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Friday, July 23, 2010  

Road Trip Day 2: Missouri Loves Company

Day 1

Sarah has already made Nevada, Missouri famous to DHAK readers as The Town That Smelled Like Poo. Which I guess makes it a little ironic that it's kind of my ancestral home.

My dad was born and raised in that area of southwestern Missouri, and my grandma still lives there. The last time the three of us went to her house was eight days short of five years ago, when M. Edium couldn't speak at all, and motivated across her carpet only by holding over my hands, which I had to walk in a stoop to keep within his reach. This time he uses her carpet to put together a new Star Wars Lego set in about thirty seconds flat. We've now got pictures of him in her lap representing a half-decade of before-and-after. He's changed a lot more than she has.

My grandma's refrigerator is covered in postcards from all over the world, from her whole extended family. Some of them are from us, though not as many as I thought. It's a little unnerving to peel back one corner of a postcard you could have swore you sent ten years ago and see someone else's handwriting back there. I just have to assume that she has to winnow out multiple postcards that come from the same destination. Why put up everything from New Orleans in favor of St. Petersburg and Sydney? You don't, is why.

* * *

Tonight's our first night in a camp-cabin on this trip. We stayed in one for our last night in the Black Hills last fall, so we know what to expect. Or so we think.

We are stunned at what we find. A state park camp cabin is a Spartan structure, essentially a tent made of logs with a bunk bed, an overhead light, a door, and a couple of windows, one of which may or may not have a toaster-sized air conditioner wedged into it. An RV park cabin, as it turns out, is not that way at all.

We basically packed our entire camp kitchen in the back of the pickup -- everything from dishes and utensils to the stove and oven (yes, we have a camp oven). This was based on the assumption that everything we'd need to prepare meals would be found not in our cabins. So one feels a bit foolish when one walks into a cabin and discovers cabinets stocked with dishes and utensils, a double sink, a mini-refrigerator, a microwave, and freaking DirecTV. We're overpackers as it is, but this was a bit ridiculous. We could only hope that places further down the road were a lot more primitive, or else after getting home and unpacking the truck, we'd have to rinse out cobwebs as well.

Architecturally, the cabins were in the style of old "railroad" apartments, with the kitchen/living room just inside the front door, followed by the kid's room with the bunk bed (double-sized on the bottom, which was both a nice touch and made me think of Sir Mix-A-Lot), through which you walked (past the cruise-ship-bathroom-sized bathroom) to get to the "master suite," all furnished with stuff from thrift stores and auctions. Imagine my surprise upon learning they'd just been built the year before.

This was the first time on this trip we cooked for ourselves, and we did it up right: hot dogs boiled in a pan on the hotplate. I maybe could have gotten something out of the food bin in the back of the pickup, but at this point it was still too heavy to move.

posted by M. Giant 8:17 PM 2 comments


Do you mind my asking where these cabins were? We live in KC and are always looking for weekend places to stay that are only a few hours drive.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 25, 2010 at 6:28 AM  

These were in the Ozarks Mountains RV Park in Willow Springs, MO.

By Blogger M. Giant, at July 30, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

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