Off to Missouri, the "show-me" state & Kansas City

Trip Start May 01, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Missouri
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

After crossing into Missouri (note how it rhymes with misery) Brent was on the phone to his mom when he realized that we were only about 30 miles from one of his cousins. We made great time going down the mountain so we decided to swing by and see Kim and Hunter in their log cabin in Shell Knob. Can you say "Boon-docks"?
We stayed about 3 hours catching up with Kim and waiting for Hunter to come home from school. They live in a hand built log cabin (work in progress) with no running water and jerry rigged electricity, until the utility company puts the poles in to reach their home. Brent found a tick on his leg after about 10 minutes! They have 3 big dogs so no need for locks and alarms.

We were heading for the campground where we had reservations and directions, the roads are better in Missouri than in Arkansas but very hilly and twisty. When we turned off the back road for the final set of instructions we realized that they were on gravel roads, unfortunately there had been a lot of rain in the week previous and the road was almost washed out. The road was so bad and so small we were pushing branches out of the way with Eagle, while the Beast was fighting for grip!!  Anyhow what a beautiful canyon and campground!!  But so far from anywhere there was no phone signal for 15 miles...  and then that was on top of a hill standing on the roof with one arm out and one leg up!  "Can you hear me now??"

The campground, although in a back wood location and impossible to find without instructions and coordinates, had a swimming pool and hot tub. The pool was 72F. This was the first place that we were able to sleep without AC, in the evening it dropped below 60F! We decided to take some time off the road and spend a few days relaxing by the pool & hot tub, biking the trails and lazing about a temperature you don't need AC for.

One night outside the Eagle we were sitting chatting the night away when we heard something very large and fury in the bushes behind our camper, when we heard its foot falls as it plopped across the creek, we hid inside the Eagle and watched thru the windows. In the morning we spoke to the campground owner and he told us they have bears, bobcats and coyotes in the area!!!  Glad we hid inside......

On the Sunday we headed into Kansas City to visit another relative, Aunt Karen. On the way there, we ran thru an Amish village that was all out on the way to Church driving down the Highway n horse and buggies. Missouri has several Amish villages where they don't use any modern conveniences. We were late as usual and making up time Toby was clocked by a Missouri State Trooper at 78mph in a 60......  This was Toby's second vehicular violation (the first was a parking ticket in Key West). 30 minutes and $94 later we were on the way across the Truman Dam.

Upon arriving in Kansas City at about 2pm we met with Karen at her home and went to lunch at PF Chang's Chinese Bistro in Westport Plaza. Downtown Kansas City has the most water fountains in the US and is second only to Rome in the world. Karen took on a drive thru the older parts of Kansas City which has some amazing mansions. We had a great day with Karen, it was the first time she and Toby have met and got on great. Looking forward to seeing her later in the year on the way back possibly in Savannah, GA. Thanks for a great afternoon and buying lunch. We love you !

We drove back to the campground listening to the emergency radio broadcast system that informs people of Tornadoes and Hail Storms. We learned that one was heading for the campground!!!  Toby drove particularly quickly but managed to dodge the state troopers this time!  The most disturbing thing was the huge storm clouds and spectacular lightning on the horizon for the whole journey back. Arriving about 2am we discovered the canyon had been missed by the severe weather and all was OK. Until we tried to sleep....  then the lightning and thunder let loose. We planned to leave early to head west, however its was so bad we stayed in bed under the covers until 1030 listening to the crackling lightning, booming thunder and waiting for a tornado to throw us to the bears and bobcats! We were actually quite scared...... Missouri has some wild storms!

Eventually the rain let up enough for us to pack up and move out..... you may remember the road conditions on the way into the campground.... needless to say we now had to negotiate that same track with the added benefit of an over flowing creek.   FUN FUN FUN. It took about 30 minutes to reach blacktop. So now we are on our way west later than expected headed on Route 66 to Oklahoma!
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So, you've been to our little Sodom?
Hardly a place to recommend to anyone.

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