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  • Writer's pictureTrail Guide Joe

2023 Campout #5 - St Francois State Park


The 5th and possibly final trip of the year would also be the second solo trip of the year for me. The weather would be nice enough, a slight chance of rain and not freezing cold, and the weekend, although the start of hunting season, would be open for me at least. As long as I could find a park that wasn't closed for a managed deer hunt of course. The park perfect for a spur of the moment camping trip would be St. Francois State Park!

As this trip would follow on the heels of the annual Montauk State Park trout fishing trip, I would find this weekend the quickest, easiest option to squeeze in another camping trip. I'd quickly throw together a bag of clothes, grab a tent, a pair of sleeping bags for extra warmth overnight, and a few other essentials and I would be on my way!

The next morning, I would quickly realize the flaw in my "pack quick and leave" plans. Pants. The only pair of pants I would have for this trip would be the pair I walked out the door wearing on Friday afternoon. Oh boy, this was going to be interesting... Discovering my mistake, and desiring breakfast, something I deliberately did not pack as I am typically OK without, I would make my way to the local Walmart and pick up a few items for breakfast as well as a pair of pants for the one occasion where a clean pair of pants would be needed. Feeling better prepared now, I would head back to camp and get ready to do some hiking!

The only pair of pants I would have for this trip would be the pair I walked out the door wearing on Friday afternoon. Oh boy, this was going to be interesting...

The hike would be one I have done a few times before; the Mooner's Hollow trail. At just over 3 miles, it would be just enough of a hike to satiate my hiking appetite before lunch.

 
The Mooner's Hollow hike is always a scenic one no matter what time of year!
 

After lunch, I would bring out my drone and my new Traxxas rock crawler, a raffle prize I had won while on the Montauk trip, just to give them a little exercise and, with the drone, see what I could see from the sky. Down by the Big River which runs through the park, I would find a sand bar I could let the Traxxas rock crawler rip along while the drone could scope out the river and points above.

 
 

After running down the batteries, I packed up and headed back to camp ready to get the fire stoked up and the food heated up. Not long after finishing dinner, well after the sun had set, the slight chance of rain had finally caught up with me and convinced me to pack up and jump in the tent. Fortunately, it was just a light passing sprinkle and not long after, the clouds cleared out letting a multitude of stars shine through. Of course, with the clouds clearing out, the temperatures overnight dropped much lower than they had been the night before, something I was not exactly prepared for compared to the previous night... No matter, it was the end of daylight savings time so I could afford to have poor sleep as I would effectively gain an hour overnight thanks to time change.

Next morning, everything would already be dried out from the sprinkles of rain the night before so packing up would be clean and dry! I would take it nice and easy getting things packed up and roll out about midday once it finally warmed up. Over all, not a bad trip! This most likely will be the end of the 2023 camping season so here's to the start of 2024 camping season!

 
 

Span of 3 days; Approximately 188.8 miles; Approximately 9.58 gallons of gas used; Approximate average MPG 19.71; Approximately $28.16 spent on gas.


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