Get Thee to Missouri! 

Did you phone while we were gone?

We missed it all!  We were camping and there was little or no signal for most of the time! No robo calls from politicians, pseudo-social security police, or computer guys who tell us our PC is broken.  We missed the fifteen political “mean” commercials between the local and national news on CBS!  How lucky we were!


Roller-Coasting Across Missouri

The little Beetle was right behind the giant!

We are road-testing our new RV.  (Yes, you have to do this.) So, we brought the Beetle with us just in case we ran into trouble.  It followed the black and blue Newmar giant everywhere it went.  We broke up the ride to our Shut-Ins destination to a couple of days because the roads were so questionable.  A 3.5-hour drive from Lake of the Ozarks State Campground in Osage Beach took us all day.

It reminded me of the 12-15 hour rides we took as a child from Michigan to Holly Hill, Kentucky on old US 25.  We were up and down and around and to the left and to the right on the road.   This topsy-turvy drive kept me motion sick. 

On today’s trip the roads went in every direction and the motion sickness came back. The sun kept creeping around us.  Many times, I saw Tom and the RV go down a hill and I wondered if I was going to find them, especially at Dillard Mill. He crept down a 90-degree sand and gravel road.  What? How will he ever turn around?

Here’s a good one for you! This is a trailer and two guys were camping in it!

St. James,  but it did not have the Infirmary Blues!

I am worn out — just looking at these!

By the by, we passed through a small town just off I44, St. James.  We want to explore this little town with a winery and a Vacuum Cleaner Museum and Factory!  Ft. Leonard Wood is nearby! Next time

Johnson’s Shut-Ins is a Hallelujah Shout-Out!

Today we settled in at the Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park Campground.  It is one of the best campgrounds in the state!!!  There is a lot of space between sites, very little smoke, and we can’t see a single person camping around our neat full-hookup concrete pad!  We want to return but when?  The Shut-Ins are south of Interstate 44 and the territory hasn’t been claimed by anyone yet! Just kidding!

The Shut-In’s and Black River

These are the boulders called “Shut-Ins.”

This afternoon we hiked the Shut-Ins!  (There are several other well-marked hikes in the area.) What a funny geological name but the sight was to behold.  There are paved paths and wooden stairs that lead you to a great viewing place.  Anyone can enjoy the Shut-Ins.  (They spent a lot of time and money on planning this park.) Then, if you want to continue around the ravine, you must climb straight up to the sky on rocks close to the edge of the ravine.  We kept going but our bodies are complaining now.

Do you see Tom at the top? I am following!

Who would have believed that Missouri had a gorge with teal blue glimmering water and loads of huge fish! If you have the courage you can climb on the boulders in the middle of the East Fork Black River and swim? for a foot or so! We saw many people doing it!  This is a fantastic place to visit!

Here is the gorge and Black River!

This was taken with a long lens high above the water. These fish are huge!

Dillard Mill State Historic Site Offers a Peaceful Respite to All Who Visit!

What a beautiful park!

Yesterday on the way to the Shut-Ins we stopped at Dillard Mill State Historic Site.

Months ago, we attended a lecture by Brent Frazee, a retired nature reporter, from the Kansas City Star.  We found his descriptions of the south-central Missouri intriguing, so we followed his lead for this trip.  You won’t find a more calming and beautiful setting in Missouri than Dillard Mill with the pond and waterfall calling out to you.  Be warned, the road to Dillard is a killer!  Tom says that if you ride motorcycles or ATV’s, this would be a great dusty adventure!

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, Ironton, and Lesterville

What is this in Lesterville? Do you suppose they sell gas?

Visiting Lesterville was a “must” because my dad’s name was Lester.  Lesterville’s greatness faded a century ago.  The area near Lesterville was mined for almost 300 years. The names of the towns betray the thousands of miles of underground caverns and railroads; Steelville, Irondale, Leadville, Chloride, Mineral Point, Mine La Motte, Vulcan, and of course, Ironton.

Here’s the courthouse!

Ironton is stuck somewhere in time. The Iron County Courthouse display recognizes battles from the Civil War.  One of the best buildings in town was the Masonic Temple (again!).  We searched for a restaurant and found a great Checo’s (They spelled incorrectly.) which seemed really out of place.  Tom commented that we only lived a few hundred miles away, but it seemed as if we were visiting another country!

Masons are in almost every town we visit. What an influence they must have been on our history!

Then there was Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point in Missouri at over 1700 feet above sea level. People have raved about this park to us for years!  The best thing about the park was the lovely autumn trees whose branches (arms) reached across the road to touch their friends–stunningly beautiful!

Tom is standing on the highest point in Missouri!

Who lives in this trunk?

Today we visited the Missouri Mines State Historical Site!  In the heart of Missouri, it merits national and regional attention! More on this later!  It is raining too hard to adventure out the rest of the day! Tomorrow we head for St. Louis!

As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge

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