Friday, October 24, 2008

Camping Trip

So me and my buddy Tuco headed down to the Ozarks for a weekend camping trip. We stayed in the Ozark Scenic River on Jack's Fork, and we found a gem of a truck camping site. I'm not gonna tell you which one it is, but you can easily figure it out (or ask me) if you want to.

Sneaking out of work a little early, we headed down. Taking Tuco's truck, it rained on us almost all the way down. No worries, though, the forecast was calling for a clear weekend, so I remained hopeful on the drive down.

We got to the camping area. There is a main campground, at which there were some trucks, horse trailers, and RVs/campers. We kept going and forded the creek to get to the isolated camp spots. We were fortunate enough to get Camp 9, and it was a fine camp site.

We were rewarded with this view when we woke up.


We had decided to just explore the general area that day, and, after a hearty breakfast of bacon and egg sandwiches, we decided to start exploring. Bee Bluff was very near, and that certainly seemed to warrant a look, so we headed that direction.

First we saw a deer in the creek. I'm not sure if she was just out for a bath, or was crossing the river and we spooked her. Either way it was pretty cool.


Now the night before we had walked down the road a bit, until we got close enough to Camp 10 to see that there was a fire there. We both thought that Camp 10 might be a better spot, and we headed down to take a look at it. I also checked out the pit toilets, which constitute the main furnishings of the campground. When leaving, we heard a woman calling. She explained that her car wouldn't start. Her and her daughter had come out the night before and gotten stuck there. She was a local, and just needed to get her car (actually a small SUV) started to make it a few miles back to her group, which had RVs set up nearby.

We spent some time trying to push start her car, but just couldn't get any traction on the dirt. Of course neither one of us had jumper cables. We then found out that she had a roll of parachute cord. We took five strands and twisted up a rope, and finally got her car started by pulling it with Tuco's truck.

Now, that was fine, helping someone out and all. In this case, it was particularly sweet, because she was leaving Camp 10, which, as we suspected, was the prime campground at the site (or so we thought). After she left we immediately moved all of our stuff to 10.
That Jack's Fork behind the tents there. The camp was right on the river, and adjacent to a huge gravel bar.


Here is the view out of my tent. Pretty sweet.

After setting up we continued our exploration. We headed down to Bee Bluff, and it was awesome.

What was also very cool is what we started calling Camp 11. This is an unofficial camp spot right next to Bee Bluff, and it was superb. It was about a 30 second walk from the spot where the picture above was taken. Of course, since it was unofficial it didn't have the swanky grills, fire pits, and picnic tables of the other sites, but it was still the prime spot in the area, and is certainly where we will stay when we go back down.

We headed back to camp to start our beef stew. It turned out to be really good, and we had another good meal. We had a good night, just drinking and talking and stargazing. We had pulled our chairs out onto the gravel bar for prime viewing, and conditions were great.

One strange thing that happened was when the two gius paddled by in a canoe about 10 at night. They had headlamps, so they were doing fine. They said they had been on the river all day, and were headed to our take out, so they were happy when we told them they were almost there.

Here the sunrise over the river Sunday morning.


The next morining we made some fried potatoes, and some sausage and pepper and egg scramble to go over the top of them, with gravy consisting of the leftover stew. What a great breakfast it made. After cleaning up camp, we decided to head out. The woman we had helped had told us about the back way out, which we decided to take. I was driving starting off, and it was great fun to take Tuco's nice new truck down all the narrow dirt two-tracks through the woods. We had an uneventful drive back, and all in all it was a great weekend. Tuco is looking to buy a kayak, and as soon as he gets it we will probably be back down there. I know Tuco will whether I make it or not. The only bad part of the trip is that my memory card in my camera crapped out, and I have been unable to recover any of my pictures. Tuco was kind enough to send me some of his for this blog post. Hope you enjoyed it.