No Misery in Missouri

I have tried writing this post in several different locations over the past couple of days: from the dining room table, the picnic table, the roof of our RV, and a spot up the hill from our campsite.  There was no way that I was going to get enough of a signal to be able to post so, finally, I gave up and accepted that this would have to wait.  We are now on the road again, after just leaving our campsite in the middle of Missouri on our way to my grandparents in Southern Missouri and I finally have a strong enough signal to write.

We made it to Missouri on November 1st and, though we were sad to leave our little slice of heaven in the Loess Hills of Iowa, we were pleased that we stumbled upon another beautiful site.  It was a long drive at our slow pace and we made it in after dark, tempted several times to stay at one of the many RV parks we saw along the way.  It was a scary drive with the narrow roads, no shoulder, and steep drop-off on either side of the road.  Even more terrifying because of how high up we sit in the RV.  We are both so happy that we continued to our resting spot in Harry S. Truman State Park.  The campground sits on a peninsula, surrounded by Truman Lake (which runs into a whole chain of lakes).

We stayed at Raccoon Ridge and were the only campers other than the hosts

Again, we were surrounded by wildlife.  On our first full day there, we saw six deer, 15 wild turkeys, very large birds of prey, and over 30 armadillos (which we lovingly began to call “dillos” until we found out that they carry leprosy).



Each night, we took a drive around dusk to look for animals.  It was really amazing to see the woods come alive.


We took the windows off the Jeep and slowly drove around the peninsula with our binoculars and camera


We stayed for three nights and certainly enjoyed the solitude.  We took a few different hikes with the dogs and saw some pretty cool stuff.  The lake, a reservoir, was beautiful too.  We found out that there are some pretty huge fish in there after talking to some fisherman at the marina.

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It seemed to us that Missouri had everything.  The woods were gorgeous and a joy to walk through.  The trails went from rocky cliffs with cacti to damp, mossy woods.  The array of wildlife was impressive and the people were incredibly friendly.  Andy, who likes to talk to everyone he meets, was very happy that the people we met were so indulgent and chatty during their conversations; we learned a lot about the local wildlife from talking to them.  A few things that finally made us decide that we could never live here: the spiders are massive (and they have tarantulas), the snakes are huge and some of them venomous (like the copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlers), the humidity is pretty terrible, and apparently, the armadillos carry leprosy that can spread to humans and pets.

Warning: the following pictures may be a little scary.

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This snake was about 5 feet long
We did find out from a ranger that they are not poisonous and just eat small rodents and eggs

Though incredibly beautiful with its green rolling hills, forests of oak trees, and friendly residents, we decided that Missouri is just not for us.  The humidity is a deal breaker.

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