Sundog, Lake Marie Oregon 2018

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

White River, Lake of the Ozarks and Beyond

As we wallowed in our wonderfully relaxed state that resulted from our time in the Hot Springs Baths, we choose our next destination. Craig admits he isn't quite sure why, but Lake of the Ozarks was on his bucket list. It was a little over 400 miles north. I gave him the chore of picking out a campground and making a reservation. He found a treeless spot at the state park for Sunday and Monday. There was a park on the Buffalo National River that was about half way. They didn't take reservations for less than two days in advance, so we thought we'd take a chance on getting one of the "walk-in" spots.

By the time we got there, the campground was full. Not the end of the world.  It was still quite early in the day, so I checked the Woodall's and found a nearby RV park on the White River that had open spaces. It worked out wonderfully at the end of the day. The park was quite open and Craig was able to get the World Cup game.

The big river was the draw for most of the parks occupants. Most were fly fishermen and we watched them wading in the river in their long rubber pants. 

On one side of the park there was a small pond that had water lilies galore. They were not blooming yet, but I bet they are gorgeous when they do.

I love clouds!  I put my love of the sky aside for many years while living in California. In summer we had clear sunny weather from May to October. When we did have storms in the winter, the sky would just get overcast and gray. Every once in a while we would have some good thunder-clouds, but I rarely could see them from our house. Not much of a sky view.

As we have traveled thru Arkansas and Missouri, we have had thunderstorms almost every night. The mornings have started clear, and the big white clouds have built up thru the afternoon.  Love it!

On Sunday, we had a nice, uneventful drive to The Lake of the Ozark State Park. Craig had picked out the spot after considering the park campground map and Google Earth close up.  There are 181 sites. 177 of them are in the trees. He managed to find one of the four that had a clear view of the sky!

Site 149

Here we have a very happy Craig, enjoying World Cup soccer.

We also went for a short evening walk around the campground and down to the lakeshore, which was just beyond the trees. 

Monday morning I finally did it.  I got up at 5:30am and took a walk. It was damp, but quite cool. When I started out, everyone was asleep, but as the sun rose a few of the tent campers emerged and got their breakfasts started. It had rained quite hard overnight, and I spoke with one guy who had had his tent cave in.  His story made me very happy we lived in the Alfa!

I didn't walk far, maybe a mile, and was back home in an hour. Craig didn't know I'd been gone.

We weren't quite sure what to do with ourselves. We don't have a boat or the desire to swim in the lake. The day was quite overcast and we thought it might rain. I think we are still in the "vacation" mode, and want to make the most of our days. We decided to go to one of the four "show" caves in the area. I chose the one that has guided tours, as opposed to one that is only accessible to spelunkers with special equipment. The Cave of the Ozarks is state owned and the electric lighting has been removed. The ranger-led tours are by lantern light.  It was cool and interesting.  Every cave we have been to has been different.

I wanted to get up early again on Tuesday, but when I woke, I felt so relaxed and comfy I just didn't want to. 
Freedom!  Freedom to get up or not!

But ... just before 7:00 I heard, "Come on wife, get up, let's go for a hike...".  Craig was up and getting dressed.

We drove to a place where we saw a trail-head sign. It was for a 3 mile walk into a "wild" area. The sign informed us the trail was unmaintained, rough, with rocks, unbridged streams, and fallen trees over the path. Sounded like a challenge we would enjoy.

And we did. This downed tree was almost to big for me to get over, but I did.

3+ miles was just right. By the time we returned to the car it was starting to get pretty warm. After showers and yummy orange cinnamon rolls for breakfast, we spent the rest of the day staying cool in the coach watching soccer and reading. With all the blinds up on the shade side, I watched the deer grazing in the next site.

I also got started on downloading filling out the forms we need to complete for our change of residence to South Dakota.  Not fun, but necessary.

How are you spending these hot days of summer?


  1. The new lounging option is wonderful isn't it. Almost a year and still figuring it out and how its ok. Lots of COE parks in Iowa...we loved that state and headed there in a few weeks for a month of moving around soon as done here in Elkhart. You look so happy...don't forget those tick checks.

  2. We bought the kids Zoom Flume, a smallish local water park, season tickets (and ourselves)...so we plan to be spending many of these hot days riding cool water rides. Have been twice already just in the past few days. :)

  3. Great job walking. Cj is right, be sure to check for ticks! Oliver, Olivia and Noah picked up an entire herd of ticks while in Michigan.

  4. I love sleeping in. If I have to get up before 9 am, I set my alarm, just to be sure!

    I like that kind of weather, too. New Mexico is like that - clear mornings, the clouds come in, the thunderstorm starts and the rain, then it kind of goes away. A little bit of everything, day after day. At least that's how it was last year. Monsoon Season. Wonderful!

  5. We spent our honeymoon in the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Are you in Arkansas or Missouri?

    We're finding it too hot to spend much time outside, so we're watching a lot of tv inside where it's nice and cool.

  6. We just decided yesterday Lake of the Ozarks would be on our route to IL after we leave TX next spring. Thanks for the preview, it's so nice to be able to live in the moment, getting up as we please and letting our days unfold as they will. 3.5 months and we're back to the retired part of semi-retired.

  7. Unfortunately, I'm spending this warm weather trying to recover and haven't been able to do much of anything. I've enjoyed reading your blog, though! Keep up the good work. Blessings, Lynn

  8. Love your cloud picture. I could take 100 pictures of clouds in one day and still miss some beautiful ones. Our summer? Jim is fishing and I'm reading and enjoying life.

  9. Nice pick of a park and spot! I had to laugh, as we have the opposite problem. Not in vacation mode at all. Spend a lot of our days hanging out in the RV as it is mid 90's most days. We do read a lot, but outside activities are curtailed for the most part. Still, can't beat having a lovely lake view this summer!

  10. We are enjoying the cool weather on the Oregon coast.
    We are starting our 12th year full-timing and were in vacation mode for the first two. We wanted to see everything at once.
    Have fun!

  11. We used to live in Missouri so understand why the Lake of the Ozarks could be on a bucket list.

  12. love the photo of you by the tree! You go girl!


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