Friday, June 26, 2009


Yesterday, I went downstairs to clean up the files on our iMac. Somehow the 500 GB hard drive filled itself up. I came across a folder called Pinnacle. Hmm, what could that be? In it I found a lot of our old camcorder files. Some of them I don't think we'd even seen. What a treat! I've posted a couple here and will continue putting them on YouTube. Fun stuff!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gotta Love the Chicken Dance!

Carly - about 13 years ago...

Gotta love finding old videos. I was trying to figure out what was eating up the hard drive of our iMac and lo and behold, it was old videos! Watch out people, you may be in them!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Heading Home

We returned home a more southern route. We visited Mark Twain State Park which contains the birthplace of Mark Twain and the historic town of Florida. It looked like a severe storm passed through the park during the night. There were downed trees and limbs everywhere.

Then we stopped at Union Covered Bridge, which was built in 1871. That means we saw 50% of Missouri's remaining covered bridges on this trip.

So, how do you cross the river now that the bridge is no longer in use?

Friday, June 19, 2009


We got back to our room just in time to watch a brief, but wicked, storm from our window.


Today we wandered the streets of Hannibal. First stop, Mark Twain's boyhood home:

From there we went to the lighthouse:

With it's great views of the Mississippi:

We drove through several small river towns and down to Federal Lock and Dam #20:

Next to the lock was a boat launch:

On the way back, we stopped at Mark Twain cave. The area was too commercial for us so we opted against the tour. Then we drove north along the river. We tried to get to a wildlife refuge, but it was on an island in the Mississippi and unaccessible.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On the Road to Hannibal

Our first stop was Locust Creek Covered Bridge. It's one of four remaining covered bridges in Missouri. It was built in 1868 and was part of Highway 8, the nation's first transcontinental road. It was a slightly muddy 1/4 mile walk to the bridge.

From there we went to Pershing State Park. As with all Missouri State Parks, it was well kept and had nice camping facilities. The lone camper was the camp host. Maybe on weekends it picks up.

After leaving the state park, we headed to the Swan Lake Wildlife Refuge. It was a nice drive around the refuge, but not a whole lot of wildlife at this time.

Right now we're in Long Branch Lake State Park. The lake looks a lot like Smithville Lake, but since there is a state park here, the camping facilities are much nicer.
Edit: Not as much nicer as we thought! Smithville is greatly improved!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We enjoyed taking the side roads to the lake so much, that we're taking another trip starting tomorrow morning. We're driving to Hannibal via Pershing State Park and several other sites. We'll be gone for two nights and hopefully blogging frequently along the way!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Truman Lake

Truman Lake is the largest man-made lake in Missouri. The surface area is slightly larger than the Lake of the Ozarks. Truman is a flood control lake and is used in part to control the level of the Lake of the Ozarks. Truman is operated by the Corps of Engineers and in contrast to Lake of the Ozarks, does not allow homes and docks on the water. As a result, it's more natural looking and favored by fishermen.

The bottom of this photo shows part of Truman Dam. The output from the dam is the start of Lake of the Ozarks. The lake continues for 92 miles and ends at Bagnell Dam.

Arrow Rock National Historic Landmark

This was the first time I visited Arrow Rock and it will not be my last. It's an historic riverport with lots of interesting things to see and do. The gutters along the street are made of limestone blocks representing the hard work of the slave days. The sidewalks through town are still made out of wood planks. The entire town of Arrow Rock was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

If you go to Arrow Rock, be sure to get a visitor's guide and do the walking tour and watch the film in the visitors center.

The Old Tavern looked like a very interesting place to eat lunch. It was a little pricey so we're saving it for another trip. Instead we opted for an ice cream cone at the country store. All they had was vanilla, but it was good.

Arrow Rock State Park is adjacent to the town and has picnicking, camping, and a small fishing lake. The campground was very nice and I think it will be worth pulling our trailer there this fall.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lake of the Ozarks

The drive through Lexington, Van Meter SP, and Arrow Rock Historic District was very, very nice! We will definitely go back to Arrow Rock and spend some time. Pictures are on the camera in the back of the vehicle and I'll post some when I get a chance. We're about 20 miles from the lake right now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Off to the Lake

The trailer is clean, sealed and back at the storage place. We'll take it out in a week or so. But now we're off to the lake in the morning! We'll take the scenic route this time and visit Van Meter and Arrow Rock State Parks. We haven't been to either one yet, but I'm sure they will be nice. Missouri's state parks are among the best! We'll meet up with our friends in Sunrise Beach sometime after 5 pm. We'll spend two or three nights on the Lake of the Ozarks and head home Sunday or Monday.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Heights, oh How I Hate Thee!

Ok, this isn't really high. It doesn't look high at all as a matter of fact. So why were my legs quivering and why was I scared to death to get back on the ladder to get down? My fear of heights is irrational, but real.

I remember as a kid going with my family to Rockwood Reservation in St Louis. They had a rickety old fire tower there. My brothers made me climb it and I was scared to death. Was this because of my fear of heights, or the cause of it?

I rode a gondola to the top of the Zugspitze in Germany. Hovering so high above the earth didn't bother me at all, but I was in an enclosed capsule.

A number of years ago, we were at Taum Sauk Mountain, which at a whopping 1,772 feet is the highest point in Missouri. There was a very nice fire tower there. It looked very stable and secure, so I was determined to overcome my fear of fire towers. I boldly set out to climb the tower. By the second turn, my legs were shaking and I could no longer walk. I had to turn around and go back down.

I would love to get over this fear, but it looks like I'll just have to continue to live with it. It's frustrating that I can't go on the roof of my house to make minor repairs, but such is life.

I need to make two more trips to the top of the trailer. One to spray sealant all over the roof, and the other to caulk all the seams. Anyone wanna stop by to help? I'll buy the beer! In fact, I'll run to the store to get the beer while you're up there on that roof!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wings over Whiteman

Wings over Whiteman is an annual air show at Whiteman AFB in Missouri. Whiteman AFB is the home of the B-2 Spirit. We tagged along to the show today with my daughter and her hubby. The weather was windy, sunny and warm but not bad at all considering it was drizzling when we left the house and there were predictions of thunderstorms for the day. The only thunder we heard was from the jets.

On the way we stopped at a western store to get my daughter a hat, where she swears she saw Matthew McConaughey.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


We took our trailer out on Monday for the first time this year. We were thinking of getting it cleaned up and ready to sell. We used it a lot two years ago, but only one time last year. Since we hadn't used it yet this year, we thought we should sell it.

We didn't go to Wallace State Park, which is our favorite campsite. We went to a campground that was just a mile or so from where we store it. We just stayed one night since storms were predicted for the next day. The one night was enough. We can't sell it. We enjoy using it too much! Instead of making plans on how to sell, we started researching camping areas.

Right now it's parked in front of our house, still hooked up to the truck. We're ready to go!