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There’s just something about water that I find calming. Not drinking water, but a body of water, especially small ponds and lakes. I’ve always been drawn to lakes (and beaches), and I love to sit out by the water and read a good book, or sometimes just stare out over the water and relax.

Last week, I ventured down to White Rock Lake in Dallas. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend you take a field trip down there to see what it is all about. White Rock has changed so much since I was a little kid living down in Dallas. It has become quite a popular spot for exercising, fishing, boating, and photo sessions.

On the weekends, it is so crowded, that sometimes getting real exercise is impossible, because the traffic on the trail is so heavy that you can’t really run, and the road around the lake is just as bad, so biking is near impossible. But during the week…it’s perfection.

I headed down there with my camera last week to go birding. There are so many birds in and around the lake, but my favorite thing to do is to go sit on one of the docks and just watch all the activity on the lake. On a beautiful day, there are rowers out there doing their morning workout, there are usually a few sailboats, and an occasional kayaker paddling around.

As I roamed around the different locations I like to visit when I’m there, I was wishing that the lake was just a little bit closer to where I live. The docks that they have there scattered around the lake call to me. I wish I could ride my bike to the lake, and just take a short break sitting on one of the many docks, hopefully with a fishing pole.

Since I love water so much, I was excited that our summer vacation this summer was on a river! I was certain there would be someplace close by to go fishing. We headed just north of the popular area in Broken Bow, Oklahoma to Smithville. We were about 45 minutes away from “civilization” in Oklahoma. So we packed a cooler with our groceries, and headed to our cabin in Smithville.

We were right on the river, so from our deck, you could hear the sounds of the water. It was so relaxing. In order to fish, we had to climb down a rocky path to the water, or we could drive or walk to the bridge, where the fishing was supposed to be pretty good.

The owner of the cabin had told us this, but we learned first hand that it was a popular fishing and swimming spot from some of the locals. As it turns out, we were 45 minutes from the closest town in Oklahoma, but we were only about 15-20 minutes from Mena, Arkansas.

Most of the people we saw on this vacation were from the Arkansas neighborhood close by. This was the swimming hole that many of the families frequented during hot summers. It was fun to watch these kiddos climb trees and swing from ropes over the water.

This one started working on his casting and reeling in a long time ago…

My little city kids mostly just watched this take place. We weren’t quite ready to trust the ropes… But we did have fun with our fishing poles. We didn’t have cane poles with bobbers, but we did have some pretty fun little fishing poles – some with bobbers and some with lures. And regardless of the fact that we didn’t catch much, there’s something about sitting there quietly with a fishing pole hoping to catch a fish.

Sometimes we talked while we were patiently waiting for the fish to bite, and sometimes we didn’t. And it was all wonderful. No phones, no cars, just us, our fishing poles, and the beautiful Mountain Fork River.

The views from our cabin were incredible. Sadly, most of the pictures I took on this trip were with my cell phone (see below). But it was kind of nice to unplug not only from our computers, but from my cameras as well.

If it’s been a while since you’ve been fishing, you should head to the nearest Wal-mart and grab yourself a fishing pole and some tackle gear. You’ll be glad you did!

If you need help with any photos of you and your family fishing, or just some regular old family photos, you can find me hanging out over at Paula Mason Photography.

Until next time…