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Wednesday, June 16

Returning from the Depths

I must say, the Ozarks are quite a treasure! Amidst a town full of vast conveniences —Home Depot, Hy Vee (best grocery store ever), Steak & Shake, Mickey D's, Starbucks— lays Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Disguised by massive trees, this park is full of treasures that could have kept us entertained for a much longer time period, if it wasn't for the wild animals!

Although staying in a cabin is quite luxurious compared to a tent, a roof over our heads was a necessity in a dark and rainy forest. Due to the tragedy that happened in the Arkansas Ozarks on Friday, we had several worried phone calls from friends and family. But we were safe in our log cabin, with our protector Tio. Every night, after a good meal of spiders and lightning bugs, Tio Jorge took down his web and spent the next evening re-spinning a new masterpiece in a different location.

This is Tio Jorge, he is about the size of a roll of tape.

We spent the majority of our days building fires and cooking delicious food. I couldn't tell if the food tasted so good because we were good cooks, or that it just took so long to prepare that we had to love it. Our menu included-blueberry pancake cake, mushroom Swiss burgers, chili dogs, egg bake, corn, baked potatoes, chili and cobbler. The only downside to cooking all day was the fact that we were exuding delicious smells into a dark forest full of critters! Every night, we were visited by raccoons who tried to walk straight up to our fire. We kept them away with various techniques—until the last night...

While the cobbler was on the fire, we were invaded in every direction by raccoons! Our flashlights were running out of batteries and the trash cans were filled with garbage. With four perimeter guards, we thought we had the site covered, until the loud rustling came from behind the cabin! The sound immediately began getting louder and faster. So loud that we all grabbed anything we could use as a weapon and fled to the porch. Imagining the worse - black bears, rabid deers, fugitives - we all were scared for our lives. Taking a giant stick and a fire poker, Nick and I went to the front of the porch right as the noise was on top of us. We shined the flash light all through the forest until we discovered the animals directly under the porch...two flipping armadillos! Who woulda thought something so tiny could make such a loud and intimidating sound?!

The armadillos were harmless but we retreated to the cabin with our cobbler and soon went to bed. The raccoons proceeded to terrorize us throughout the night, but I seemed to be the only one to sleep straight through. I was tired from a weekend full of horse back riding, eating and cave tours! All in all, a success. And a highly recommended, and extremely secluded camping spot. As long as you bring the proper critter repellent.


  1. LOL Kate. We had the same thing happen with Nicaraguan armadillos! We were completely freaked out and frantically shining our flashlights through the now incredibly thin screen protectors trying to find our invisible monster! It was like the legend of Boggy Creek on our first night sleeping in a strange jungle! It finally approached right beside the cabin…and there it was...The hideous Beast.

    We laughted and laughed.

    Glad we aren't the only ones.

  2. Also, only one pic?? I know you took a ton. Give us a link please!


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