Truck Wash - Missouri
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

I wouldn't say I got lost in Missouri, but I will say I wasn't completely sure where I was going.

It ended up that I missed a planned turn and I had ended up a bit off course. A dirt road looked to be a handy shortcut. The road was graded packed gravel and not particularly hard to travel on. There were a few creek crossings, but they were shallow and were concrete lined.

The GPS shows many of these forest dirt roads. It also shows many dirt roads which don't exist, and sometimes doesn't show the road you are on (which you have some certainty does actually exist). The net result was that I was in the middle of a 20 mile blank space between two major roads, following branches in the roads that looked well traveled and I might guess would trend in the direction I wanted to go.

Things were going well until I noticed the flood of texts coming in about servers being down. I stopped at a random point in the woods and tried to get online to fix them, only to find the cell connection didn't handle data - just voice and texts. It was a little like waking up in the middle of surgery. All I could do was continue on, guessing my way through intersections, finally getting to the main road, and then finally getting to a corner store that had wi-fi.

Missouri has some amazing middle of nowhere.

Eventually I made it to Mill Creek Campground, towards the southwest corner of Missouri. Throughout the plains there are dams, making reservoirs, lined with campgrounds. At times (like the Thursday before memorial day weekend) they are pretty busy. At other times (such as September), they can be empty.

In this case the place was nearly full, almost entirely with RVs. I find RVs comical and sad and awesome. Do people really need an entire house to go on vacation? They look really comfy. I saw one woman with a leaf blower carefully driving the twigs and leaves off her slab of pavement. I try to imagine a leaf blower strapped to the back of my motorcycle. An incidental item on the RV would be absurd on my bike. As the sun went down the sound of a bug zapper made a constant background noise. I wasn't seeing many bugs but I suspect the bright light attracted them well enough.

I'd be reminded of this later when I passed an RV towing a hummer.

A neighbor had asked if I had food - I said I'd already eaten, and thanked him. Later he came by with two cold beers. On top of the bourbon I'd already had, it made for a very relaxing night. The fireflies blinked, the crescent moon floated, the lights from RVs across the small bay rippled slowly. The camp was wonderfully quiet despite being so full.

In the morning I sip coffee and identify trees nearby. I can recognize the numerous walnuts and sycamores. I guess that the maples are black maples, and look-up what turns out to be some sort of hickory. I believe all these can be found back home, but are far less common.

I get moving by 8:30, and it is already warm under the gear.

[ tags: camping missouri RVs travel trip truck wash ]

<-- prev   |   next -->   |   current   |   random 20120524 Photo[s] of the Day: Truck Wash - Missouri