Friday, May 16, 2014

Tour of Missouri: Wallace State Park

The Husband and I are getting really good at the hitching up and pulling out of the driveway. This time it only took us 15 minutes!

Less than an hour drive from our home we visited our second state park; Wallace State Park in Cameron, Missouri.  The park has four campgrounds, a lake with a swimming spot, and nice nature trails surrounding the area. 

We used the online camping reservation system to make our reservations. The nice thing about the system are the photos of each campsite. We tried our best to find the perfect camping spot and I think we scored a jackpot!  We were close to a line of trees, had nice shade, and a play area very close to our campsite. 


We all went for a hike on Saturday so we could log our 100 Missouri Miles.  The surroundings were so green and pretty! I was able to get some great photos along the way. The May-Apple plants were actually in bloom. If you look under those big green leaves you might catch a glimpse of a flower underneath.  If I understand it correctly only the May-Apple plants with two leaves produce a flower. The flower will eventually lead to a May-Apple fruit.

The trails are interlinking so you can start off on one trail and wind your way to another. It is always helpful to know the color of trail you need to find your way home. Or you leave bread like Hansel and Gretel.

Our path lead us to this long bridge.

This bridge lead us to the lake.

Of course any amount of trail walking can lead you to finding unwanted friends. The Short Chic found two ticks crawling on her. Each time we had been on the trail less than five minutes before she came running and telling us she had a bug on her.  Her friend Katelynn proclaimed that The Short Chic was the bravest girl in the world because the tick was the scariest thing ever!  Katelynn had no idea but she permanently etched a memory in our hearts!

Some times when you are older it is more fun to explore off the path. The Boy decided to follow the creek bed instead of the marked path. Ironically, he found no unwanted friends.

The Short Chic  spied several snails. She has since proclaimed herself the "Snail Finder!"

Nature is just an interesting thing, to me at least.  I love how the creek in this photo is dry but you know it is not always dry. It is often powerful enough to erode the ground from this trees trunk. In the end, it creates a very eye-catching sight that makes your stop and look while hiking.

It might also be true that Missouri is not flat. In fact, we are rather hilly which means when you walk downhill you also will have to walk uphill. 

Another truth is that 2.5 miles might seem like a lot to a group of six year olds. Of course, it helps to have Mommy drag you hold your hand up the hill.

Despite all hope we did not spy a single Morrel Mushroom on this hike. Mother Nature is not cooperating with the rain needed to help them grow. 

And of course, you can always count on a teenager to have their nose in the electronic devises no matter the surroundings.  (The good news, you still have cell service at Wallace State Park!)

Saturday afternoon one of our worst fears about camping materialized. The storm clouds moved in. It got dark. Radar showed strong winds, large hail, and even a devastating tornado hitting a small town an hour or so away from where we were camping. I have added a radio weather or a working cell phone with a radar app installed as a necessity for the camper. Angie recommended the app, Intellicast.

We got so lucky. The storms split us (one went south of us and one went north). We found out that in fact our camper can hold 13 people when it needs to, which is where we all went for the few moments that it did rain at the campsite.  

Do you see those five kids on that bed? (Well, you can't actually see two of them, but I assure you there are five.) They were full of sand when they came in from the rain. Sand that they deposited in MY BED! Lesson learned: leave those little one's outside when it rains so the rain can wash off their dirt!

I am also happy to report that the new camper is now well insured! The whole time the storms were circling us The Husband and I could barely look at each other knowing we were not insured and knowing if hail came our way the canvas would be no match.

Since the rain amounted to drizzles, we were able leave the camper and continue to cook dinner. We opted for dutch oven lasagna and garlic bread made on the open fire.

After a long day of hiking, it was a welcome meal.

Even the young picky eaters enjoyed the meal!

After dinner, we sat about making tin can ice cream. My dear friend Meeghan showed us how to make this ice cream using two tin cans a few summers ago and we have enjoyed her family tradition. 

We had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend spent camping. We spent time with some old friends and some new friends. My Momma showed up and spent some time relaxing at the campsite. She brought bubbles for the kids. She even made up some heavy duty bubble mix using corn syrup. Some of the bubbles were the size of softballs!

We have now officially visited two state parks on our quest to receive the Missouri Camper Award. 
We added another 3.5 miles to our 100 Missouri Miles initiative. That brings my total up to 16 miles.

New Here? Check out our tour of Missouri!

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Watkins Mill State Park

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