From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Smithville Lake is known for its boating and party atmosphere. But on weekdays after summer ends, there usually isn't a soul around. When you get to the lake's main entrance, if you see people sitting in cars contemplating their lives, keep on going. Drive on until you find the Little Platte Park, the one with the playground and the wide expanse of grass leading to the deserted shoreline. Throw open your car door and convince your dog to get out and run. Convince yourself to forget about work, and take a walk.