Rural Missouri - February 2018 - 23
Above: Every cabin at River of Life Farm is unique. This one features a log slab staircase and
posts carved from trees. The one thing all of the cabins have in common is an amazing view
of the river valley and the surrounding hills. Above right: Myron grew up not far from the
equipment to the resort, opening up the roads. A backhoe operator agreed to
work for a fraction of his normal wages.
Through it all, the resort never closed. While some guests asked for refunds,
others opted for gift certiﬁcates good for future dates or told Myron they would
stay wherever he had a place.
"It was a real survival act," he says. "We had so many people that just
encouraged and helped us and prayed for us. Along with the $25,000 in deposit
refunds we made, there were people who said, 'hey, we will come later.' Or, 'we
will come for our normal vacations and stay in a tent.' "
One close friend came to Myron and pulled out his checkbook, asking what
was needed. Myron surveyed the extensive damage but looked beyond the
carnage to the four orphanages he had been funding for years with money
made at the resort.
"We didn't have the money," he says of the support for 100 orphans. "We
were putting every penny we had from the business into paying our carpenters,
our insurance and the bank notes."
The friend paid the $5,500 Myron normally sent to the orphans.
Another miracle came from the Small Business Administration, which
granted a disaster-relief loan for $1.4 million that allowed Myron to pay the
carpenters and buy materials to begin rebuilding the lost cabins. A sympathetic
SBA employee literally walked the loan application through the process.
By Memorial Day weekend, three new cabins were ready to rent. "After we
got the cabins ﬁnished it was a matter of stalling people in the ofﬁce so the last
piece of artwork could be hung," Myron recalls. "It was that close."
Today it's hard to see the effects of the ﬂood. The river is back in its banks,
playing a cheerful tune as it winds past The Falls, a landmark on the river.
Work continues on more cabins, this time placed high on the bluffs with
stellar views of the river valley. Guests continue to arrive, seeking the solace
that comes with listening to the river and reconnecting with nature.
Some ﬁnd it hard to go home.
"There is a special dimension to River of Life Farm that people constantly
testify to," Myron says. "They will say something like 'as soon as I turned in
your driveway I sensed something different here.' I've had people check out of
their cabin in tears when they give the key back to me."
Below: The Wisteria cabin, one of three new cabins now available to guests, features a living
room with a high-tech infrared ﬁreplace, spiral stairs leading to a loft bedroom and a DVD player.
resort's location but moved away after his father drowned in the river. He spent many years
drifting around the country before convincing his wife, Ann, to "perfect poverty" while living in a
cabin on land given to him by an uncle. The resort is a dream he's always had inside him, he says.
Google "Romantic Cabins"
and it's a sure thing River of Life Farm will show up. The resort located
near Dora features 12 cabins ranging from those suited to one or two
couples to the Cliff House, which can hold an entire extended family.
"Valentines Day is a wonderful time to get away with your romantic
partner to a treehouse cabin on a trout stream," says owner Myron
McKee. "It has a wonderful view of the river, 6 or 8 miles of hiking trails
and the best rainbow trout ﬁshery in the Midwest right off your deck. It's
just a really nice place to come for a getaway."
These are not primitive cabins intended for roughing it while away.
River of Life's cabins feature jetted tubs, hand-made stained glass, large
decks, comfortable beds and high-tech infrared ﬁreplaces. Fully equipped
kitchens let you prepare gourmet meals, while outdoor ﬁrepits let you
stay warm while stargazing.
The resort, which is open year round, can set you up with a guide for
ﬁshing in the trophy trout waters. This stretch of the North Fork River
has a sustainable wild rainbow trout population.
Canoe rentals are available as well. Float trips range from 7 to 12 miles
and include Rainbow Spring, one of Missouri's largest springs.
Guests also are welcome to explore the many miles of manicured trails
located on the property. Landmarks such as Billy Goat Falls, River of Life
Spring and Inspiration Point can be reached along the network of trails.
"We try to make every guest in every cabin feel that they've got a deed to
all 500 acres and no neighbors to share it with," Myron says.
For more information or to reserve a cabin, call
417-261-7777 or visit www.riveroﬂifefarm.com.
Below right: The Cliff House hangs high above the river. The former home has been carefully
rebuilt and is the largest building available to the resort's guests, with room for six couples.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2018
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