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Am home in IL on R&R and last Sunday we decided we would drive down to MO to look at a house on 15 acres. Figured might as well find someplace to camp. Looked at a couple state parks and didn't see anything that was secluded. I hate camping with a 100's of people. Started looking at resorts and came across a 1000 acre ranch called Chrystal Creek Ranch located in Eminence MO.
Ranch Retreat in the Ozarks at Eminence, Missouri MO: Lodging, Ranch Tours, Field Trips, Group Retreats, Old Farm Equipment Museum

They have a couple houses and log cabins to rent, plus camping areas, a covered wagon, and a Tree Retreat.

Turns out the only thing open was the Tree Retreat.
Tree Retreat
This was theme camping but for $40 a night we reserved it. The Tree Retreat has hammocks and cots to sleep on and is open air. It sits right next to a creek and is really secluded in the back corner of the ranch with a good couple mile drive to get there. I figured I could always set up the tent if need be.

Picture of the land on the ranch from a rental cabin on top of a hill. The Retreat is off to the far left past the pasture.




Looking down from that cabin you can see the creek(more on that later).


The ranch has a bunch of barns with goats, chickens, rabits, donkeys, hummingbirds, and cats running around. The place is really self service and they allow their guests free range of the place and barns.




Got attacked by some cats at the main hall



To get to the campsite you have to cross the creek.






Had to practice that crossing a couple times!


After the creek crossing there is a long scenic drive along side of the pastures




through the woods to finally get to the site.




Firewood is free on the ranch and there is a nice firepit right next to the creek.


The water was warm and clear we did some swiming and saw loads of bass, crawdads, and tadpoles


Found this colorful guy in our firewood.


Overall had a great trip. Spent 2 nights and 3 days at the ranch and visited the house further down south. We had originaly paid for 3 nights but on the 3rd night the bugs (no seeum biting nats who seem immune to 98% deet) were annoying the 2 of us to all hell. I finally had had enough (wimped out) and we packed up early and headed for a hotel.

The next day I saw that the owner of the ranch had called 3 times. I called him up to thank him and tell him we headed out early.

Turns out at 3 am that morning they had a flash flood that closed the county road & flooded the creek up to the 2nd step of the tree retreat. It was a good thing that I got out when I did as I would've been trapped there till the waters receeded. Don't want to think about what would've happened to the truck.

On the way home had to stop at a couple gun shops and antique stores.


It was nice to see some rain and green for a change, am heading back to Iraq (work as a contractor) Thursday, and am not looking forward to that long 15hr flight.
 

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Looks awesome.

I miss the green and openness of FL. Nothing but desert, mountains, and cities here. That place looks awesome. Nice find. Too bad about the bugs, but looks like you had a good time before you head out.

Be safe in Iraq.
 

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looks awesome. i love that kind of scenery. we don't have alot of that in so cal, so i really enjoy the pics.
 

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what a nice site! gotta love a place that requires a creek fording to get to!
That sealed the deal for me when making the last minute reservation. The owner asked what kind of vehicle I had, told him I had a 4x4. He said good we can cross through the creek and take the long way to the site. I didn't get pics but there was some hilly rocky driving through the woods to finally get to the site. Got to play around with 4 low 1st gear on some of the hills. The truck really crawls down / up hill.

Illinois is really boring and flat. I'm looking to move to MO.
 

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Hey drobs, I was just out that direction last month. My girlfriends parents live in Waynesville, just outside of Fort Lenordwood. Her dad works on post there. I saw on your sig your in the army. He was for 25 years, was CSM for the 5th enginers. He retired about 4 years ago but like i said still works on post. Cheers man, thanks for your service.
 

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Nice pictures! That would be a neat trip... I HATE No seeums (sp?)the fact that they can go right through most tents is a big PITA. Looks like you got out just in time.
 

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Hey drobs, I was just out that direction last month. My girlfriends parents live in Waynesville, just outside of Fort Lenordwood. Her dad works on post there. I saw on your sig your in the army. He was for 25 years, was CSM for the 5th enginers. He retired about 4 years ago but like i said still works on post. Cheers man, thanks for your service.
Thanks Z, I served 6 years enlisted in the Army Reserves as a mechanic back after high school through college. It was all peacetime then (93 to 99). Work as a civy contractor now and sit in an air conditioned office all day. Pretty boring job but it's in my field and I enjoy talking to the troops when I can.
 
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