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Weekend at Bar-K Wrangler Camp in SW MO

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Weekend at Bar-K Wrangler Camp in SW MO
  • We spent the long weekend at Bar K Wrangler Camp in southern Missouri. We got there about 6 Friday evening and set up camp next to our good friends, Dave and Pris.

    There were several other campers at this primitive horse camp which borders the Swan Creek Territory in the Mark Twain National Forest. There is no fee to camp here. There about 6 different fields or areas where you can camp in this same general area. Some are down close the Swan Creek and some are further up on the hillside. We camped in one of the fields that we call the Postman's Field because a postman owns the land that lies to the north of it.
    Our camp neighbors. Most of them had been camping here for almost a full week. We had actually met one of the couples in this group last summer while on our trip to Colorado. Small world.

    Dash and I, ready to hit the trails:

    The grass was really tall in this field, which the horses really enjoyed. The only problem was the ticks that were there also really enjoyed us. I think we all picked more ticks off of us this weekend than we ever had before.
    This 8,488 acrea area has several trails that make their way through this Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized Area. Some of the trails go along the creek.
    David and I at The Falls

    Dave and Pris

    Other trails climb up and down through the forest and this part of the Ozark Mountains. Pris on Chance: 
    Dave on Cat, and David on Frisco

    There are several places that open up and have great views of the Ozark Mountains. David and Frisco:


    I was in the lead at one point when I heard a commotion behind me. A turkey was sitting on her nest that was close to the trail and she flew off just after I went by. I didn't see her, but the others behind me got just a quick glimpse of feathers. Since Dash and I were kind of ahead of the others and the turkey didn't jump up until after we passed, Dash didn't even seem to notice, but the others horses jumped a little. Everyone stayed in the saddle. We found the nest just a few feet from the trail.

    We also saw a doe and her fawn crossing the creek one morning, but I wasn't quick enough to take a picture. I also wasn't able to get a picture of a couple of eagles that we saw flying across the sky one evening. I guess I need to start leaving my camera on my neck all of the time, so I have a better chance of catching these Kodak Moments.
    We spent most of the day in the saddle on Sat and had few sprinkles on us, but most of the day was beautiful. When we got back to camp, we fried fish for supper. Dave had recently been on a fishing trip to Louisianna and brought back some red fish.

    Come and get it. Delicious! (Dave had already taken his shower, so was really stylin' for the pic)

    Later that evening a group of campers were all dressed up for a Mardi Gras Parade:


    We set up an electric corral, and so did Dave and Pris. We put the 3 mares in one corral:

    We put David's gelding in one by himself because he is very bossy sometimes and isn't very nice to Dash when in close quarters.

    Dave and Pris couldn't get their's to shock, so before we went to bed, we put the mares on a high line. I told David that I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and put Frisco on the high line too, but he thought Frisco would be OK left in his electic corral. Wrong! I don't know if our batteries died during the night or of his herd instinct was stronger than the shock, but he ran through the line during the night and strung the line up to the mares. You can kind of see our damaged electric corral in this picture.

    Dave got up during the night to check on them and found Frisco by the girls so tied him to the trailer for the rest of the night. We did work on the lines during the evening Sat and got everything working again.
    Sun morning we got the smoker going and put a beer can chicken in it to smoke all day. Our only problem was that all of our beer was in plastic bottles, so we had to empty a Dr Pepper can and pour beer into it. I guess we actually had "Beer in a Dr Pepper Can Chicken".


    We had a beautiful day of riding on Sat, and Sun was a good day until about 3 o'clock then it rained pretty hard on us for an hour or so. Of course, it let up when we got back to camp (for a little while). It rained on and off most of the night Sun night and Mon morning. We had planned on a short ride on Mon, but decided not to ride in the rain. It was pretty muddy in camp when we headed out.

    We had a great weekend and hopefully the horses got enough of a work-out to help get them in shape for our big trip to CO that we have planned for July.
  • Thanks Elaine for taking me on the ride. That's the closest I've been for a while with this crazy rain.
  • Glad you had a great weekend, Elaine and thanks for pix. Have to get down there and ride one of these days! Looks like the rain stayed away some of the time anyway.
  • Beautiful , What a great trip.You sure do know how to camp.. Keep the rides a comin ,it's the only way most of us will ever see the rest of this great country...
  • You guys do some fun stuff!!  hubby is a cutie.... you guys are like bookends. [':)']
  • Nice pictures and story!
  • Great Pictures & Story. Thanks for sharing!
    My wife & I live in Missouri as well, and were just talking about all the great places to ride right here...........now we've added Bar-K Wrangler Camp to the list.
  • Wow, what a great place to go!  So green and such great people to camp with too.  We used to camp a lot when I was a kid, sure miss it and need to get back into it with my kids.  We always did the high line thing.  Yosemite is pretty neat to go to.  Thanks for sharing!!