On Wednesday, when I was trying to decide where to head next, my priority was, sadly, a shower. Yep, some people look for famous landmarks, beautiful drives, incredible natural wonders, even good restaurants, but me, I just wanted to feel clean again.

Serenity actually does have a perfectly reasonable shower. Reasonable, of course, being defined as tiny, hand-held, with limited water and drainage, but tolerable. But my mirror broke back in August and I haven’t replaced it and the door of the medicine cabinet is just bare wood. I’m reluctant to let it get wet. Bad enough that I need to replace the mirror; I don’t want to wind up needing to replace the entire cabinet. So ever since August, I’ve only showered when visiting people or in campground showers.

And campground showers are kind of a mixed bag. Some are fine, perfectly reasonable. Some are great. I still remember the one in Texas with the incredible water pressure and unlimited hot water — it was amazing, despite a few dead bugs in the corners, but that’s common to all of them, I think.

The ones I’ve visited lately, though, including the one here at Lake of Three Fires, don’t let you control the temperature or the water flow. You push the — what should it be called, a spigot? A handle? It’s a little more than a button, a lot less than a faucet. But you push the metal thing and water comes out of the shower head at whatever temperature the park feels like letting you have water, for some undetermined period of time.

It’s not a fun shower. It’s not a fun shower when it’s 75 degrees and being wet is perfectly comfortable; it is a decidedly un-fun shower when temperatures are in the 50s. Campground shower houses don’t tend to be heated, after all, which is perfectly sensible — people who are camping in cold weather should dress appropriately. But it’s hard to shower wearing cold weather gear.

Anyway, I set off from Nebraska hoping to find a good shower. I did not succeed. But oh, in every other way, I really love this campground. It’s peaceful and quiet and inexpensive and beautiful, with good walks and reliable electricity and mediocre internet. I’m going to post pictures, because words don’t do it justice.

My campsite. Sort of ridiculously huge for Serenity, but since there were only two other campers here, I didn’t feel bad about taking a bus-size site.

The lake, within very easy walking distance. I sat out on the dock, appreciating the sunshine. Such a beautiful day.

Not an English countryside. A foggy Iowa morning and the beginnings of an equestrian trail around the lake. I think we’re allowed to walk on it because there haven’t been any horses here, but Zelda, for some unknown reason, refuses to go more than a few hundred steps down it. Then she plants herself, exerting her passive resistance to get me to turn around. I always do, because I feel like maybe she knows something I don’t. Bears? Tigers? Coyotes? Somehow I doubt all of the above, but she doesn’t like that trail nearly as much as I do.

If it weren’t for the showers, I could easily see staying here for the entire two weeks that one is allowed to stay. Well, if it weren’t for the showers and for the inevitability of the fast approaching seasonal change. Yep, winter is coming and not just in Game of Thrones. And while so far I’m finding autumn very pleasant, I’m not sure I’d be saying the same two weeks from now. So tomorrow I’m moving on. But I would come back to Lake of Three Fires, and to Iowa, too. I expected flat open fields, but it is green and serene and beautiful here.