Monday, June 23, 2008

Outward Bound

Birmingham to Idaho

We left Wednesday June 18th. We drove 60 miles on I59 to Tuscaloosa, exited on US82. We do not expect to see an interstate until we get to Nebraska. Our plan was to cross Mississippi and camp at the Great River Road SP. It was closed when we got there. Reason unknown. We crossed the river and found a Forest Service CG in Arkansas and had the place to ourselves. Two bucks.

The next day we drove rural roads through BIG farm country on Crowley’s Ridge Scenic Route and stopped at Lake Frieson SP in Arkansas. It’s an OK small CG on a lake. Discount on weekdays.

Our plan was get to Onondaga Cave SP in Missouri for the weekend. We discovered it fills up by Thursday afternoon. So we headed west on US160, away from the hordes to Greer Springs CG in the Mark Twain NF. This is a 20 site primitive CG on the Eleven Point River. We took the only site in the sun to be able to use the solar panels. It was darn warm in the mid-afternoon, but cool enough in the evening with three fans blowing. We spent many hours passing time with the camp hosts, Walt and Linda who hail from Johnson City, TN.

Sunday morning we headed north on MO 19. We stopped at Round Spring in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways to take the two hour cave tour. We thought it was a great cave experience. After lunch we continued north to Onondaga Cave SP. This is a first-rate CG, well-manicured grounds, concrete pads, W&E for $14. It is crowded on weekends, but Sunday evening the place was nearly empty. The weather is excellent. The CG is also on one of the popular float rivers, Meremac, in the area.

We have not seen that much of Missouri, but we now know that it worth further exploring and doing some yakking in the off season.

Monday evening - we are near Macon, MO at the Long Branch SP. It's on a decent size lake, so we will paddle the yaks tomorrow for exercise.

The paddling did not work out. It started raining about dawn and continued most of the day. A respite from 4 to 8 pm and then the deluge came, along with some really loud thunder. It is clearing out Wednesday morning so we will delay leaving until the weather map shows all clear. No sense in getting the rig dirty just to leave. We have plenty of time to get to the next place.

The Riverview CG on the Missouri is closed until the water goes down, so we decided to push an hour farther to Pawnee near Lincoln and we are glad we did. A magnificent CG. Paved pads, electric, on a lake and lots of shrubbery and trees.

We spent most of the drive in rain, some heavy, but the sun was out with a nice breeze when we arrived.

Friday, June 27 – We are in Kearny, NB in the Ft Kearny SP. The plan was to wash clothes and enjoy browsing Cabela’s. The CG is barely OK. Typical state park on a weekend, jammed up. This Cabela’s is small and old. The experience took only 30 minutes. Oh well, we will wash clothes and read tomorrow. Sunday we will be “out west” beyond the 100th parallel. The weather is good and our onramp to the web is decent.

Saturday was a glorious day with a fine breeze that keep the mosquitoes at bay.

We have concluded that most rednecks live outside of the south. Iowa and Nebraska seem to have high populations of them.

Sunday, we drove US30, with sand hills on our right and the Union Pacific on our left, past feed lots, grain elevators, trains. We stopped in Sidney to shop at Cabela’s. We escaped with only $40 lighter as we only wanted real bargains.

We are at 4,000 feet and officially out west. The sunset was glorious. For me, the trip starts tomorrow in Wyoming.

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