Trip Start Mar 30, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Asher Campground, Lake Wappapello State Park

Flag of United States  , Missouri
Saturday, April 4, 2009

I finally hit the road on April 1, no kidding. Instead of sucking fast food as usual, I stopped at Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville and actually sat to eat like a cultured human being. I'd never have found it without the GPS, but the BLT fries were definitely worth the detour. Yum.

I arrived at Lake Wappapello on the first day of the season without knowing it, so I guess it's good I didn't leave any earlier! Only one camper was there, so I had my pick of lakeside spots - beautiful! Don and Ellie, campground hosts, were so friendly that we chatted until after dark, so I got to fire up the stove by headlamp. I have a feeling I'll be sick of ramen noodles before long, but my first solo dinner sure tasted great.

Some hick drove by in a diesel truck at 2:20am (per my watch) and I almost bolted through the roof. Took a while to go back so sleep, then some animals (raccoons?) had a tussle within feet of my tent - or at least if felt that way. So I didn't sleep well, besides trying to get used to the Thermarest. I finally figured out that it has to be stiff to be a chair, but then I have to let a lot of air out to sleep on it. It took hours to figure out I was perched on top, just like sleeping on a picnic table. duh

I got in a couple of 2-mile warm-up hikes in and, even though the trees were mostly bare, the moss was gorgeous! Every shade of green imaginable, some with new shoots. I'm sure they're just as vivid later in the year, but they just seemed to pop against the bare wood and rock. The staff kept apologizing for the trails since they haven't had a chance to clear them since the latest ice storm, but it made the hike more interesting - more like just hiking in the woods. 

Yesterday after my hike, I decided to just lay around and read. If I happened to fall asleep, oh well...  It started raining pretty heavily, even a bit of thunder, and I ended up taking a really long nap. It was like sleeping in a cocoon, couldn't hear anything but the rain.

A special note for Will & Jake: I saw a blue heron flying along the shore, a robin building her nest, and a red-headed woodpecker, too!

Tonight's a hotel in Springfield -- feels funny to have the air conditioning on since the last two nights in the tent were only about 35 degrees. Anyway, on to Oklahoma tomorrow afternoon. Gotta find a car wash, though -- can't see through the windshield for all those squashed bugs!

I'm also posting a photo of my target route: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, (edge of) California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Suggestions for places to go, sites to see, etc., are definitely appreciated!
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