We’re starting to get confused!
After leaving Oklahoma, we drove through Missouri (which is a very pretty state of rolling green hills) to a place called Pinewoods Lake in the Mark Twain National Forest. Stories on the internet say that this used to be a developed campground with electricity and water at the 15 sites, but something happened to cause the government to remove the hookups and sort of abandon the camp. Although it’s not really abandoned, because there is a fishing dock, a boat ramp and a 1.3 mile trail around the lake. The 15 campsites remain paved with picnic tables and fire rings. The place is mowed and trees are not growing over the sites, so it is obviously being maintained. People are free to camp at no charge and with no supervision. We pulled into this campground and were alone except for a couple of pickup trucks belonging to fishermen. We selected a huge site with a lake view. The three nights that we spent there, we had one or two other campers pull in and park good distances away from each other so we all felt quite alone. It was very tranquil. At least until the ticks showed up! The day before we left, we each found two ticks on us and at least a half dozen on Tessa! From that point on, it was a battle against the ticks.
Our next stop was Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. It’s a beautiful peninsula in western Kentucky that’s surrounded on three sides by the Barkley and Kentucky Lakes. There are multiple campgrounds on 170,000 acres, a nature center, two bison and elk preserves, and countless dirt roads that will take you to spots where you can fish or put in your boat. The roads are smoothly paved ribbons of rolling hills and it’s really quite lovely.
All of the rivers are flooded here, including the Mississippi. This is the Tennessee River’s viewing platform under water.
We had reserved a campsite at Hillman Ferry Campground on the website. The site turned out to be pretty bad, not at all meant for a 35’ motorhome. Bob got a medal that day for pulling The Beast into that narrow space with trees, corners, inclines and a drainage ditch to deal with, but when he got the Beast in there, we discovered that the electric hookup was on the wrong side of the motorhome and about 50’ too far in front of the site! Fortunately, the lovely campground employees quickly found us a new space in a fast-filling campground in advance of a holiday weekend. And here’s where this week’s story begins …
We pulled into our new site and waved at the couple next to us who had just finished setting up. A wave turned into a conversation which turned into wine and cheese at the picnic table … and quickly turned into a friendship. Turns out, Glenn and Christine had also pulled into their original campsite, found out it would not work with their motorhome and were assigned a different space. We had become neighbors due to the same circumstances!
Glenn and Christine just became full-time RVers and are heading for South Dakota from Florida. They took the plunge, sold their house, packed the dogs into the motorhome and hit the road! We had a great time sharing stories, comparing experiences and giving each other tips on future trips. We all checked out on Sunday and headed opposite directions, with Christine & Glenn heading to the same area of Missouri where we had been, and us to Tennessee where they had just been. Unfortunately, they headed right into the bad weather. We’ve been in touch and, thankfully, they are safe. We know we’ll meet up with them on the road in the future!
Next stop, Nashville!