to go catch a fish!!!  As we pulled in we saw everyone wearing these BIG tags on their hats and shirts and it dawned on us that they were fishing licenses.  Click HERE for information on fishing at Roaring River, MO.  It is the home of the Roaring River Fish Hatchery. The hatchery in itself was pretty cool for sure!

We Bought a Camper...

The day after the funeral, Clay came home and said he had found the perfect little pop-up Jayco camper for our family.  He knew that it was part of "the plan" to get us living towards our dreams.  Here is the truth in the matter, the ONLY one of us who had ever been camping was him.  We were a lot excited and all a bit scared to take the adventure!

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

 I don't know about you but some of my best memories growing up were of falling asleep outside with the breeze blowing across you.  We took the chance at doing an even better version of that, in a camper windows unzipped, with our favorite people at our sides.  And OH the hammock...I think we may have to invest in a second one for the next trip, as we all wanted a fair amount of time relaxing in it.  This particular brand of hammocks,  ENO  are silky soft and can be hung between two posts/trees about anywhere.

I don't know about you but some of my best memories growing up were of falling asleep outside with the breeze blowing across you.  We took the chance at doing an even better version of that, in a camper windows unzipped, with our favorite people at our sides.  And OH the hammock...I think we may have to invest in a second one for the next trip, as we all wanted a fair amount of time relaxing in it.  This particular brand of hammocks, ENO are silky soft and can be hung between two posts/trees about anywhere.

3-in-1

So at the funeral, Dub's daughter mentioned that he believed that there were always three trips in the one.  First trip was the planning/packing phase of getting excited and ready to leave.  Second trip was actually going on the trip. And the third was the memories and the stories you bring back home with you and retell again and again over the years. What a beautiful theory! As my heart skipped a beat and thus the name of the camper was born.

 At the  Roaring River State park  there was much nature to be had, any where from the cicada shell to be found on the hammock rope, (meaning it molted some time while we were there), to the GIANT walking stick bug (like 4-5inches long) which hung around our campsite for a few days, and the endless amount of Daddy Longlegs.  On the first day the Walking Stick jumped onto Rosi, our 3 year old and I am shocked we convinced her camping wasn't going to be all about giant bugs attacking.  Another very educational thing we did was we went to a "fossil chat" at the park's  nature center .  The young park ranger on duty at the nature center was extremely informative and excited about fossils. He taught us all about how and where to find fossils along the river bed. We became pretty good at identifying fossils and what kind they were by the end of our trip.

At the Roaring River State park there was much nature to be had, any where from the cicada shell to be found on the hammock rope, (meaning it molted some time while we were there), to the GIANT walking stick bug (like 4-5inches long) which hung around our campsite for a few days, and the endless amount of Daddy Longlegs.  On the first day the Walking Stick jumped onto Rosi, our 3 year old and I am shocked we convinced her camping wasn't going to be all about giant bugs attacking.  Another very educational thing we did was we went to a "fossil chat" at the park's nature center.  The young park ranger on duty at the nature center was extremely informative and excited about fossils. He taught us all about how and where to find fossils along the river bed. We became pretty good at identifying fossils and what kind they were by the end of our trip.

 The river head begins out of this area of the mountainside.  It is ice cold water and breezy near where the water comes  crashing down out of the spring.  It is an area of the river that the biggest "granddaddy" trout hangout.  They were the biggest trout Clay had ever seen!  Every thing was so lush and green.  We really didn't know what to expect because just three weeks earlier the area had major flooding,  click here  for the news story and footage.

The river head begins out of this area of the mountainside.  It is ice cold water and breezy near where the water comes  crashing down out of the spring.  It is an area of the river that the biggest "granddaddy" trout hangout.  They were the biggest trout Clay had ever seen!  Every thing was so lush and green.  We really didn't know what to expect because just three weeks earlier the area had major flooding, click here for the news story and footage.

Roaring River May Have Spoiled Us!

I have no idea if it was because of the water being so cool or if the temperatures really dipped, but the weather was amazing while we were there.  I think it topped out about 90 degrees and on July 31st that was a pretty big deal when we are used to the average high being right around 100.

Also the park in itself was so beautifully nostalgic, it was like stepping back in time, to a place I would have imagined our parents to visit with their families as kids.  And quite possibly they might have, since Roaring River State Park was founded in 1928 and it was said that thousands of people visited each weekend in those times.  

 This one is just for the cute factor.  Eden stole her brother's hat while fishing.  She is so tender and meek, it is images like this that melt my heart when I find them years later.  This story will get it's own book.  I love the new books put out by  Artifact Uprising  and plan to do one of their soft back covers to preserve the memories we made while here.

This one is just for the cute factor.  Eden stole her brother's hat while fishing.  She is so tender and meek, it is images like this that melt my heart when I find them years later.  This story will get it's own book.  I love the new books put out by Artifact Uprising and plan to do one of their soft back covers to preserve the memories we made while here.

We Didn't Have Water Hook Up at Our Campsite.

I think at first we looked at it as a frustration but as a little time passed it became fun and also instilled some thankfulness in the kiddos.  We had discussions about how we were very blessed to live in a country where we have indoor plumbing.  The older girls learned to watch the dishes right there at the spigot in a tub.  And after going to the bathroom in our "very tiny potty", as Rosalyn deemed the porta-potty in our camper, we would have to hop across the drive to the open field and wash up.  Soon it became a fun thing to go over and wash up.

There was FUN Around Every Corner!

We honestly expected more down time on the trip, but there was just much fun to be had in only a day in a half of time.  If we could go back to the planning stages we would have planned another day or two to stay a bit longer to have more down time.  Here's some truth about the Peevyhouse's, we do life BIG and we really hate to miss out on anything that sounds like fun.  It doesn't look like they post on their website about the multiple opportunities to take part in fun.  The link below is some information on Family Fun in their area.  While we were there they had, fossil hunts, cave tours, spear throwing, bear talks, and wild flower hunts.

 There were a few playgrounds Rosalyn and I happily played and the others fished. Family bonding was a definite on the trip, sister snuggles were often simply because they both wanted to to be in the hammock.  And recently the kids and I have been finding huge sticks on our nature walks and we like to make up stories of what the Giants of the forrest use them as.  This one we decided was used as the giant's toothpicks after he finished eating a ton of fish in the middle of the night.

There were a few playgrounds Rosalyn and I happily played and the others fished. Family bonding was a definite on the trip, sister snuggles were often simply because they both wanted to to be in the hammock.  And recently the kids and I have been finding huge sticks on our nature walks and we like to make up stories of what the Giants of the forrest use them as.  This one we decided was used as the giant's toothpicks after he finished eating a ton of fish in the middle of the night.

 This is the bear chat we listened to on the last night.  I think it ended being more fun than the kids anticipated.  Colin was mesmerized by the rubber bear poop, and we learned that there have been 2 black bear sightings this summer at the Roaring River State Park!    As a photographer's side note...These were shot well after dark!  There was one overhead light that was not super bright.  However I bumped up my ISO to 6400 and opened up my f-stop to 1.8 as to not have to use my flash.  I was pretty impressed at how much it looked like daytime!

This is the bear chat we listened to on the last night.  I think it ended being more fun than the kids anticipated.  Colin was mesmerized by the rubber bear poop, and we learned that there have been 2 black bear sightings this summer at the Roaring River State Park!  

As a photographer's side note...These were shot well after dark!  There was one overhead light that was not super bright.  However I bumped up my ISO to 6400 and opened up my f-stop to 1.8 as to not have to use my flash.  I was pretty impressed at how much it looked like daytime!

No Campout is Complete Without S'mores!

And we took ours a whole new level!!! We added peanut butter cups! Oh so good...and oh SO bad!

 I couldn't help but take a shot of this beautiful sight.  This was a gathering of at least 20 people who loved each other.  It was joy to my heart.  Can you imagine the stories that these people are making?  I hope someone in their group was taking photos to print and tell stories for years!

I couldn't help but take a shot of this beautiful sight.  This was a gathering of at least 20 people who loved each other.  It was joy to my heart.  Can you imagine the stories that these people are making?  I hope someone in their group was taking photos to print and tell stories for years!

We didn't realize we were making Memories, we thought we were just having Fun!

Dub's Spirit Makes a Showing.

So as we were finishing up our last meal at camp, our sweet neighbor made his appearance, literally and figuratively.  Literally the man camped next to us began packing up his campsite and started a conversation across the way.  It was precious, he offered this and that wisdom from his years of camping and fishing.  Next thing we knew he had called Clay over to offer some lures and hooks to better our fishing experience for the next time around.  He was what I imagine Dub to have been to his camp neighbors.  This man had his spirit, and I sat with tears in my eyes and a swelling in my heart for I knew that Dub had sent us his angel.  He knew if he could not be here to show us the ropes that someone else like spirited could do the job.  We all teared up a bit at breakfast as we acknowledged what had just happened.

Just ONE More Thing...

We couldn't resist experiencing one more thing.  There was a cave hike at 10am the morning we left and we made it by the skin of our teeth!!! It was fun and well worth the race to catch up with the group of people.  We hiked and helped each other climb to the top of the mountain trail to explore three caves on the Devil's Kitchen Trail. 

The  caves we explored on the hike are all considered dead caves.  Meaning at one point they were either filled with water or were a source of a spring and now they are dry.  I was super impressed at the bravery of my little two.  They would have gone much deeper into the caves if we had let them.  They were mesmerized and loved checking out the creeping and crawling things on the cave ceiling.

We Really Did Not Want to Go Home!

Honestly the last trip through the woods was soul cleansing and good for my heart to see how joyful, free and fearless my children were as they ran back towards the trailhead.  We will be back very soon Roaring River!

2015-08-13_0006.jpg

I am SO thankful.

This man pushed us to finally do this.  I am SO very thankful.  It was out of my comfort zone, but I knew that it is what we needed to do as a family, it is part of our story, but without this man we would not have made the journey.  He prepped for weeks and and cooked every meal at camp, along with many other things I would have no idea how to do.

What's Next?

We are already excited to hook up the trailer again and head out for another adventure.  Where should we go next? Do you know of a great area within a four our radius of Tulsa, OK to camp?  We will be headed out once and maybe twice in the month of October! Leave me some comments below.

Living our DreamS

So as I said earlier, our dreams are to travel the United States as a family telling people's stories with images I take for you or teach you how to tell your story in an amazing way!  I would love to schedule a time for us to pack up and head your way make some memories!

I help people capture the beautiful moments of their lives and tell their stories through photography by giving them simple, step-by-step instructions that the novice or advanced photographer can replicate. I share my passion for life and the story of love and joy with everyone I meet.

Love, Grace and Peace,

Holly and the Peevyhouse Clan

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

John Lubbock