Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Thursday, September 29, 2022

US 36 IL to KS What a Nice Ride

 September 15-23, 202
Thursday morning jacks up and we’re heading west to CO. This year we are following US 36 across MO and KS. Our first day was an uneventful 200 miles to Ray Behrens COE on Mark Twain Lake near Monroe City MO. We were here in 2018 with our friends Curt and Glenda, at that time we had a wooded site with quite the grade. This time we had a full hookup site with an open shot for our satellite service and Verizon was great, we could see a cell tower from our site. Ray Behrens is a beautiful campground with sites to fit everyone’s needs. Definitely, a place we’d come back to again.
Site 1A full hookups
The next day we headed into Hannibal MO to the Mark Twain Cave. While it’s a dry cave and has only a few very tiny formations the storytelling was interesting. The cave has many signatures from the 1800s to mid-1900s, one notable signature that they just recently found was Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain. All along the tour, the guide was telling the story of when Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher were lost for 3 days in the cave. We enjoyed the tour and were glad to add another cave tour to our long list of visited caves.

Afterward, we had hoped to go to the Mark Twain Brewery that we enjoyed back in 2018, alas the building has been sold and they have yet to open up somewhere else.
Saturday we headed down the road to Wallace State Park in Cameron MO, 170 miles and we arrives safely. Our site was a 30amp water-only site, which is fine for a night or two. Looking at the forecasted 100* weather coming we decided to make some changes to our plans. Instead of 2 nights we only stayed overnight. Wallace SP is a nice small park, family-friendly and busy on Saturday.
Site 70 water and electric (30amp)
Sunday we got up and on the road as we had 250 miles to travel. Our original plan had been to visit Rock Creek Station State Historical Park to see some friends nearby. Ends up they weren’t going to be in the area by then, since it was a 30amp site we wouldn’t be able to run both ACs to combat the high temps. Instead, we headed to Glen Elder State Park in Glen Elder Kansas on Waconda Lake. Another uneventful drive day, I’m enjoying not being on the interstate and taking red roads. We booked a 50amp with water site for 4 nights and 4 bars of Verizon signal. It’s in the middle of nowhere so bring what you need. They offer extended stays here, we saw lots of RVs that appeared to be more seasonal guests, but the majority of them had no utilities.

Nearby is Cawkers City, home of the largest ball of twine. Of course, we had to go check it out and of course, there’s always a geocache to be found near these types of places. Across the street from the twine was an old gas station that had been fixed up as lodging.

About 30 miles away is the Geographic Center of the Continuous United States, of course, we had to make the drive to see it.

We enjoyed morning walks around the campground, unfortunately, they were under a fire ban so no campfires. Definitely, a place we’d stay at again if in the area.

A short 110-mile ride found us arriving at Prairie Dog State Park in Norton KS for a two-night stay.
Site 2 water and electric (50 amp)

When I made our reservation I realized we would be near some of our Gulf Waters family, Francy, and Dale. Another 35 miles down US 36 was their town of Oberlin KS, where we enjoyed lunch and the grand tour of the town.

Francy's Bargain Box, a very nice thrift store
This is as far west on US 36 as we will go this year. What a pleasure it has been riding on this “red” road. We picked up US 36 in Springfield IL where it is part of I72 until the MO/IL border. I can see us driving this way to CO again.
In the morning we head into Colorado Springs where we have visits planned with our son and friends from AZ.
Until next time....


  1. Wow, you guys put on a few miles! As cool as the big ball of twine was I think Mark Twain's signature is cooler.

  2. The older I get, the more freaked out I am about places like caves...and, more to the point, getting lost in them. So the whole part about being "lost for 3 days"? about sent me over the edge... I much prefer pictures of large balls of twine and markers for the center of the country. :)


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