Sunday, June 30, 2013

Camping for a Family Picnic - Lake of the Ozarks State Park

It's been a couple of months since I updated either of my blogs, so I thought I'd write a couple of quik back-dated posts to get this one caught up. - Annie, August 25, 2013.

On June 28, we made a quick camping trip to Lake of the Ozarks State Park.  This park is just far enough away from us that I would rather have made the trip on a three-day weekend, but because we were going for an extended-family picnic, we did it on a regular weekend.

This park is very large.  Once inside the park entrance, we drove a full five miles before we reached the campground.  It's a beautiful park, and we'd like to return sometime to enjoy it more.

The only drawback to our visit was that our site was very un-level.  We made it work, but the tail end of the RV was in the air and a little wobbly, which gave me a little bit of motion sickness.  I just tried to avoid being inside as much as I could.

Our family picnic was not here, but at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, about 25 miles away.  Ha Ha Tonka has no campground, but it has some very pretty and interesting ruins of a castle-like mansion, as well as hiking trails, a naturally-formed bridge, swimming, etc. 

Both parks are located on the Lake of the Ozarks, which is a resort area with lots of restaurants, boutique shops and amusements.  We enjoyed time at an arcade (or as Kat calls it, a "kids' casino"), and played a round of mini-golf.

As happens most times we camp, it rained.   After we finished our game of golf, we barely made it into the truck before the downpour.  It rained throughout the evening, but that didn't keep us from enjoying our evening by the fire...intermittently.


Parked at Lake of the Ozarks State Park
near Osage Beach, MO
June 28-30, 2013

The Food - June 28 through 30

Food at camp wasn't as much of the focus of this trip as it is on some of our outings.  Of course, we still ate, but only a little of it took place at camp and because we felt rushed, I tried to keep it simple.

Friday noon:  We ate lunch at a small cafe called Dar's in Warsaw, MO, on our way to camp.

Friday evening:  I built huge sub sandwiches for us to enjoy our first evening.  Subway has nothing on us!  They looked like this:

Saturday morning:  We didn't eat any breakfast because we were saving our appetite for our family picnic.

Saturday noon:  Family picnic!  I didn't get any photos because Shane and I were recruited to do the grilling for 20+ people.  We had burgers, brats, bean salad, baked beans, other salads, chips, and several desserts.  It was a feast!

Saturday evening:  We had plenty of ingredients left from the night before to repeat the subs for supper.

Sunday morning:  I honestly can't remember if we ate anything or not.  I think maybe just toast and coffee.

Sunday noon:  We stopped at a Golden Corral in Sedalia, MO, on our way home.


Parked at Lake of the Ozarks State Park
near Osage Beach, MO
June 28-20, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Road Trippin' Without the RV

Some of you may remember that Joplin, MO, was hit by a devastating tornado in May of 2011.  While many businesses have already been rebuilt, some of the larger structures are still under construction.  The new Mercy Hospital is one of those, and is where Shane has been working off and on this year.

Last week, Kat and I decided to join him in Joplin for a few days.  He rode down with his boss in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, with us following later in the day.  Joplin is about 120 miles or so from our home, but we somehow managed to make that drive in a mere six hours.  ;)

After a couple of necessary stops in town, we headed south on I-49 along the western edge of Missouri.  We made several stops, including one at Rich Hill, where we scoped out (scooped out?) the Big Mouth Coal Shovel.  It's not really a shovel, but a bucket, with a capacity of 30 tons, that was used back in the mining days of this part of the state.

After lunch, we visited the Harry S. Truman Birthplace State Historic Site in Lamar, which we both found interesting.  I learned that the home had also been owned by the family of Wyatt Earp.

In Carthage, we traveled along a stretch of Route 66 near Kellogg Lake and along Spring River.  Great scenery through here; I should have taken more photos.

Finally we caught up with Shane and enjoyed dinner (a provided amenity for guests at the extended stay hotel) and swam afterward in the hotel pool.

The next day we stayed mostly at the hotel, but did venture out for lunch with my friend Melinda.  I was happy to finally meet her; we've been cyber pen-pals for ten years, but the timing had just not been right for us to meet before now.

On Wednesday, Kat and I ventured into Northeast Oklahoma to check out the Grand Lake of the Cherokees, and do a little geocaching at Bernice State Park.

While we were driving, I happened upon this stretch of the Ribbon Road.  To my understanding, this 9-foot wide stretch of pavement between Miami, OK, and Afton, OK, actually predates Route 66, but later became part of it.  If anyone knows better information than this, please feel free to add it in the comments.

We returned to Joplin an hour or so before Shane got off work, and found a few gems while we were waiting:  A park near Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center with public access to Shoal Creek, a waterfall of sorts on the same fast-moving creek (history unknown to me, but it looks as if there may once have been a mill, dam, or other structure there) with more public access to the creek, and upstream, a beautiful campground and RV park right on the creek were we hope to stay later this summer if Shane works in Joplin again.


Staying at Homewood Suites
Joplin, MO
June 11-13, 2013