Finally, after traveling all the way through southern Iowa and into Missouri, I have found warmer weather!

I’ve not traveled much in the middle of the country. There are probably many things to see, but none of them are obvious. I am trying a few things out to see where they take me.  In this story, I headed for what I thought might be exciting campgrounds.

My first was Geode State Park in Iowa. This is a misleading name. There were no geodes (as in the rocks with pretty crystals in them) from what I could tell. I looked. There was a very pretty man-made lake and many long trails, which Monty and Niko and I took advantage of. Fall is still in full swing here, the leaves a pretty pinkish red from all the maples and beech trees. I also took the Fallen Oak trail, where I was not surprised to find a fallen oak. It was over 140 years old when it fell. I counted the rings.

You’ll be glad to know, readers, that the price of gas has cooperatively nicely with my travels so far.

2013-10-26 14.56.35

The next campground I found was on Mark Twain Lake in Missouri. It is a gorgeous, natural lake surrounded by public land.

The campground is meh. Not to be disappointed however, I did some hiking. Beautiful sedimentary rocks line the edges of the calm waters. I’ve seen more deer than I can count, and heard coyotes yipping all night long. I saw three bald eagles. I swear this is a picture of them.

2013-10-27 14.15.48

Okay, so I saw one bald eagle in Michigan and suddenly I’m an avid bird watcher. Bird watching is most appreciated with friends, however, because I cannot for the life of me get a decent picture of one. All I can do is point at them and talk to Monty and Niko, who’ll perk up their ears politely, but who still have no idea I’m saying “I think that might have been a kestrel!”

Other wildlife, however, they notice. I think it notices them, too.

2013-10-28 15.59.05