Monday, August 24, 2009

Camping at Watkins Mill

We enjoyed beautiful weather while camping at Watkins Mill, a Missouri State Park near Kearney, MO (about 30 minutes north of our house), this past weekend.  We had made reservations on-line earlier in the week, and we were glad we did because a majority, if not all, of the electric sites were full.  There were some unimproved (tent) sites still available, but that wouldn't have worked for us.

The campsites were great.  They were very wooded which makes them feel a little more private and secluded.

Brian actually headed out Friday night after work to get things set up and relax before I showed up at 10:30 P.M.  Brian had built a fire so we stayed up and chatted for a while, and then we ventured into the camper to eat a late night hummus snack and watch an episode of Dexter before going to bed.

On Saturday we got up around 8:30 (the shade really helped us to sleep in a little) and made an awesome breakfast of pancakes and bacon.

Once we had sufficiently stuffed ourselves I wanted to explore the grounds a bit.  There are a few trails throughout the campsite to take you to different areas, as well as a trail that heads to an outdoor amphitheater that they play movies at on Friday and Saturday nights.

There is also a small lake at Watkins Mill that has a 3.6 mile paved walking/biking trail around it, so we headed for that, after the walk, with our bikes (Monkey stays behind in his cage inside the camper with A.C. if  needed).  The lake would be nice to use if we had a small boat or canoe because they only allow up to a 10 H.P. motor on it, so you are not competing with speed boats like at Smithville lake.

After our bike ride, we went back to the camper and took an awesome two-hour nap before our friends Frank and Lynn showed up to hang out, eat dinner, and enjoy the fire.

For dinner Brian and I made pork tenderloins wrapped in bacon and smothered in rub, cajun corn packets and baked potatoes.  I have to say, I think it was the best dinner we've made so far out camping, and we will definitely be making it again.

We took Frank and Lynn part way around the trail after dinner so the dogs could get some exercise and so we wouldn't fall asleep after all that food.  It was an absolutely gorgeous night.

After the walk, we stoked up the fire and made a dutch oven dump cake with cherries and chocolate cake (instead of the white cake we've done in the past).  Then we just hung out and talked and enjoyed the fire until Frank and Lynn left around midnight.  Brian and I headed in shortly after to watch one more episode of Dexter before turning in.

We woke up Sunday morning, ate breakfast burritos, packed up and headed home, disappointed the weekend went by so quickly.  We think Watkins Mill is our favorite campsite so far, and we will definitely be going back.  There is actually a mill and mansion tour that we want to go on, but we are waiting for another couple to come so we can all go do that together.


  1. It looks like a great place and that you guys had a lot of fun. I am so bummed we missed it. Hopefully, we can make the next one.

  2. I like that place a lot better than Smithville .... and the weather was soooo perfect!

  3. Thanks for the great evening and delicious dinner. Watkins Mill is awesome.

    Whenever you want to do the mill and mansion thing, let us know - I LOVE stuff like that!