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  • Writer's pictureTrail Guide Joe

2023 Campout #1 - Mark Twain State Park

The time has come! Nearly to the 6th month of the and finally getting my first camping trip in for 2023. The destination, not one I typically pick for May, would be Mark Twain State Park! The reason, same as why I have waited well into May for this trip, is because of the weather. It has been colder than normal and maybe just above average on rainfall making it not so easy to break away for a camping trip. This weekend, however, would be just about perfect! Not too hot during the day, not too cold overnight, and the only rain in sight was on Friday during the drive up. That wasn't able to stop me as I was able to get packed before the rain moved in at home, drove through spotty showers on the way up, and the rain had long vacated the area by the time I arrive at my site. And to top it all off, I was able to setup camp before the sun went down! I can tell you, that rarely happens so this was quite the treat!

As this trip was set to be a typical 2 nighter, I planned to pack a few activities into my Saturday. After a nice, rest filled night of sleep, and a bit of sleeping in, I got started with a brisk morning walk before what qualified as the heat of the day set in. After the hike, I would return to camp for lunch and a bit of a break before loading up the kayak and heading out on the lake for a bit of paddling. To my somewhat surprise, it was "Crappie Bash" weekend which made the boat ramp particularly busy... not a good thing for a little, slow-moving kayaker like me. Once clear of the ramp however, the boat traffic was virtually non-existent. That meant I had my little cove by the state park beach (still closed for the season) all to myself! This was perfect for my planned activity of flying the drone up for some pictures. After a few hours of fun on the water, it was time to return to camp again and prepare for dinner and the next activity: spillway fishing! I wish spillway fishing could have gone better but due to some annoying groups of people also trying to "fish", I decided to cut my attempts short and returned to camp before dark. The one highlight of the spillway trip was the spotting of a neat red-headed bird!


Sunday, the final day of the trip, would see me rising early to attempt to catch the sunrise over the lake. As predicted, I was unable to get up early enough to beat the sun but I did get to catch fog out over the far end of the lake which was an unexpected surprise! After getting some ariel photos, I headed back to camp to begin the process of breaking down and packing up my gear with a bit of time to let it sit and dry. All in all, it was a very refreshing trip that was exactly what I needed!


Span of 3 days; Approximately 253.1 miles; Approximately 16.265 gallons of gas used; Approximate average MPG 15.9; Approximately $47.15 spent on gas.


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