June 10, 2018 (by Angela)
With us moving every 4 weeks currently, moving weekends don’t really count for fun and exploring. Since last weekend was a moving weekend, this was our first weekend to explore our home on the roam for now. It has been a whirlwind of investigation, but Jim, Chewie, and I are loving it.
I’d never heard of Steelville until I was searching RVParky for a nice, affordable full hook-up (FHU) campground not too far west of the airport in St. Louis. I found Candy Cane RV park, made our reservation for this month, and that was it. When we arrived, the little town of just over 1,600 people amazed and impressed us with its activity, variety in events and shops, and the friendliness of people. I’m almost afraid to put this information out here because I kind of want to keep this hidden gem to ourselves.
First, Candy Cane RV Park & Campground is a nice, neat, small, family-run place. The owner Bill and his mother, Shirley, run the place and are very friendly and easy going. Yes, it does seem that the year-round focus, in one way or the other, is geared toward Christmas, but who can’t use a little more Christmas in his or her life?
Steelville sets on the edge of the Mark Twain National Forest in the Ozarks. With several creeks and rivers around and near it, including the Meramec River, the sign welcoming visitors to the town claims that it is the “Floating Capital of Missouri,” and opportunities do abound to rent canoes, kayaks, etc. to float the waterways. Jim and I may or may not have a chance to do that, but more things to do are available. Saturday alone, we enjoyed coffee and a sweet breakfast treat at Art & Joe and purchased some amazingly good fudge and wonderful smelling all-natural, homemade soaps from Creekside Fudge & Gifts. I also popped into Lange General Store and purchased some post cards; it is this year’s Google business of the year in Missouri. You’ll probably hear more about this store as I intend to go back to do more shopping. These shops offer quality items and have some of the friendliest folks you’ll ever hope to meet. (The businesses have Facebook pages, too.)
Besides exploring some of the shops in downtown Steelville, Jim and I ventured into the surrounding area. Driving Highway 8 on our way to St. James, we passed Meramec Springs Park – that is a definite on our to do list before leaving the area. We’d hoped to get Jim’s hair cut in St. James, but we kept striking out. Since we needed a Wal-mart stop, we continued on to Rolla. After successfully getting most of the things needed from Wal-mart, we slipped into a nearby Great Clips for the hair cut. Then, he and I found Tater Patch for lunch. It is a local veteran-owned business, and the food was really good.
Jim, Chewie, and I wrapped up our day of adventure with a hike followed by ice cream. The trail we walked follows along Yadkin Creek, which runs through Steelville. The trail begins at the community park. It is near the park that the Yadkin and Whittenburg Creeks meet as the streams flow to the Meramec River. Though a nice early-evening walk, all three of us were hot and ready to get cool when done. Dairy Isle & Grill was just the place to go to cool down with cold treats. Chewie enjoyed his pup cup, too.
It has been a really nice weekend, and I look forward to the rest of June in our Missouri home on the roam.