We left St. Louis knowing we had a 4 hour drive and didn’t really need to leave to be there early, but as always there is a lot to do when preparing to move and it can be a bit stressful. It is even more stressful if you are in a hurry. We had a lot to do before we packed up, things like walk over to the park and get the truck where we left it the night before after the fireworks, a trip to CVS to pick up a prescription and of course fill the truck up with fuel ( I am getting better about not calling it gas, because it’s diesel fuel). Anyway, no unexpected issues with packing up so we said goodbye to Rich and off we went. The sights on the drive were just flat fields and highway, nothing too exciting. We changed drivers about half way when we stopped for more fuel. I took a really nice, but short nap as Kat drove.
We arrived at the Lake Paradise campground and I had some notes given from the lady who I spoke to when reserving our site, so we followed those. We got to the top of the hill at the campground in Lone Jack, MO and a guy came out and said he would take us to the office so we could get a site assigned. I was surprised because the lady told me there probably wouldn’t be anyone there and we could just pick a spot and go to the office on Wednesday for a receipt. Well, when he asked us how we wanted to pay and we said we had already paid it dawned on all of us that we were in the wrong campground! Our reservation was at a campground 168 miles in the direction in which we had just come. No refunds, so we paid for two campground stays that night and the next. Luckily they were both discounted by Passport America and it ended up about a total of $35 dollars a night. DUH! How did we both miss this? The credit card had been charged, we had it on the calendar and the night before I was double checking our reservation. Silly mistake, but we easily got a spot and got setup quickly in a pull through site next to the lake.
When searching for a new camping destination there is quite a bit of work to do. It’s not like finding a Hilton brand hotel near where you will be working that week. We look for places within our driving range of about 200 miles, a place that doesn’t take us too far off the path to wherever we are headed then and of course reviews are very important. Cost is always important and the amenities like sewer, water and electricity depending on how long we are staying. The reviews where we ended up were the reason I didn’t want to stay at Lake Paradise. Sure, you always get one or two bad ones, but there were a lot more bad than good for this campground and I had avoided it and gotten us a different place. How did this slip my mind…well, we had spent about half a day looking and researching and finally just pulled the trigger. I don’t know, we just weren’t paying attention when we left.
It is not an absolutely terrible place, but it is overgrown in many areas, the roads through the campground are washed out and a mess. There are some campers parked in spots that look like they are abandoned meth labs. There is something a little unsettling about it and I would not stay here alone. The lake next to our camper is really pretty, except for the fish carcasses floating next to the fish cleaning station. Just don’t look down or breathe too deep. Obviously there are fish to be caught in the lakes, but why hasn’t some animal eaten the carcasses? Where are the racoons when you need them? I like listening to the bullfrogs at night. There are 5 lakes, a pond and lagoon on the campground. I can’t forget to mention the pool- I have never seen such a giant pool! It sits sort of on the edge and inside the lake a bit. It was amazingly huge. The cost is 2$ per person if you are camping here. I checked it out for a little while this afternoon, wish I would have had a float! It has been hot and no breezes at all. I assume a lot of locals come here too. This property is huge and has so much potential to be a fantastic campground that it’s pretty disappointing to see it not fixed up nicely. Oh well, we are only here two nights and definitely know where we are going tomorrow.
Today, Wednesday, was productive. We got up late and eventually headed to Starbucks to get some internet service that wasn’t as slow as molasses. On the drive here from St Louis our “check coolant” light came on in the truck. It is a reminder after so many miles that you need to check the ratio of coolant to water. Anyway, we headed to the Ford dealer and they did it super quick with a little test strip and since it was fine he reset the computer warning and didn’t charge us a thing. We also found out that the seatbelt in the backseat is not as easy to fix as getting a bolt for the bracket that screws into the truck, we have to buy a whole new seatbelt package for $122 then pay for labor. We aren’t here long enough for them to order it and we want to see if we can just get the bolt somehow. Maybe we can get it online or go to a salvage yard. A quick stop at camping world and then back to the camper so I could go swim.
Other than us kicking ourselves a few times today for having made the mistake of going to the wrong campground, it was a pretty good day.
Kansas here we come.