Lost Valley Lake Resort in Owensville, MO

We camped at Lost Valley Lake Resort in Owensville, MO in October of 2021. This was our first camping trip in our new Sabre 36BHQ which we live in full time.

Day One – October 25:

The Metaphysical.Family at Lost Valley Lake Resort – October 2021

This is the story of our week long visit to the Lost Valley Lake Resort and RV park during the week of October 25, 2021. We have not been compensated by Lost Valley Lake in any way for this review.

Our trip was planned to begin just after lunch on Monday, October 25th. As will sometimes happen, plans changed before they even began.

Like most people who live in an RV full time, we have move day checklists. There are three stages to this checklist – T24, T12 and T0. The lists are to be checked and checked-off at the number of hours in the title; T24 is 24 hours before travel, T12 is 12 hours before travel, etc.

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We had planned to be on the road after a morning appointment on Monday. We expected to be on the road right after lunch, but got a late start and had to do almost all of T24, T12 and T0 _at_ T0. The National Weather Service was expecting a severe storm carrying tornadoes and large hail.

Since we still have our sticks and bricks, we closed the slides on the RV, went inside, and down to the basement to ride out the storm. The sky was dark by the time the weather threat had passed. As is often the case with severe weather, the system passed us without tornadoes, without hail and even without rain. Fortunately, this meant no property damage. Unfortunately, it also meant pushing T24 out to the following morning, which was already taken.

Day One – October 25

Once once on the road our first stop was to the CAT scales at Love’s Truck Stop in Strafford, Missouri. It was important to weigh our combined rig to make sure that we weren’t too heavy. We had been living in the RV for about a month at this point, and had everything that we thought we would need to carry. There are also some things that we will learn we don’t need to carry.

Our truck, which we lovingly refer to as “The Dreadnought”, weighs 9,220 pounds with the family on board and an (almost) full tank of fuel. Our combined weight with the RV on back is 22,900 pounds. With only 10,500 on the trailer axles we can add nearly another 2000 pounds of cargo to the RV before we have to upgrade the tires.

The 2022 Sabre 36BHQ comes equipped with 7000 pound axles, but only E rated tires. Upgrading to F rated tires matched to the 7000 pound axles results in a 36BHQ with c CCCW of 4150 pounds.

After a quick stop in Uranus Missouri, we headed to Lost Valley Lake.

It was another three hours to Lost Valley Lake using directions provided by RV Trip Wizard. RV Trip Wizard lets you plan your trips on a computer, and then download the trip directions to your mobile device for use in the RV. The software allows an RV owner to enter their vehicle information — length, height, etc. The software supposedly uses this information to plan routes that will accommodate that vehicle.Sometimes though, the software will route all 60+ feet of truck and fifth wheel down a dirt road barely large enough for the truck alone. We would share dash cam footage of this with you, but this footage was accidentally destroyed.

When we finally arrived at the campground it was nearly dark. By the time we got checked in and to our campsite, it was completely dark.

Parking a 42 foot trailer that is also your house can be a stressful experience. Parking a 42 foot trailer between rows of trees, and in the dark, can be downright nerve racking.

After watching me struggle with it for a few moments my new neighbor across the road came out to ask me if I would like him to move his truck. I admitted that it would make my task much easier if he happened to have his keys handy. We were nearly there with his truck in place. With it moved we were parked in very short order.

Our new neighbor introduced himself and his companion as “Chuck and Dee” before adding “Well, Charles and Dianna, but we’re not formal.” We thanked him very much for his help getting backed in and situated.

Tired from the day, we put the landing gear down, slides out, hooked up power and water, and went inside for the night.

Day Two – October 26:

Good Morning from Lost Valley Lake

After breakfast we decided to go fill the truck with fuel. We planned to do some exploring both in and out of the resort, and we had expended most of our fuel getting to the campground the night before.

An old building marks the PAVED road leading back to Lost Valley Lake

The lowest price for diesel fuel was in the nearby town of Rosebud, Missouri. The Rosebud General Store is a pretty typical fuel station and convenience store, and met our needs perfectly. Unfortunately we did not have time to try Ruthie’s Family Restaurant on this trip, but we did hear that it is a good place to eat.

On returning to the campground we went to Lost Valley Lake Resort reservations office to meet the staff there. The staff was all very friendly. We had already decided to extend our stay rather than travel on Halloween. Reservations was able to extend our trip, and without changing spots. In hindsight, we got pretty lucky. More on this later.

Cigarettes are available in the reservations office

While in the reservations office we spotted this old fashioned cigarette vending machine. These things were nearly everywhere in the long long time ago when smoking was fashionable, and less expensive.

Near the reservations office outside we found this slightly out of place piece of art.

The Eagle (sign of power) atop the Earth. Who/What does the Eagle represent? Masonic Marker? You decide.

There was no marker to identify what the statue is intended to symbolize. The piece consists of three cubes sitting on a large rock. The cubes feature wheels with eight spokes and leafy scroll work. On top of the cubes is a globe representing the Earth. On top of that is an eagle with it’s wings outstretched. Can you guess what it means?

Perhaps the Eagle is looking at the bounce pillow.

Most people are familiar with a “bounce house”. They are giant inflatable “houses” that allow people – usually children – to get inside and bounce around. Lost Valley Lake does not have a bounce house, but they do have a bounce cushion the size of a tennis court.

It’s fun for adults, too.

The bounce cushion directly next to the natatorium. We had intended to take advantage of this amenity, but didn’t find the time before the week was out. The facility looked very nice.

Adjacent to the indoor pool is a large parking lot. There is an on-site restaurant on one edge of this parking lot. Note that the restaurant is is only open on Fridays and Saturdays. Plan accordingly.

Further past the restaurant is a playground with platforms, slides and a “monkey bars”. We visited the playground briefly for some “whee” on the slides.

After “whee” on the playground we went to explore the Lake Center Expo located across the street from the playground. This is a large building which houses a movie theater that can be reserved for screenings.

The building also houses a basketball court, adjacent volleyball court, mini-golf, arcade, pool (billiards) and shuffleboard room, day spa and more.

Mini golf at the Lost Valley Lake expo center

We returned to the RV for lunch and were reviewing the details of big sister’s horseback riding lesson planned for the next day. It had not been previously mentioned that she would need lace-up shoes for the riding lesson. We decided to leave the campground again to go to Walmart as we had not packed appropriate shoes.

Before we made it to Walmart we had a detour at Hidden Oaks Pond to re-flash the truck from its previous “tow” tune. We took the short hike to the pond while waiting.

Hidden Oaks Pond, Lost Valley Lake

After the detour it was off to Owensville to Walmart.

We were pleasantly surprised to see t-shirts featuring messages of hope and faith available for purchase at the Owensville Walmart.

Religious shirts available for purchase at Walmart!?
Religious shirts available for purchase at Walmart!?

Lace-up shoes secured, we headed back to the resort.

Lost Valley Lake at sunset

And back to our camp site for our first campfire of the trip.

Fire indeed hot

The fun would be cut short by a cranky toddler. S’mores were delayed for some of the family.

Day Three – October 27:

We took a short walk to Racoon Hideout Pond this morning. The pond is within walking distance of our camping spot. The pond is clearly marked on the resort map, along with a trail leading to the pond.

We were unable to find the trail, but did make our way down to the pond.

Racoon Hideout Pond, Lost Valley Lake

This pond is located in a small valley between two sections of RV parking spots, but we could not see the RVs with the leaves on the trees. It is worth the walk downhill to see the pond.

Do be careful on the path beside this pond!

While there are trash receptacles around the pond indicating that people are expected to be there, the path is quite narrow in places. No one in our party got wet, but there was a close call. Suffice to say that the path is narrow enough that a person could fall into the pond quite easily in places where the bottom is not visible.

The kids had expressed interest in returning to the bounce cushion at breakfast. We decided to do that after making it back from Racoon Hideout Pond still dry. Unfortunately, big sister fell on her arm, temporarily removing the fun from the experience.

We must be careful not to land on one arm

Meanwhile, little brother saw the playground and remembered the “whee” slides from the previous day. Undeterred by the long walk, he set out across the vast parking lot desert to reach his prize.

He pointed to the playground, said only “whee” and began walking

After some fun on the playground we decided that it was time to visit one of the swim beaches located around Lost Valley Lake. We didn’t want to do any lake swimming in late October, but there was interest in beach sand.

The swim beach was what you would expect, plus goose poop. There are lots of geese at the Lost Valley Lake. Consequently, there is also lots of goose poop.

So many geese
Lost Valley Lake southern swim beach

Lost Valley Lake has two large lakes on the property. This lake with the swim beaches, boat house, and all the human amenities close by, and another lake on the other side of the resort.

The other lake is definitely “off the beaten path”. We made it down the washed out gravel “road” and back again without any problems, but it might be a challenge for those who do not have off-road driving experience.

The view was worth the drive.

Riata Lake at Lost Valley Lake Resort

It was so quiet there that a person could forget there were other people anywhere nearby. The only sound was the wind through the trees.

Day Four – October 28:some

It’s raining and cold today. Luckily, Lost Valley Lake Resort has a lot of indoor activities to enjoy. Off to the Lake Center Expo!

The kids wanted to try the arcade at the Lake Center Expo. The arcade has a pinball machine, air hockey and a couple of video games. There is also a “claw” machine and a “test the strength of your punch” type game.

After a few rounds of air hockey we went to try out the mini-golf course. We played through most of the course and found the holes to be fun and challenging. Unfortunately putt-putt had to be cut short due to some bad sportsmanship from the younger players.

We perused the movies available to be viewed in the movie theater. While there were some movies suitable for children, we did not find anything that we liked enough to reserve the theater.

We returned to the RV so that little brother could nap.

Big sister and Dad made a “lava lamp” from a Tinker Crate.

Day Five – October 29:

Today is another cold and rainy day.

We took the opportunity provided by this rainy day to investigate the laundry facilities at Lost Valley Lake’s “Fort Wilderness”.

Note: Fort Wilderness is the only building on the resort which has both laundry facilities and Internet access available. Lost Valley Lake Resort definitely lives up to its name when it comes to cellular reception. Both T-Mobile and Straight Talk struggled to maintain signal at our site.

A large bear guards Fort Wilderness

We did not have a lot of laundry, but It took much longer than we expected. The facility only had two washers and dryers, and only one dryer was working. The dryer that was working was not terribly efficient. We had to run both loads for one and a half cycles to get them dry.

Speedtest results from Fort Wilderness

The resort wifi was very good at Fort Wilderness which allowed the adults passed the time on laptops, catching up on online business and sister to get caught up on some online school work.

Big sister tried to introduce herself to some other kids who had arrived after we did. The whole exchange was terribly awkward. Kids in our Brave New World do not know how to be kids because their parents, teachers and community leaders have been teaching them to be scared of one another for more than a year. Thank you, leaders of the world for mind screwing everyone, and messing up an entire generation of kids.

Finding this in the Fort Wilderness library restored some hope for the future:

Note: Amazon would like you to know that this is an affiliate link. We may earn a small commission for purchases made through this website.

Laundry chores completed, we returned to the rig to put the now clean clothes away.

Lost Valley Lake Resort scheduled the Halloween celebration for Saturday, October 30. The time to carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns and decorate for Halloween is now.

Day Six – October 30:

Today is the day of many Halloween activities. There is a costume contest for the kids at noon, and trick-or-treating this afternoon at three.

The costume contest was fun for kids and adults. There were several contest categories including “best home-made costume”, “creepiest costume”, and more. The categories were split into groups by age of participants.

One adult dressed in an inflatable suit fashioned to look like the 45th President of the United States fondling a woman – a classy choice for a family event. This individual did not win a prize.

Creepiest costume went to a man dressed as a creepy clown holding a smaller creepy clown. The smaller creepy clown was a puppet controlled by the larger creepy clown. We would include a picture or video here, but it was too creepy.

Both Hannah and Adam entered the costume contest. Neither won, but both clearly enjoyed being on stage.

Back at the campsite we meet our new camping neighbors.

Husband and wife Tom and Lynn were in the spot next to ours. Their daughter Laura and her husband Scott were in the site on the other side of Tom and Lynn.

Lynn shared that their family has been coming to LVL for many years, and that Halloween is one of the bigger weeks at the park. By the end of the day, we understood what they meant.

Lost Valley Lake Resort closes the roads between sites 49-209 for trick-or-treat foot traffic. The campers in the closed off sites had gone all out with the decorating of the sites and the candy was abundant. The roadways were full of ghosts, princesses, zombies, dinosaurs, witches and more.

The children had a lot of fun and their bags quickly filled with treats.

Once we returned to our site we enjoyed our second campfire of the trip thanks to a stack of dry firewood from our very generous neighbors. Tom brought more firewood than they would use and insisted that we take some.

It was far better firewood than what we found scrounging in the woods.

Day Seven – October 21 – Halloween in Hermann!

Today is actually Halloween, but most of the campers, or at least the people occupying them, left today. It’s Sunday, so most of them are headed back to their work-a-day lives tomorrow.

Sister was supposed to have a horseback ride on Wednesday, but it was raining and cold that day. We rescheduled the lesson for today, but with multiple days of rain, the stable staff was only doing pony rides on a lead rope.

She did not seem terribly bothered by the change in plans

What weather? I’m on a horse!

After the horseback ride we went to the town of Hermann, Missouri.

Hermann is a charming little town of 2500 people. Hermann appears to be supported by tourism. There are lots of little German themed Mom and Pop shops and many antique stores to patronize.

We found a neat toy shop called Blondie’s Dolls Toy Shop.

Inside Blondie’s we met Janet Melzer, one of the owners of Blondie’s. Janet explained to us that all of the toys in the store were made in Germany.

The store offered toys from Playmobile, Kaithe Kruse, Ravensburg Puzzels, Haba Games, and more. With quite a few of the play sets set up for interaction it was an immersive and fun shopping experience. Blondie’s also has an online store.

Big Sister worked on what she called a hotel/resort while we were there.

Hotel Hannah

One thing we that didn’t count on was the lack of vegetarian options for lunch in Hermann.

We had planned to eat at The Tin Mill restaurant based on an online menu that we had found. On arriving at The Tin Mill we learned that the menu that had led us here was out of date. While they did offer a vegetarian bratwurst, it would have been difficult to get the kids interested in that particular offering.

Brittany called and spoke to another restaurant over the phone who said they were “pretty sure we could support a vegetarian”.

They were not.

Fernway had a black bean burger and salads. The entrees were largely flesh food.

Frustrated and hungry, we decided to cut our losses on finding a vegetarian meal in Hermann. Instead we went back to the RV for a late lunch and move day preparation.

Day Eight – November 1:

It’s move day!

It’s back to the Springfield area today after a short three hours of driving.

We do not make any stops, except at a rest area just east of Marshfield, MO.

We have an easy afternoon, and play the new Cloaked Cats game that we purchased at Blondie’s after dinner.

Photo courtesy Haba USA:

Our trip to Lost Valley Lake was a very good trip. We had good experiences, met great people and had a ton of fun.

With lots of amenities, great staff and great campers, Lost Valley Lake is a fantastic place. We will definitely visit again!

We would have liked to include aerial footage of the beautiful scenery, but were informed by resort staff that they have a strict policy prohibiting drone flight. This is unfortunate for everyone, including LVL. The fall colors in the trees would have for positively breathtaking footage.

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