I've been camping in the most peaceful oasis of tranquility, a hidden gem that's been kept up and kept open by an incredibly selfless team of volunteers led by a man named Norm. He's been coming to Turkey Bayou since he was a teenager, thanks to a friend of his attending forestry school in Carbondale, IL. This campground has 19 spots and is four miles inside Shawnee National Forest. It's upkeep is covered by these wonderful caretakers out of their own pockets, yet it's still FREE to campers. They do accept donations and sell t-shirts, as well. Isn't it amazing that such selfless people still exist? Norm works 60 hours a week at his day job and then he and his team go to the Bayou to cut down trees, build picnic tables and fire pits, repair bridges, clean up sites, etc. Wanda Korando from the Avane Citizen said, "We pulled into Turkey Bayou and it's like you have dropped off the face of the earth. No noise, just peace." I couldn't agree more and the sky is so full of stars you have to see it yourself to believe it. If you camp here, please sign the register. Norm has to submit a report to the Forest Service every year to prove that people do, in fact, use this campground. He has a year left on his five year volunteer contract, the only one of its kind in the country. At that point, Norm would like to retire from his day job as well as being the organizer of the incredible team of volunteers. So if you know of someone with a similar heart who loves the outdoors, contact him on Facebook through Friends of the Bayou. He still plans to continue working on the campground (wild horses couldn't keep him away), but would prefer to no longer be the person in charge. I'd say he's earned plenty of time off to enjoy it in peace like the rest of us. Also, for $500 you can sign a contract with the U.S. Forest Service to be a concessionaire or private contractor. Then you're free to run your own little campground selling firewood, food, entertainment, etc. Heck, you could have an ice cream truck and dog parties with live bands! This is a fantastic opportunity for the right people, so please spread the word. We want Turkey Bayou to stay open for years to come!
In book news, I'm just about finished writing the sequel to Swallowtail and I finished recording the audiobook for Swallowtail! With a little luck and lots of hard work, they'll both be available before Christmas!
In podcasting news, I just sent out episode 6 of Raw Nomadic Lens! It's super-fun to see who's listening around the world. You can find it on Spotify, Apple, Google, Tune In, Amazon, Castbox, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Podbean and Pandora!
In raw news, I'm going strong now that I've hit the road to write! Gabe and I spent 8 days in Ireland and 4 days in Denmark before I left, during which time we ate whatever tripped our triggers. We had a phenomenal time. We LOVE Ireland (2nd trip) and now we love Copenhagen too! Both are filled with such great people. We hiked Hell's Hole at Malin Head and... SKELLIG MICHAEL!! It was SO fun, but it could've been even better had I stayed raw. Next time! If I did it in Missouri, I can do it abroad!
If you haven't checked out Dr. Ruth Heidrich's new book on Breast Implant Illness titled A Living Nightmare, it's a must read. If you know anyone with implants or mesh used in hernia and bladder surgeries, please spread the word. Most likely, the cascade of autoimmune disorders silicone is causing are affecting someone you know. The good news is that you can heal from this too!