Winding Down from Travel Mode

9/29/12 – Saturday

Today’s hike was called Devil’s Kitchen, named for the interesting rock formations that can be seen from the trail.

There are three distinct layers of rock that make up the cliffs of the Ozarks area. Dolomite is the bottom layer, it’s more impervious to rain. Above that is a thin layer of shale, and above that is limestone. Limestone is what you’re seeing here, it’s higher up on the hills so taking this walk did require a fair bit of climbing, but it was worth it. It gets worn down by the elements and it’s hardness is inconsistent. Some areas wear away faster than others, leaving caves and sinkholes in their wake. There were three caves on this route, one which was too small to climb into right at the boarder between the limestone, shale and dolomite and it had a small stream running out of it.

The other two were big enough to climb into, so I did. If you peek at the brochures available at the park office you’ll find there are several caves around here that you can pay to get tours of. They’re no doubt much bigger and prettier than these were, but hey, this was free.

“What’s the password?”


“You heard me lady, what’s the password?”

On the way back down to the trail head I found this turtle in the middle of the path. No idea why he was there or what he was up to, but he was indeed very much alive. Maybe he wanted to see the caves too? I gave him a wide berth, I know there are snapping turtles in this area and don’t know what they look like so I didn’t want to take any chances. He left me alone and continued on his way, apparently the password isn’t necessary on Saturdays.

9/30/12 – Sunday

Is there anything more relaxing than reading a book down by the river? I took my fold up chair down to the park today to read by the water. The park’s a nice little area, it has a shelter, several picnic tables and benches, a few charcoal grills scattered around, and a pretty impressive playground. A couple of the trees here are starting to change, I think if I would have been here two weeks later it would have been quite spectacular.

Getting down to the river proved a bit of a challenge. The drop off is pretty steep and there’s so much undergrowth that from the park you can’t really see the water that well.

Fortunately, I packed my toe shoes and a sense of adventure. In the the river at one point was a bit of a sandbar covered in gravel, that looks like it’ll be a great place to read. I forded across with my toe shoes, which are fine to get wet, and set up my chair. Ahh, now this is more like it. A premium view of the river, and no having to fight over benches with other park-goers.

10/1/12 – Monday

After three great days at Roaring River I am sad to leave, but work beckons and I’m due in at Big Chief RV park tomorrow. Checkout for MO state parks is 2 pm, so that gives me plenty of time to get ready. Goodbye for now, I’d definitely like to come back to this area again sometime.

A couple of leisurely hours of driving later, I decide to stop at Joplin, MO. The city was struck by a big tornado last year, but is recovering. I haven’t seen this much construction going on in years, since the recession started. The Walmart I stay at is new, and it’s massive. In the customer service area there is a memorial on the wall for the people who lost their lives in the storm, I hope their families have found some peace.

The sun hovers on the horizon under a blanket of clouds, and makes for a beautiful sunset that my phone just can’t capture. There is a local frozen custard place nearby, Shake’s, and I treat myself before retiring. I’m sharing the parking lot with three other travel trailers tonight, sort of.

10/2/12 – Tuesday

I’m not exactly sure when I pass into Kansas, don’t remember seeing a sign but it must have happened shortly after leaving Joplin. Things seem drier out here, the burn ban at the MO state parks had been lifted before I arrived due to recent rain but it seems like the South Eastern corner of Kansas has not been so lucky.

Finding Big Chief was no problem at all, and true to their word online it is located nearly right across the frontage road from Amazon, well, kind of kitty-corner to it. In fact, I can see the Amazon sign from my windows.

The sun stands tall and warm and a strong breeze blows dust across the park as I check in. I choose a spot as close to the bath house as I can. I still prefer to use campground facilities where possible and once it starts getting below freezing having a short walk will be a good thing.

My first impressions of Big Chief? It’s…an RV park. Not someplace you go on vacation, but clean and serviceable. It was built within the past few years, so everything is pretty new. The sites are packed close together in a grid. Essentially everyone who stays here is working at one of the warehouses or plants in this little industrial park, so the more spaces to accommodate workers the more the owners make.

The pads are dirt and gravel but mostly level. I think if it rained a lot it would muddy, in fact I can see some ruts in my spot from where it has in the past. There is no shade, and your view is either your neighbors, the warehouses across the street, or Highway 169 in back. But I’m not here for a pretty view, I’m here to work.  It’s only 12 weeks, and I’ll have fond memories of my journey here to keep my spirits up as the temperature drops.

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Mr. Donut on October 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Jeez, I hate to be “that guy”, but you must have read this slam on Amazon working conditions, right? I imagine it’s different from warehouse to warehouse, but still. Ah well, from one technomad to another, things’ll work out ’cause they always do.,0,7937001,full.story

    • Becky on October 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Yep I’ve read that before. I can’t speak yet about how harsh the productivity goals/point system will be having only been there two days, but I have spoken with employees who worked during the summer and can say that the heat isn’t as big an issue at the Coffeyville warehouse because they have A/C.

  2. Marcia on October 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    You’ll be working hard for your travel $$ but hopefully the time will go by quickly and you’ll be relaxing in the sun somewhere warm by Jan 1.

    • Becky on October 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      Indeedy. 🙂 Although I don’t think Quartzsite is all that warm in January either. Well, warmer than Kansas at least.

  3. Sherry on October 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Hope your Amazon time flies by and you are able to take the money and just travel around to other lovely spots for sitting and enjoying.
    Sherry recently posted..Wow is all I can say!My Profile

    • Becky on October 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      That’s the hope! We’ll see how much I’m able to save.

  4. Brian on October 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Hope you enjoy your job at Amazon. The 2 minute commute to work will be great. Maybe a big Class A motorhome will park next to your site to block the cold north wind:)

    • Becky on October 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Yeah, I knew right away I’d rather be really close with a poor view than somewhere nice but have to drive an hour round trip every day.

      I’m at the north end of the row so no such luck Brian, haha. But that means I have windows that aren’t looking right into someone else’s RV so I count that as a plus!

  5. Janice on October 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I love the pictures of the park and the limestone formations. Your idea to sit on a sandbar is awesome!

    If you meet a tall guy named Roger Walters, tell him I said ‘Hi”. He too is a full timer who is going to work at Amazon. His wife is Rosalie but she won’t be working.

    good luck with your job. Keep the posts coming and let us know how working for Amazon is. We may be trying it some day in the near future once we can retire.

    • Becky on October 8, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      If I see him I’ll say Hi, but it probably isn’t too likely unless he happens to work the same shift as me.

      I will definitely let you all know how Amazon is, orientation is over and tonight’s my first real night.

  6. MARVIN on October 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm



    I can’t wait to find a gravel sandbar somewhere , with a chair and a book . People will think I have lost my marbles . Sunshine , moving water , and no people – sounds like heaven .

    Be Safe – Keep Smiling !


    • Becky on October 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      It was great, something I’d recommend to anyone. Until I started getting rained on. Had to dash out of there in a hurry when I felt the sprinkles starting. I continued reading in the truck while it poured outside for a bit before returning to the Casita.

  7. Fireman Steve on October 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Good afternoon Becky,
    I enjoyed this segment. I’ve been to the ozarks in the past, and find the area beautiful. Great pics also. :-). What is your ultimate destination? You might have mentioned it in the past however I am fairly new to your site so I am just curious ….
    Have a safe travel to your next stop.

    • Becky on October 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Hiya Steve.

      Coffeyville, Kansas. Back in July I applied to be a warehouse worker at Amazon over the holiday season, so these past few weeks have slowly been taking me in that direction. I’ll be here until December 23rd.

    • krissie on June 20, 2013 at 8:31 am

      I have to agree with Steve, I just discovered Becky’s blog a few days ago and was so intrigued I had to start back to her first post. It’s also worth reading all of the comments. She has some wonderful followers with masses of great input! Her blog is like a great book…I can’t put it down! I,m eager to get on with her story so I can catch up with everyone else! Thanks Becky!!!!

      • Becky on June 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm

        Glad you’re enjoying it Krissie!

  8. Teri on October 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I love to sit by a river to read and relax. I hope you will be posting about the job at Amazon and the weather there. I have read about the jobs at Amazon and have considered working there, I wonder if the pay is good enough to compensate for the long hard hours and the weather.
    Teri recently posted..Bayfield ColoradoMy Profile

    • Becky on October 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      Yep I will Teri. Orientation was last Thursday and Friday, tonight is my first real day at work. I’ll be writing about it soon. 🙂

      As for the weather, it’s just fine now. As things get colder I’ll write more about that.

  9. cozygirl on October 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    You sure bring the story of travel destinations up front and happy! devils head is sweet! I’m so happy all running smooth and lving your happiness!
    cozygirl recently posted..YUMMY SATURDAY means salsa, chips, and a margarita!My Profile

    • Becky on October 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Yeah it was a good trail! They all were, really. Roaring River was a great place, and I’m glad I stayed there.

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