Category: The Great Outdoors

Hawn State Park in March {Missouri Nature Photographer}

March 26, 2018 · Pets, The Great Outdoors, Vacations

Somehow, during the last decade of camping with my family, we failed to venture very far beyond the two places that grew to be our “second homes” between May and September (Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort in Leasburg, Missouri and Twin Rivers Landing in Lesterville). However, after an incredible road trip through Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma last summer, my interest in National and State Parks was ignited. As I explore my home state of Missouri, I’m continuously discovering beautiful places, some of which I have not heard, and some that have been long forgotten since childhood.

I was told about the beautiful hiking trails in Hawn State Park (Ste. Genevieve) a couple of years ago, and finally got around to visiting during Spring Break this week. While researching the trails prior to my trip, I discovered that there was a campground in the park, and since camping is my favorite way to enjoy Nature, I decided to make checking out the campsites a priority during my first visit. I had so much fun exploring the cozy little campground and Pickle Creek (a shut-ins stream which flows along it), that I didn’t actually have enough time to hike the trails because it started to rain. So, I made a reservation for later this year, and can’t wait to visit with my family and see what everything looks like during the warmer seasons!

Here are some photos I took during my March visit. Since I had trouble finding visitors’ pictures of the campsites online, I took a couple of my own in case anyone else searched Hawn State Park campsite photos. Many of the sites were booked, but I’ve included images of campsite 17 (and possibly campsite 23 with my car on the concrete pad, but now I can’t remember where I was parked when that photograph was taken) and walk-in campsites 49 and 50. All of the campsites along the creek have nice views, tall pines, and Pickle Creek running behind them. The entire campground is pretty flat, so if you’re tent camping, you’re sure to find plenty of level ground no matter where you are. There are running toilets and showers in the shower house near the end of the campground and vault toilets throughout the campground and near the trailheads. There are four trails between 300 ft. and 9.75 miles (one good for backpacking and three for hiking).

Hawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographerHawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographer

(LEFT) Pickle Creek behind the walk-in sites, (RIGHT) campsite 17: Hawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographer

(LEFT) Pickle Pickle Creek behind campsite 17: Hawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographer

(LEFT) campsite 17, (RIGHT) campsite 17 or 23):Hawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographerHawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographerHawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographer

Walk-in campsite 49:Hawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographerHawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographerHawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographerHawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographer

Luna running in the sand behind the walk-in campsites:Hawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographer

Walk-in campsite 50 (Pickle Creek is to the right; a trickle of flowing water runs along the front of the bluff):Hawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographer

Pickle Creek trailhead:Hawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographerHawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographerHawn State Park Hiking, backpacking, Nature photographer

Hawn State Park in March {Missouri Nature Photographer}

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Arkansas Spring Break {Family Vacation Photographer}

March 30, 2017 · Kiddos, Snapshots, The Great Outdoors, Vacations

A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to join her and her daughters (who are also friends with my children) in crystal mining and camping in Arkansas for a few days during Spring Break. If you know me, you know there’s a slim chance I’ll say no to an invitation to go camping. It’s my favorite thing to do!! We camped on Lake Ouachita at Joplin Campground and had a blast mining for crystals. It was such a beautiful few days away from home!

Arkansas Spring Break {Family Vacation Photographer}

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Field Trip to Hidden Valley Ski Resort {St. Louis Lifestyle Photographer}

February 12, 2017 · Snapshots, The Great Outdoors, Vacations

My sweet blog post about my son’s field trip was hacked so I had to delete and re-upload it. It’s too bad there are mean people in the world who don’t act in Love toward other humans.

Here are some photos I love so much!! “S” had a blast skiing for the first time!

Field Trip to Hidden Valley Ski Resort {St. Louis Lifestyle Photographer}

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Memorial Day Camping 2015 {St. Louis Vacation Photographer}

February 12, 2017 · Snapshots, The Great Outdoors, Vacations

I got hacked, so I had to delete my previous blog post with sweet memories of our Memorial Day camping trip with friends two years ago. Boooooo for mean people in the world. Here are the photos I had shared before!

Memorial Day Camping 2015 {St. Louis Vacation Photographer}

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Camp Ben Frankel {St. Louis Vacation Photographer}

October 25, 2016 · Kiddos, Snapshots, The Great Outdoors, Vacations

I was so lucky to visit my daughter’s Jewish sleep away camp for four days last summer with a mission to capture the joy and community at this very special place. Here are some of the moments I preserved! For more information about this sweet, small, wonderful camp, visit http://campbenfrankel.com.

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Everyone works together to clean up the camp in preparation for Shabbat.

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And the boys begin a Shabbat Walk down to the girls’ side of camp for some photo opps with friends.

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Havdalah was so beautiful!

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I spent my last day at the Maccabi Games!

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Thank you to “Chief” for allowing me to experience your amazing camp, and thanks to all of the staff, counselors, CIT’s, and kiddos for making me feel welcome!!!

Lots of love…Neshama

Camp Ben Frankel {St. Louis Vacation Photographer}

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2 Comments

  • Kalanit Chappell · Posted October 28, 2016 at 2:05 pm · Link · Reply

    These pictures are fantastic, and perfectly catch the camp experience at Camp Ben Frankel. My daughter, who has been to Ben Frankel, for four years now, cannot get enough of looking at them! My younger daughter cannot wait until she is old enough. I love the variety of activities, the diversity of the children, and ALL THE SMILES!!!

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Rubin Israel Experience {St. Louis Portrait Photographer}

October 20, 2016 · Snapshots, The Great Outdoors, Vacations

Last month, I traveled to Israel with a group of nine other St. Louis Jewish leaders who had never visited the land before. The trip was jam packed with incredible people and places that have changed my life. Here are some beautiful moments of our time together. Thank you to Pam and Ron Rubin for making this experience possible.

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We landed!

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Our first stop is in Neot Kedumim where we herded sheep and goats on a biblical landscape reserve and planted trees.

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Ahhh…Tel-Aviv! What a fun city! I didn’t include photos of everything we did, but here are a few I took during our walking tour, graffiti art tour, and Segway tour!

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Israel is filled with what we affectionately like to refer to as squirrels. Here’s one of them!

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We got to surf in the Mediterranean Sea and then watch the sun set!

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It was an honor to visit some of the border police…

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Here we are, spending a little time with women who live on a kibbutz…

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Making bread…

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Learning and growing in Nature…

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Picking sweet potatoes to be donated! This was so much fun! For more info about the organization, Leket Israel, visit https://www.leket.org/en/.

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Moshe, who is 70 something years old, shared his incredible story of surviving a missile attack to his ship. Unfortunately, many of his friends did not survive. He runs a food pantry dedicated to the men who died.

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We came to a mountainside and pulsed our love across the world through a heart meditation and the sounding of the shofar.

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I created this panoramic shot the old fashioned way by taking nine images and merging them together in Photoshop. It is a LOT harder than taking a panoramic with an iPhone!

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Wow, wow, wow! United Hatzalah is an unbelievable organization of super-hero volunteers. Jews, Muslims, and Christians all over Israel remain on call in case of an emergency. There are so many volunteers available that someone can arrive on the scene within 90 seconds from the time a call is placed to Israel’s 911. Volunteers are trained to administer life-saving treatments until an ambulance arrives. You can learn more by visiting https://israelrescue.org.

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Here we are preparing to shop in the shuk (the Jerusalem market) for Shabbat dinner, which we prepared ourselves! What a great memory and deee-licious food!! You can do the same thing next time you’re in Jerusalem! Ruthie and her sister-in-law are SO wonderful!! http://www.shukandcook.com

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I like the photo bomber in the background… The guy on the guitar was cool too. He told me something extremely profound, but I was too tired to grasp the concept.

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Camels can be found at gas stations in Israel…

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Masada!!! We were really hoping to climb it, but people are not allowed to climb once the temperature hits 100 degrees. It was 100.4 degrees when we arrived, so we took the tram.

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This scribe, who was in the old synagogue on the top of Masada, shared a teaching with us and sounded the shofar!

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These are the remains of the old synagogue.

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Here we are, floating in the Dead Sea, which is ten times saltier than the average ocean and super healthy for your skin!

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These are all photos from my iPhone, which I decided should be my camera of choice during our ATV trip through the Northern Judean Desert (one of my favorite places in Israel).

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We visited an amazing school where Jewish and Arab children learn together (there was a squirrel at the entrance). https://www.handinhandk12.org

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Our first visit to the Western Wall was at the beginning of Shabbat, so I didn’t get any pictures, but it was an unbelievable experience that I will never forget. As soon as I entered the Old City, a wave of energy washed over me. I was inspired to not speak another word until I touched the Wall for the first time. We came back after Shabbat, and visited the egalitarian side as a group, and danced in Joy!

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I also went back to the women’s side one more time before our trip came to an end.

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I slept almost the entire way home, but here we are after landing back in Newark shortly before sunrise!

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And here’s one of our last cuddly group photos from the trip!! I miss my friends so much, and can’t wait for us to all get together again!! Katie, Dave, Lisa, Steve, Lauren, Sharon, Matt, Mindee, Paul, and Jodi, I love you all so much!!!

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For more details of our experience, visit www.rubinisrael.org.

Rubin Israel Experience {St. Louis Portrait Photographer}

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2 Comments

  • Kalanit · Posted October 21, 2016 at 3:57 am · Link · Reply

    Wow! Chills and longing.!!!

    • Neshama Roash · Posted October 21, 2016 at 8:24 am · Link · Reply

      Yes!! Desperate longing……. Thank you Kalanit!!

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Gatlinburg, TN Winter Vacation {St. Louis Vacation Photographer}

December 25, 2013 · Snapshots, The Great Outdoors, Vacations

It’s been almost a year since my family and I drove to Gatlinburg with some good friends of ours and their families over winter break, so I thought maybe I should get some pictures up from our trip before the new year! We had a great time hiking, sight-seeing, and  relaxing in our cabin. Here are a few highlights…

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Camping in the Ozarks {St. Louis Vacation Photographer} Firefly Universe Fine Portrait Photography

September 4, 2012 · Snapshots, The Great Outdoors, Vacations

Our biggest camping trip of the season happened on the weekend of July 13, 2012.  Most of our mini vacation was sunny and beautiful, but we did go through a torrential downpour on Friday night, which, unfortunately, scared away a family as one member claimed there was a tornado on the way, and that there was no way he and his family were staying.  They packed up in the rain and headed back to the safety of their home in St. Louis.  The rest of us (including some first time campers) survived the storm, and went on a 5 mile float trip the next day.  I can easily say it was the craziest float trip ever! Because the river level was so low, all of the surrounding campgrounds were putting their canoes and rafts into our part of the river.  There were literally thousands of people on the Meramec that day!  Overall, it was still a great experience with some of our closest pals, and we can’t wait to do it again next year!   Here are some highlights…

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