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My family has always loved to go camping and many of those outings were located at campgrounds set on the Black River in Missouri. Here a few accounts of the many wonderful adventures we had.


Before I left for deer camp in my conversion van, my neighbor called and asked if I had a carbon monoxide detector in it. I told her I'd take the one from my house. I started my generator and a couple of hours after I went to bed, that thing started beeping and woke me from a good sleep. Annoyed, I opened a window, turned off the furnace, plugged in the electric heater and went back to sleep. Because the CO detector's numbers were jumping all over the place I decided to buy another one the next day. I again started the generator and within 75 minutes the second one was beeping. I turned off the generator and used an alternate heating source for the remainder of my trip. When I got home, I thanked my neighbor for suggesting I take the CO detector. She said, "I knew it was a God thing because it just popped in my mind out of the blue. I've learned to listen to the voice of God." This morning, I took the van for a generator repair. I was told the flex hose from the exhaust to the generator was completely busted off and the exhaust was going directly into the van. Thank you, Lord, that a neighbor listened to Your voice and that I am alive today to relate this story.

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One of our family’s favorite places to camp was beside a lake. Our son had taken his one-man tent so he could sleep in it by himself while the rest of us slept in the camper. As his mom, I was a bit apprehensive about him being alone because he was young. When morning arrived, he couldn’t wait to tell us about his early morning  sighting. He had awakened early and within just a few feet from his tent, a deer had come to the lake to drink.  He had gotten to watch this amazing creature go about her routine while the rest of us inside the RV had slept.

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Sitting around the campfire with friends has got to be a highlight of camping. We’d roast marshmallows, make s’mores, cook hot dogs, etc. Because the weather was warm, we had moved our chairs away from the fire to escape from the heat. Earl, my brother, said very quietly, “Dale, do not move or say anything.” The rest of us looked toward my husband and grinned as a skunk leisurely ambled under his chair toward the field just beyond the campsite. When the skunk had gotten out of our territory, as a group, we let out a big collective sigh.



Land Between the Lakes is a fabulous federal project that spans parts of Kentucky and Tennessee. We would stay at Hillman-Ferry Campground and then venture off to the activities between the Lakes. The show at the planetarium was not only very educational but also entertaining. At a explanation concerning wildlife in relation to the environment, we were told that the chirping of crickets could tell the approximate temperature outdoors. All we had to do was count the number of chirps for fifteen seconds, then add thirty-seven. That night I could not go to sleep because I lay in bed counting cricket chirps.



We were tubing down the Black River on a hot summer day. The river was low and moving slow. Throughout the day, we’d stop and apply sunscreen. What we did not realize was that the two fair-skinned males in our group, my husband and son, were tall enough that as their feet hung over the tubes into the water, the sunscreen quickly washed away. When we arrived at our landing, both were complaining of their ankles hurting and went to lie down as soon as we returned to our campsite. When morning came, their ankles were very swollen. Two days later because of swollen ankles and feet, neither could wear shoes so both had to stay home from church.

Black River Country

Map of the Black River in Missouri where Velma and her family often camped and the location which the book is based on.

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