Finally, a camping trip that doesn't include a heat advisory! How exactly this happens in the middle of August is beyond me but it did and it was perfect! The trip this time would be to Mark Twain State Park featuring a large body of water to sit in if the temperatures had been worse. On top of the reasonable temperature, no rain again! This was really turning out to be an ideal weekend on all counts!
Arriving to camp, late as usual, it was a "setup camp before dark" effort then quickly shuffle off to bed to crash after a long day. Just before the shuffle off to bed, we would attempt a little bit of meteor watching for the annual Perseid Meteor shower. Technically a day after peak, not a meteor was to be seen so the shuffle to bed commenced.
Waking up the next morning would bring a startling surprise. A black widow spider hiding amongst the gear spread out the night before. To my recollection, this is the second time I have seen one of these in the wild so it is a rare find to say the least. If you are not familiar, black widow spiders, though not particularly aggressive, are highly venomous; their bite inflicts quite a bit of pain and in rare cases, even death. Although I don't particularly like to spitefully destroy nature, I like living alongside a venomous spider even less. Especially one that takes up residence in my gear so quickly and readily...
After finishing up with campsite setup, it was time for breakfast. On my camping trips, a traditional breakfast is none other than pancakes! It takes a certain level of skill to time the cooking just right so you don't burn them, especially when cooking with a camp stove that doesn't have delicate temperature settings. Regardless, we would need to fill up for the day's activity of beach lounging and swimming! Why waste the perfect weekend temperatures, right?
Aside from the Cuivre River State Park trip earlier this year, beach visits can be rather rare. Sand fleas and other surprises await you on land and in the water, unfortunately, a high e. coli bacteria level rating at this beach. So we stick to the sand! With the temperatures being relatively mild for this time of year, it was far from unbearable to be out in the open like this. The activities would include watching the launching of boats from the boat ramp across the cove, sitting, and relaxing! All in all, it was just what was needed to unwind after another long week! After running out of food for our beach excursion, it was time to pack up and head back to camp once again and prepare for the next planned event of the day, fishing! I won't call this a secret honey hole but I do tend to have a lot of luck at the spillway below Clarence Cannon dam.
Unfortunately, due to the heavy rains just a few months earlier, they were releasing quite a bit of water into the river below the lake. This strong current would thwart fishing for the most part with the exception of one carp that wasn't going to be deterred. Wrapping up the fishing a bit early to make it back to camp before dark, we set off for the campground fish cleaning station and back to camp to relax after an eventful day. On the way back from the fishing station, we would stop off for a quick peek at the setting sun from the campground boat ramp. You can never seen too many sunsets!
Without the threat of rain and even more so without the oppressive heat and humidity, it was nice to enjoy a campfire once again! Before calling it a day though, another campout favorite, s'mores! Who can resist after such a perfect day, am I right?
Despite the massive infusion of sugar, it was clear the battle to stay awake was already lost, it was time to head to the tent and call it a day! The next day would see us packing up for the return home.
It's time now to take a moment to express the only issue on this trip: inconsiderate campers. From the noisy diesel circling the loop a few too many times, boat in tow, to their dog that was left alone in camp to bark all day and, on the last night, the group that loudly played the radio literally all night. Please be considerate of those around you. If there is a "lights out" policy, which there was in this campground, respect it. Respect your neighbor's unspoken desire to soak in the sounds of nature. Be a excellent camper!
Span of 3 days; Approximately 5 hours and 4 minutes of cumulative driving; Approximately 249.4 miles; Approximately 21.768 gallons of gas used; Approximate average MPG 12.19; Approximately $60.40 spent on gas; Average fuel consumption rate of 4.301 gallons per hour.