Monday, October 27, 2008

Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Missouri

The noise of two different woodpeckers drilling in dead trees greeted us as we walked on our morning stroll. One set of tapping was the loudest, a distinct low pitched thump that made me hope for a view I hadn’t seen in thirty years……
Driving in rain from Keosauqua, and Lake Sugema, we headed east and then south. Our goal for the day was to reach Lake of the Ozarks State Park. The drive itself was slow along good roads and the park itself was so nice that we decided to stay for four days instead of the two nights we had planned.
Towing the house through a dense hardwood forest, and narrowly avoiding the tress we found a great campsite, into which our house and truck fit, leaving room for more. The ground was filled with leaves and hickory nuts, which luckily had all fallen from the tree above. A neighbor camper came over and pointed out the tree branch ready to fall on our house, (I think he was trying to save the spot for a friend).
The next morning the rain stopped and Molly and I took off exploring. As we walked the campground we had to avoid stepping on the nut husks and persimmons that littered the forest floor. Nearing our campsite, loud tapping greeted us and then stopped as two pileated woodpeckers flew though the trees! Now the pileated woodpecker is the one that woody woodpecker was drawn after and is a huge woodpecker, about the size of a crow! The red topnotch is so distinctive that identification is simply. The last one we had seen was in Renita’s folks back yard, over thirty years ago. Later we saw the pileated woodpeckers from inside our house.
The park itself is over 16000 acres of hardwood forest and lake. Later that day we went to Osage Beach, for supplies, and discovered condos and marinas and a whole city, next to this beautiful park. That evening we walked Molly along the lake, in the lower campground. The people here were so smart to save this place as a park!

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