Moberly, Missouri

Lionel Thompson Campground

May 1, 2022

The five-hour drive north up to Moberly was almost entirely spent calling friends and family letting them know the big news (see last post if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Given how preoccupied we were, we didn’t take in much of the scenery, however, I do remember driving across the dam at Lake of the Ozarks and being impressed by the view.

Once we arrived in Moberly, we were greeted by our friend, Yuan, who drove in from nearby Springfield, Illinois to hang out for the evening. I went to graduate school with Yuan up in Ohio and we have stayed in touch ever since. He easily ranks among the nicest people either of us have ever met! We were so happy to be able to share the big news with him and catch up over dinner. We’re so blessed to have so many good people in our lives!

Our home for the week was the Lionel Thompson Campground – a small (20ish sites) park operated by the city of Moberly. This wasn’t the nicest campground, but it had plenty of areas to walk around and explore during the week. Unfortunately, we had outpaced spring a bit by heading north, so the trees weren’t blooming quite yet, and the weather was pretty gross, but we still managed to enjoy some walks on the nearby trails.

That being said, our walks came to an end earlier than we would have liked after I woke up one morning with stinging pain in my right big toe. At first, I thought that I had slept on it wrong, however, when it kept getting worse, I knew something was up. After some extensive googling, I determined that I had come down with a case of gout!

I’m still not sure how it happened, my research showed that gout is most prevalent among heavy-drinking men over the age of 50, but I hadn’t had a drink in months and was in pretty good shape. 🤷Regardless, it was some of the worst pain that I have ever experienced and the weight of a blanket on my toe was enough to bring me to tears! It was getting so bad that it was on the verge of derailing the primary purpose for our whole trip to this part of the country – the Greg Judy Grazing School.

I had been trying to convince Sam of the merits of living on a ranch for several months at this point and this grazing school was going to be the first dipping of the toe into the farm lifestyle. I came across Greg Judy on YouTube about a year before and, despite having zero agricultural experience, everything he was saying made sense to me (low inputs, grass only, adapted animals, soil regeneration, etc.) and when I heard that he was hosting an introductory grazing school, I jumped at the opportunity.

Although my gout was still lingering, the worst of it had passed, and I was able to make it to the grazing school – albeit with quite the limp. But I was there! We had an absolute blast and learned so much over the course of the weekend – both about ranching and our desire to pursue this lifestyle.

Looking back from our current vantage point, this grazing school had a profound impact on the trajectory of our lives. Not only did we meet many people who will play a large role in future installments of Putz’n Around, but our experiences this weekend also determined where we would end up once our traveling came to an end.

Spoiler: We asked Greg where he would go if he was starting his ranch from scratch and he said Southern Missouri…

We had a lot to think about following the grazing school, but we would have to do our thinking on the move as the road called us once more. Tune in next time as we continue our trip north into Iowa to visit some of Sam’s family while we were in this neck of the woods!