Overnight in SPIA-2' Backseat Bedroom in WALMART Parking Lot. So comfy. Three Duvet Night.
Dressed in T-Shirt, Blue Jeans, Key West Hurricane Hat, Western Bandana tied around my neck, Skechers Shoes, Sweat Socks, and Glove Inserts...I set out just after Sun Up heading back West on US 54 through the surprising city of CAMDENTON, the first of the Lakes Of The Ozarks, and beyond.
Within the first 5 minutes, I was freezing my TUTU off.
FIRST lake OF the OZARKS. truly as beautiful as advertised
A population of 3,500 enjoy a truly BIG City attitude, Big Box Stores, impressive massive Government buildings, big town traffic lights, and clean as a pin...and until next year reasonable tax rates . NEXT YEAR huge property tax goes into effect to finance safety and fire protection. Absentee Ownership may be in trouble.
Stopped in at a local (not national) Realty to ask what is different about CAMDENTON:
The LAKES !
Folks from the Rocky Mountains to the Canadian Border to the Atlantic Seaboard visit Lakes Of The Ozarks. The past two years have seen a significant increase in FORECLOSURES, however.
Stopped in to ask about the homeless.
Church supported, 15 beds for Men and 7 beds for ladies are available. Men's beds are filled. EVERYONE works in the Thrift Shop, for which they receive a salary...75% of which is "banked" for the homeless person until they have sufficient $$ to support themselves, receive their "banked" $$, and move out.
Cost of a Haircut = $12.00.
With Shampoo: add $3.00.
BLAIR CEDAR AND NOVELTY WORKS is a 65 year old Family downtown CAMDENTON business employing some 90 folks dedicated to processing CEDAR TREES into decorative BOXES, PLAQUES, and useful implements.
Visitors to the likes of National Parks and up-scale gift businesses across the country will recognize BLAIR CEDAR products.
Like this advertising sign. Good art and color. Easy to read
Shopping Center constructed of all-stone buildings. Very impressive.
...in a city of 3,500 ?
Please say HELLO to JEREMY. Stopped to warm up in MacDonalds, JEREMY offered me a ride to a local restaurant, R.J. Family Restaurant for my bowl of Hot Oatmeal.
When told the temperature in town this morning was 32 F., I got even colder.
Thank you, Jeremy for your kindness .
R.J. Family Restaurant. Spent $5.50 for Hot Oatmeal, Coffee, and toast...fully one half of my daily budget...and worth every penny.
CEDAR TREES growing in profusion everywhere one looks.
Probably safe to assume the owner of this piece of real estate refused to sell when the excavation around it was removed.
US 54 descending to the Lake Of The Ozarks...NIANGUA RIVER section.
Tomorrow we enter the Lake Of The Ozarks State Park at the city of OSAGE BEACH, Missouri.
Yes, we are in the Ozark Mountains.
NIANGUA RIVER, Lake Of The Ozarks.
The low buildings over the water are "Boat Houses"
Many Absentee Owners have purchased Condos and apartments. Hope the economy will support these owners from across America.
Returning to CAMDENTON required a long climb back up this steep hill.
Am told much steeper hills await before reaching ILLINOIS.
Also, if I choose to walk ARKANSAS, next Spring on our return from Key West, Florida, a number of 10% hills await.
We shall see.
Impressive Court House.
This sign brought back vivid memories of 79 + years ago.
LAKER is a stocking Distributer of EAGLE CLAW, the famous fishing tackle manufacturing company.
My first fishing trip, I have been told, was using Eagle Claw Hooks while trolling for SALMON in a 16 foot row boat in Puget Sound (SALISH SEA to historic Native Americans) in the year 1935.
No, I do not remember THAT first trip as I was not yet 6 months old...was wrapped in gunny sack blankets in my Apple Box "crib" resting between thwarts in the bottom of the row boat. In later years, I hauled in my share of big KINGS as well as 15 pound Silvers and unbelievable numbers of 10 pound "Humpys".
I can claim to being a true lifetime fisherman
Please say HELLO to SARA.
SARA, receptionist (and I don't know what else) for LAKER Fishing Tackle, and I sat on exquisite Oriental Furniture as we chatted for at least an hour (perhaps much more).
One sometimes meets another making a special impression. SARA is such a one...joining so many simpatico people, making my walk special...and oh, so difficult to say Good Bye.
* * * * * * * * *
Is now 5:30 pm local. Have been at the computer - again at PIZZA HUT - since 12:15 noon.
Will over night once again at WALMART. In the morning, PROPERLY DRESSED for the Cold Ozark Mountain Temperature, will walk the 10 miles to Lakes Of The Ozarks State Park and the city of OSAGE BEACH.
Would consider giving up one of my treasured Duvet for a snuggle. Let's see now...it has been HOW MANY YEARS...OMG