We woke up early knowing we had a long driving day. We made a quick stop at the free hotel breakfast and out the door we went. Late last night, a refrigerated ice cream delivery truck had parked near us towing what can only be described as the largest fake cow we have ever seen- think Coburg cow times 5! I snapped a quick pic but didn’t get one with the kids in it. We entered Kansas City from the north and crossed Missouri for most of the day. Rain accompanied us for half the day to make the driving a little slower. L drove some late morning so I could get 90 minutes of needed rest. This stretch between KC and St. Louis is some of the only backtracking (driving twice) we are doing this trip. Our 30 day loop route has us going over almost all new road which is nice for a change of scenery. It was cool to drive back by the Arch at St. Louis knowing we had been (up) there 4 weeks earlier. We pulled into the Land Between the Lakes National Rec Area around 6 pm and it was just beginning to rain harder. We had heard great things about this area here at the KY/TN border and were excited to be here. With the addition of a dam in the 1960’s, the area became the largest inland peninsula in the US. The entire area between the lakes is a National Rec Area and offers lots to do. There is a 700 acre preserve that is a elk/bison refuge (strange I thought this far east) and a recreated 1850’s farm called The Homeplace. Tons of boating, camping, hiking, bike riding and other. Wish this place was not 600+ miles from our home- it would make a great long weekend camping stop. Unfortunately, we are all experiencing “End of Vacation Syndrome” (EVS) We are all tired, hungry, worn out and ready to be home. We saw a place called the Patti’s 1880 Settlement just outside the LBL and we decided to check it out. It is quite impressive with all of the shops, restaurants and other- kind of a grandmothers delight! We had dinner at the original Patti’s restaurant. They are known for their 2″ thick pork chops and 6″ high meringue pies. G had the big pork chop (always skeptical of oversized meats) and it was delicious- seasoned perfectly and moist. We finished it off with some desserts (including the huge pie- not as good as the pork chop) and made our way back. We saw several deer along the way. Looking forward to exploring LBL tomorrow on our last camp day before making the push for home!