I’m often awed by the power of our senses, especially the sense of smell, which experts say triggers emotions and memories of treasured places. When I was growing up in
Boone County, my dad would always take the family to “the ole strip pits” that were, at the time, reclaimed coal-mine pits just north of town. We would unload the over-packed station wagon filled with our camping and fishing gear, get the fire going, and head to one of the many lakes to see what we might catch. I recall wild roses growing abundantly there. I remember the fun my dad and I had taking on my twin brothers in a made-up game called Charge the Hill. And I especially recall falling asleep to the smell of our campfire’s burning embers.
Bill McCully’s story about his first quail hunt at the Atlanta Conservation Area in northwest Missouri us how fortunate we are to have wild places like the one my family and I enjoyed when I was a child. I am blessed that this special family destination has now become Rocky Fork Conservation Area and Finger Lakes State Park, places protected as public lands that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
A couple of months ago, my nephew and I headed out to that special place for a morning of kayaking. As we paddled about together (between sprint races in which he beat Aunt Sara every single time), I shared stories about his dad and the fun we had as kids growing up there. I smiled as I reflected that yet another family memory was being created that very day. As we loaded up the kayaks to head home, I was certain I could smell a campfire burning nearby.
Sara Parker Pauley, Director
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
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Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler