Today we were up early (despite my late night fishing trip with Tom yesterday) and drove the 250 miles to St Louis, where we left the girls with their father to spend some time with him in Chicago. We then headed off to check out some nearby campsites. We’re really getting the camping bug.
Camping over the July 4 weekend had the potential to be a disaster, with lots of campers, parties and fireworks, but Ginger found a very quiet and out of the way campsite which only had three other occupants when we arrived.
The peace of our first night’s sleep was disturbed by one of our neighbours running a generator through most of the time. Every time the generator ran out of gas I hoped they’d leave it be, but it wasn’t until about six am that it died for the last time. Fortunately they and one of the other campers moved on the next day leaving just us and the rather aptly nicknamed (by us) Santa to share the peace and quiet – well quiet except for all the crickets, bull frogs, cicadas etc.
The only downside of this site for me was the absence of a creek or lake, though we did find a small pond.
The site is about 20 miles from the nearest town, and patrolled daily by the Rangers. The ‘facilities’ are adequate. There’s no on-site water or trash collection, so you have to bring water and carry out your trash (not to mention keeping it secure from racoons etc. while you stay). Overall the site was well maintained, the grass is kept short and everything was very clean, With what appears to be a small number of users I doubt they put a maintenance team in here that often. The Gents left a fair bit to be desired – but that’s down to idiot users.
Before moving on we hiked a very short part of the trail. It was too hot to go too far, and as it was our first hike we didn’t want to over extend ourselves. We probably could easily have gone twice as far, but the effect of climbing steep hills in ninety degree temps is not to be underestimated.