Family Time in Another Wonderful Missouri Park

I has been a while since my last post. We got busy living life. Our family just completed a four-day campout which was wonderful. More on that later in this post.

Over the past few weeks we finally finished replacing appliances in our kitchen with installation of the new stove. It has a convection oven which is a first for us. Seems silly but Karen and I watched through the glass window as a pan of biscuits cooked evenly in half the time of our previous standard electric stove. She is looking forward to learning to cook in a convection microwave once we get our rig. I know from experience and having talked to contractors who restore homes for sale that fixing up a kitchen and bathrooms adds value to the home at the time of resale. We decided to remodel the kitchen a couple years before we sell the house so we could enjoy it. The appliances should still look good as new by the time we sell, perhaps as early as the spring of 2019. A friend’s family is in the real estate business and says around here they are having trouble getting enough listings to sell. Everything is selling quickly. Hope the market holds out for a while!

Wallace State Park – North of Kansas City Missouri

A couple weeks ago while looking for a day trip to take, we decided to head up the highway about 30 minutes from home to check out a potential RV parking spot for times we return “home” for a longer visit. Friends of ours who have been on the road fulltime for six years split their visits between a local county lake and a state park which we decided to tour. We continue to drive out to all the local RV spots in search of the perfect place to park for a few weeks or a couple of months. This is the 100th year of a special Missouri tax for conservation. We have wonderful state parks because of it. Wallace State Park could be a place we split our time when back home near Kansas City.

Our family got together at Pomme De Terre Lake/State Park in southern Missouri over the holiday. Much of the shoreline camping is flooded from recent heavy rains. So was the first choice for tenting camping. Fortunately, several family members live a short distance away and were able to recon a replacement spot (thanks Matt and Mary). We ended up near the dam at Damsite Campground. All I can say about the camp spot was thank you Mother Nature for flooding the lake. Turns out we had a point on the lake to ourselves in a little-known camp area. The spots were designed for shorter RVs so the tent campers don’t know about it. With the flooding, a circle drive became our beachhead from which we launched our kayaks or fished. Some just sat in chairs watching the skyline and enjoying the weather and I suspect wondering when someone would tip a boat. Karen, myself, sister, nieces and nephews gave our Sea Eagle Fast Track a workout. (Click to enlarge photos)

The girls came up with a menu for each day. Food was brought or purchased from a very reasonably priced, and nearby, store. As the family had booked all the spots that were not underwater in this area, we had one spot just for eating and meeting. Each arm of the family had a spot to themselves. Two family members had RVs while the rest of use enjoyed deluxe tent camping. There was not a dull moment. Games during the day, movies off the side of a RV at night or just sitting around the campfire listening to guitar music to name just a few of the events. A very special event was being witness to a nephew’s baptism in the lake by a minister.

Karen spent a day secretly dropping items around the camp area which were later to be found as an item in the scavenger hunt. But most of the items were provided by nature. I wanted her to put collection of a poisonous snake on the list but was overruled. My nephews would have found them, this I know for sure.

The entire family shared the feeling of reliving our yesteryears when family campouts were setup with our grandparents and parents. There are no words that can describe what the trip meant to each as it’s somewhat spiritual and individual. We all could agree, without talking much about it, that our parents were looking down from heaven. I’d like to think they had a part in pushing the bad thunderstorms around us that came up one night. Seems like we were inside about a mile stretch of a relatively calmer area.

Karen and I took 156 photos. That was not enough to capture the event and all the family. I mined out a few to show the family in this blog and would be happy to email the others. Love you guys. Thank you to the entire family for bringing their special personality and love to the mix. By the way, “look at the size of this snake” turned out to be a wonderful phrase to use in order to get someone to face the camera for a photo. Here are a few of the photos: (Click to enlarge photos)

 


Don’t want to forget to write about it. I spent considerable time researching battery operated lighting for the tent camping event. I highly recommend the Steamlight Siege 44931 LED lantern. I bought the one that operates on D size batteries because it’s the same battery size as my air mattress pump so I have extra batteries if needed. Works great for hanging inside a tent and lasts forever on one set of batteries. Here is a link to the model I bought through Amazon. (I don’t get a kick-back from Amazon, it’s just a good place to point people to the actual model.) The low setting will light a tent and is advertised to last 295 hours on one set of batteries. Glad I left the gas lantern at home because on the bright setting the Steamlight easily replaced it.

During my next post, I’d like to discuss a few changes in the RV industry, specifically for Forest River, that has a potential of causing an effect on the timeliness of RV repairs and certainly response to recall notices. I have also found a couple articles on RV size selection and depreciation schedules I’d like to share.

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11 thoughts on “Family Time in Another Wonderful Missouri Park

  1. Looks like a wonderful time! We are currently in Missouri (Branson) visiting my daughter and will be here for a couple more weeks. Going to St. Louis for a couple days this weekend to sight see (taking the daughter and her boyfriend). We found, by accident, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield yesterday and I’m planning to walk the entire park and its trails with my daughter before we head out back to Florida at the end of the month. Planning to come back again and may be able to explore your area of the state. Safe travels! Dawn

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    • I thought I saw on Rvillage you guys were in the area. I’ve got a lot of family near Springfield. Yet I’ve never been to Wilson’s Creek. I did meet a Park Ranger who was a friend of my dad’s (Ranger Rick). He moved on to Fort Sumter. It would be a day trip, but Pea Ridge is another battlefield southwest of Wilson’s Creek. Missouri and Arkansas Units banded together in an attempt to kick the Union Army out of Missouri. We are the only State in the history of the country to have our state government taken over by a Federal Army and martial law declared. “I may not have God on my side, but I must have Missouri” was a saying family members used to repeat, claiming they were President Lincoln’s word. The Union General Nathanael Lion was the first general shot and killed at Wilson’s Creek. In one of our family cemeteries is buried our “Uncle Johnny” Family also claim he is one of the sharp shooters sent to kill Lion. Not sure if that is a true story or not. I do know as a child if you wore a hat at the diner table you might hear “take your hat off Uncle Johnny.” Seems the Missouri Army retreated to Texas when the Confederate Army surrendered. Missouri intended to fight on but could not raise enough troops. Uncle Johnny refused to ever cut his hair again or take his hat off until they did so. No idea if all that is true, but sure makes for a good story.

      Welcome to Missouri. If you ever make it to Kansas City and if you guys enjoy battlefields, I’ll take you to a couple in the area for a day. The army that was at Wilson’s Creek came to Kansas City for a fight. They call the Battle of Westport the Gettysburg of the west. Not much of a battle field to see but there are markers all over Kansas City marking the battle spots. You guys might also enjoy the battlefield at Lexington Missouri, although it is a smaller event. All that is in the KC area and near some nice places to eat if we were able to buy you lunch.

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      • I loved the story of Uncle Johnny! We are learning what a rich history Missouri has, and I’m glad to be spending time here. We spent the day in St. Louis yesterday seeing the major sites and are headed back to Branson later this morning. Going to take a couple days to recuperate, and then I think my daughter and I are going to do Wilson’s Creek on foot and really experience it–there’s something about that place that hit a chord with me and I want to revisit. If we make our way over to Kansas City, I will definitely let you know. Mike and I would love to meet up! Dawn

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      • It’s fantastic you are enjoying the visit in Missouri. I’ve been keeping track of home towns of the author’s blogs I read. Plan on hitting them up for a list of sites once we make it to their home town.

        Lots of other firsts in Missouri. The Pony Express started just north of me in St. Joseph. Which also happens to be the place of death for the first train robber, Jesse James. Here near me is a place called today Fort Osage. It used to be called Ford Clark after the Clark in Lewis and Clark. When Clark and his men got back from their expedition he or Lewis told their friend Daniel Boone about the place. And how nice this area was for trading with Indians. Daniel had moved his interest to Kentucky so his son, Daniel Boone JR came to the area near Fort Osage and started the first trading post. The building still stands in Kansas City. Boone started at West Port Landing which became the town of Kansas and later renamed Kansas City. He is buried on a hill where most can’t find. I can take you there someday if you guys have time. The Daughters of the American Revolution turned it into a park.

        For us who are masons in the Masonic Fraternity, we know the Grand Lodge of Missouri gave most of the states west of here their charters. The original Missouri Lodge stands today as the oldest building in Missouri. It’s near St. Louis I believe. All the road signs you see with the distance in miles to Kansas City point to an intersection where there is a large clock I’ve been told. It’s the intersection of a Masonic Temple.

        Don’t forget about Mark Twain and his writings out of Missouri. That would be Hannibal. The list goes on.

        Wonder what experience hit a chord at Wilson’s Creek? You were standing at one of the first major engagements in the war. I’ve never been to Wilson’s Creek if you can believe that. Even after dozens of trips to see the family near Springfield. By the way there was a shootout in Springfield which was the famous Buffalo Bill incident. Old folks pronounce the town as Sprangfield.

        If you missed my blog post – it’s a short one on Springfield. Not much to it other than to point it out as a great town.

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      • Now I’m wishing we knew about the Masonic Lodge near St. Louis–Mike is also a Mason and a Shriner. In fact, our home base for the motorhome while back in Jacksonville is the Morocco Shrine campground (heading back there in July for medical appointments and to see our other two girls). Mike played bass, tuba, and trombone in the Jacksonville Shriner’s Big Band for many years–he gave up all of his instruments to travel full-time, which made ME sad.

        Just being at Wilson’s Creek brought a sense of sadness at the lives lost there–and the fact that our country was at the point of fighting against one another. I’ve known the basic historical facts, but it’s different to put myself in their shoes and try to imagine their experiences. It’s also become more real since I’m also doing genealogy at the moment and had several ancestors who fought on both sides–none in Missouri, but in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee (some of which may have ended up in Missouri, but I’m not that far into the research).

        I read your post on Springfield as we were going through Springfield. I’ve been there a few times this trip because my daughter is an aquarist at the Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium–the one Johnny Morris has not opened to the public for many years. They keep getting opening dates, but none of them pan through. She says it is amazing, though–if it ever opens, it should be one of the best. If. It. Opens. LOL. She’s off a couple of days this week, so we’ll have to try some of the things you mentioned in your article. I, too, love the small town feel in Sprangield, Missour-ah.

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      • Now your getting the language/slang down…

        I also had family fight on both sides. Terrible thing, wish it never had to happen. Glad it turned out the country stuck together. To bad some parts of the country are still effective by it. We might have rebuilt countries after WW2 but the south never was fixed properly.

        If you are searching genealogy (how fun is that) and do come to town you might take a moment to visit Independence Missouri. Incidentally, that’s where the Mormons landed until their church split with part leaving for Utah.

        The Midwest Genealogy Center opened in June 2008. The largest free-standing public genealogy library in the United States boasts 52,000 square feet of resources for family history researchers.

        Here is a link to their webpage: http://www.mymcpl.org/genealogy

        I had family move from Tennessee in the 1800’s. Found the original family member at the Independence Library. Then found a lead there that took us back two generations in what is now Germany. I was the third generation in the family that became interested in genealogy. Wish the other three generations were around so I could share the find with them. Assuming that’s not already been done in Heaven. LOL

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    • We were lucky Debbie. It had been way to many years since this side of the family got together for a campout.

      Just got done reading your current post in Georgia. A couple we met are in Georgia and saw them on the Rvillage map near you guys at one time. On the Road of Retirement is in Blairsville, GA. Map says that’s 29 minute away from you all. Real bubbly couple from Texas. They came to Kansas City and spent a day with Karen and me.

      http://zeetraveler.blogspot.com/

      Loved the photos in the hills and of the flowers!

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