Wednesday, October 31, 2018

between showers

The forecast for 100% rain just means that it's a sure thing it will rain, and it has, and it will again.  We took advantage of a break in the showers for our daily walk around the campground.  The temperature was a very nice 55 degrees with 110% humidity.  It felt like being in a mist but we didn't get wet.  15 minutes after getting back into the camper we are now having a good soaking rain, lucked out again.

Even with the overcast skies these dogwood shrubs are really showing their pretty color.  Most dogwood in the woods are a dark red color and not as bright as these, especially against the young yellow maples.

I believe that this is the best State Park campground that we have ever been in, including other states.  One State Park in Minnesota was so bad we went to a KOA and the same for one in Iowa.  Of course it is fairly new but also the sites are well spaced out, paved, and mostly level.  Our loop 2 has full hookups, electric, water, and sewer.  Loop 3 is electric only which we can use quite nicely.  I'm not sure about other loops but we will definitely come back here again, perhaps next Oct.

Missouri State parks also have reasonable rates.  In most other state's parks the camping fee is reasonable but they also have a daily use fee that when combined adds up to more than most commercial campgrounds.

Elephant Rocks

Yesterday afternoon we visited this State Park near the town appropriately named Granite, MO.  It is only 15 miles north of our campsite and it was another beautiful day in the Saint Francis Mountains of MO.  Our goal of seeing fall tree color has been met as we are here in peak season.

The entrance to a braille trail through and around these huge boulders of granite
 beauty along the way

 on top of a massive boulder
 from the top, the horizon is far off
 "fat man's passage" yes we fit through it
 The quarry where stones were mined for buildings and streets in St. Louis.
The water supposedly 40 foot deep

On the way back to camp we stopped at a roadside pile of firewood for sale and got a large pile of kindling for a campfire.  We didn't have any marshmallows or hot dogs to roast but it was fun just to sit around the fire and remember the times we had with the kids and grandparents in past times.

 The wood was pine so it started easy but burned rather fast.
Oak or hickory would have lasted much longer but this met our needs for the day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The flood of 2005

Built by Union Electric, now Ameren Missouri, this peak needs electricity generation system and it's destructive flood of 2005 is described in This Wiki article.

This is a 2014 Google Earth image showing the path of destruction.  The lake in the lower right is the rebuilt reservoir on top of Mt Proffit. The lower end of the path of the treeless flow is the Shut-Ins park where the boulders came to rest on the old campground. Our campground, the new one, is in the upper left of this photo.  Out of the view of this capture and below the picture is the lower lake on the East Fork of the Black River which flows through the shut-ins and is the other end of the re-circulation of water for electricity generation.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Shut-Ins

It started out quite a bit chilly this morning.  My indoor/outdoor thermometer isn't reading the outside sensor but I have the weather channel on my laptop and found the weather for Black, MO which is real close by.  That reading was 38 degrees this morning but I think here in the valley it was a bit lower than that.  When daylight started the ground and low grass were all white with frost.  Once the sun popped up over the trees to our east it warmed up quickly and this afternoon was a beautiful time to visit the shut-ins and near 70 degree temps.

First here are a couple of pictures around our campsite.

Our view from our dinette window
 Our campsite with full hookups
This sign describes the flood that destroyed this park in 2005 caused by a rupture in the man made reservoir on the top of Mt Proffit.
This boulder is the one beside the sign and the following picture is other boulders strewn across the valley floor.
Then we take the path to the shut-ins

 Tree color at it's peak

The swimming hole at the end is usually deeper but the stream flow is low.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Travel day

Moved a few miles from Sam A Baker SP to Johnson's Shut-Ins SP.  We made a long drive out of the move by needing a grocery store for a few items.  We found a major business center in the edge of Farmington, MO which satisfied our needs.  I had also found that there was another Dexter BBQ in that same area and had my mouth all set on another plate of ribs.  When we got there we found that they were not open on Sundays so we crossed the street to an Applebee's which was a good lunch stop.

The drive today was the best for tree color viewing.  It won't last long now as this morning we had a pitter patter on our roof which wasn't rain but instead falling leaves.  It was a bit windy today and the leave were blowing around.

Obviously, by this post, we do have an internet connection here in the park which I was worried that we might not.  We do not have a single bar of cellphone signal so our only communication until we leave here is by computer.

The campground here is about a mile and a half from the actual shut-ins area so it will be a longer than usual walk for us at least one of the days we are here.  By not unloading our camper from the truck we would have to buckle everything up like for travel in order to take the truck to the shut-ins.  We have been to the shut-ins several times and that isn't the reason we are here but it would be a shame to be this close and not see them at all.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Sam A Baker day 3

Here on a weekend the campground is mostly full.  When we came in on Wednesday our loop of 39 spaces only had one other unit beside ours.  Now they are all occupied.  There are two separate campgrounds in this State Park and we are in number one with a total of over 200 campsites.  Campground number two is about a mile north of us and has just under 200 sites.

On our walk this afternoon we had to be watchful of kiddos on bicycles, from teens down to just out of training wheels.  It is such a beautiful day, sunny and 65 degrees, that it is great for them to get their exercise.

This picture of Big Creek was taken at an equestrian picnic area along their riding trail.

We leave here tomorrow morning and head for Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. It will be a surprise if we have any cellphone signal or internet connection for the four days that we will be there.  I hope we do have but if not this blog will not have a post until we get back home on the first of November.  I will catch up with the happenings in between, then.

On the drive tomorrow I have found another Dexter BBQ place so will have another chance to gnaw on a few bones. ;-)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Sam A Baker day 2

It rained most of the night last night, not hard but steady.  The pitter-patter on the roof is not so bad with the roof just a couple of feet over our heads.  With our campsite right under some trees the raindrops that collected on the leaves and fell as BIG drops on our fiberglass dome over our shower made big popping noises. 😉

On this trip we have been taking walks around the campgrounds every day, a habit we hope to continue at home.  Today's temperature is staying in the low 50s which made today's walk very pleasant and our loop took us out for a little over a half hour.

This State Park is gearing up for some Halloween celebrations tomorrow evening but it mostly takes place at the headquarters which is about a mile and a half away from our camp and we don't intend to partake anyway, old fuddy-duddies that we are.  They are having a campsite decoration contest and one of the pictures below shows one such campsite.

This campsite is right across the road from us. A family with several kids having fun.
 This is our campsite showing all our decorations.
 This tree is right outside our door and I took this through our dinette window.  Apparently some critter is trying to make itself a winter den in the hollow core of this tree.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sam A Baker State Park

On our drive from Sutton's Bluff we stopped in Poplar Bluff, MO for a few items from the grocery store.  We were there around lunch time so we stopped into Dexter Barbecue for some ribs, YUM.  I wish this place was much closer to home.
My plate before I got my fingers messy.

Had a very good night and this morning we had a few sprinkles with some more forecast for this afternoon and tonight.  We did get out this morning for our daily walk and here are a couple of pictures from that stroll.
Along the hiking and biking trail, smooth surface for walking.
 Big Creek along the East side of the campground just before it empties into the St. Francis River.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sutton's Bluff

Had lunch a little early and got away from Martin Manor around noon time last Sunday, Oct. 21st.

Having spent the past three months in a Subaru it took me a little while to get back in the groove and remember how The Beast operated.  After that it felt good to be back on the road with the camper.

There was very little tree color along the drive but with clear blue skies and bright sunlight occasionally there was a showing. I did get a couple of pictures before we left home. The first one is of our golden Maple that is just beginning to show a little bit of change and then one of our neighbor’s trees.

At the campground a lot of the weekend folks were still in some spaces, but we found a very nice one that was perfectly level.  Then I found that the internet had totally lied to me. I found that we do have one or two bars of Verizon signal but nothing of AT&T so that is why from Sunday to now there have been no postings.  We are now in Sam A Baker State Park and have 2 bars of VZW and at least a little slow WiFi signal from AT&T.

The three days at Sutton's Bluff were very nice.  After the weekenders left there were only three other campers beside ourselves in the whole campground.  The weather couldn't have been any better, clear blue skies with chilly mornings and cool afternoons.

I did walk the campground loop road each day and here are a few pictures taken while on those walks.

Our campsite with Sutton's Bluff in the background. The West Fork of the Black River is across the campground at the base of the bluff.
 a few splashes of color on my walk

We plan to be here in this State Park until next Sunday when we move to the Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park.  I may wait to post about this stay until then.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

into the woods

This afternoon we will load up and head to south central Missouri for a few days of R&R for the final trip of this season.  Our first stop is in Sutton Bluff Recreation Area which is a National Forest Service campground in Reynolds County.  When we lived in Rolla this was one of our favorite places to weekend camp away from the telephone and work.  It will be nice to go back for a few days.

Our cellphone is on the Verizon Wireless network which we have found to be the best coverage throughout the US in our travels.  That is not the case with this trip.  I have just checked the coverage maps for both Verizon and AT&T (which is our WiFi connection) and AT&T wins in this part of Missouri.

Here is the AT&T map that covers our whole trip.
and here is one showing the Sutton Bluff campground, the loop in the center

Here is the Verizon map of the area
and this is the Sutton Bluff area

After Sutton Bluff we then head into Wayne County and spend a few days in the Sam A Baker Missouri State Park.  We have never camped here before however we have driven through and thought it would be a good place to relax on this trip.  The AT&T map is fairly uniform for our whole trip and in this location so is Verizon.

The upper loops are the campground for this State Park

After Sam A Baker we then will move to the Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park which is back in Reynolds County.  Again AT&T seems to be okay but Verizon is going to be iffy.

In this map the campground looks to be in a white (non coverage) area but with red spots around the area we will just have to see when we get there.

It looks like I should be able to post to this blog for most of the trip and will just have to read voice mail whenever I can.