October 11, 2018
WE LUCKED OUT! The Recreation.gov website was overhauled and is a serious mess. I went online and spent over an hour fighting with it to find a campsite near Hannibal with little success. According to the new and “improved” reservation system all campsites at Ray Behrens were walk in only so we rolled out and figured it was Thursday so we should be able to get a site before weekenders showed up.
Except the system was wrong and only one loop was walk in. All other sites were reserved. OK, there were sites open in the walk ins so we drove through. WOW!! We snagged a premium site. Long, level paved pad, full hook ups, nicely shaded, lots of space between the sites and a huge grassy area and playground across the way from us. This is a Corps of Engineers park so John’s NPS Senior Pass got us half price. We paid $12.00 a night for this incredible site. John was giddy and we didn’t want to ever leave but sanity reigned and we booked for ten nights. That’s good because we wanted to tour Hannibal and catch up on our blog posts (soooo many posts).
It was hunting season so we restricted our wanderings to the no hunting areas… and restricted further to the no hunting areas that a road between us and the hunting areas, just to cover our bases in case someone out there lost track of where they were.
Our site was about 30-40 minutes to Hannibal and less to the State Park where Mark Twain’s birthplace museum was. We toodled around the lake, ate good food at the nearby Rustic Oak Restaurant, walked down to the marina (and ate free ice cream – end of season) and checked out their hungry fish and generally chilled.
OK, anyone that follows this blog knows we don’t chill for long so yes, we toured the really nice Visitor Center at the Dam and made three trips into Hannibal during our stay. One for Walmart and two for touring.
There was a huge event at the lake on the third weekend in October. They have a Halloween Walk at another of their campgrounds and THOUSANDS of people come in for it. One entire camp loop is booked way in advance and those campers evidently go all out on decorating. Adults and kids pay $5 car to walk through and check out the decorations and trick-or-treat. John was not into it so we didn’t go but it sounds awesome. If we had arrived a week later, there would have been no room at the inn due to people coming in for the Halloween Walk.