Like almost everywhere else in the country, it’s been a very hot week here, mid to upper 90s and enough humidity to really make it unpleasant. We are committed to hang around the park in the evenings, but are free to do as we please during the day. It was just too darn hot for us to get motivated to do much work or exercise, so we took a couple drives to do some sightseeing.
Markham Springs Recreation Area is a National Forest Service campground on the Black River 18 miles west of Lake Wappapello State Park near Williamsville, MO. There was a lumber mill on the site until the 30’s when the next owner built a 5 bedroom concrete and native stone house for his family. There is now a nice little campground that even has electric hookups, and four miles of hiking trails, but it was way too hot to hike. We did get out and look at the old house that was restored in 2010. It can be rented by the day or week.
Yesterday we drove about 25 miles to the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge at Puxico. MO. It was a beautiful drive through the refuge, and although it was almost 100 degrees, we walked up the paved trail to the Monopoly Marsh overlook, which as it turned out wasn’t much to see for the trees.
The 6 mile drive along Bluff Road was well worth it, though, as was the walk we took on the Swampwalk Trail, a one mile boardwalk through the swamps. It didn’t feel too bad in the shade, and surprisingly there were no bugs. We saw quite a few deer, a raccoon, and a turtle.
They also have a small boat launch for canoes and kayaks on the Mingo River. Looks like a nice place to paddle.
On the way home we drove through another Army Corps campground, People’s Creek, near the little town of Wappapello. You have to like the name of this old bus converted so it can tow a 5th wheel.
One more week and we’ll be retiring again. Look forward to getting back on the road.