Easter weekend started out cold and blustery. We thought we were pushing the season for a north Missouri campout, but our family outing to Mark Twain State Park turned out to be a good one. Having sold our pop-up trailer after many difficult experiences, we rented a camper cabin. We found that an enjoyable way to rough it without punishing ourselves.
The cabin had a sleeping loft, a bedroom and living-dining room that featured a futon couch, dining table and bench, refrigerator and microwave-toaster. There was electric in the cabin, but no bathroom or water. The view was beautiful overlooking Mark Twain Lake. The cabin worked well for Virginia and me, two granddaughters and one of their friends.
Campground hosts were Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Jaco, Jefferson City, who formerly lived in southeast Missouri and were familiar with Traveler. That was a nice connection to make.
The campground was fairly busy, with lots of boats and anglers. The lake was cold and brown in color from recent heavy rains. Overcast skies on Friday made it look dull. But skies cleared by evening and we enjoyed beautiful sunsets by the campfire both Friday and Saturday night.
Granddaughter Shael and I climbed down the rocks and fished with nightcrawlers Saturday evening. Then we switched to some sparkly lures, but nothing bit. Still, it was nice to wet a line and get the kids into the outdoors. Ipods, the latest movies and tv shows were forgotten for awhile. Who can think about electronic stuff when there’s a campfire to poke or driftwood to pick up.
It was the first time we had taken our dog on a camping trip. He wasn’t as much trouble as we expected and added to the enjoyment. It’s good to have a pickup truck with a camper shell to shut him up in though.
Mark Twain Lake is an easy drive from St. Louis — four lanes until the last few miles — uncongested with friendly businesses. There are a number of private resorts and campgrounds in addition to the state park and Corps of Engineers campgrounds.
Put it on your list of places to visit this summer.