Thursday, May 29, 2008

St. Joseph, MO

I spent the night in a Walmart parking lot, Tuesday, May 27, on my way to Mitchell, SD. I have spent many a night in Walmart parking lots without any incident, but not this night. I was egged. Yes, I woke up to find egg all over my windshield. I first thought it was just dirt and such from the road and rain I drove through the day before, but there was this yellow drips and then I realized. I've been egged. I slept right through the whole thing, but somewhere in the night I was christened with an egg. Nothing else seemed to be messed with. My bike and car were ok, so I guess I should be grateful nothing more happened.

But then to add injury to insult, I get lost in the big town of St. Joseph, MO. I turned right when I guess I should have turned left, and find I was headed south instead of north. But at least I was on Business I-29, so I knew I would eventually get back to the freeway. So I took the scenic tour of town. Really it was a blessing. I realized there are some nice things in St. Joseph I would like to come back too someday. This is the birthplace of the Pony Express, Jesse James home was here and then there is the downtown architecture and even the riverfront park I would like to see more of. When I finally got to the interstate I stopped at a gas station and cleaned my windshield. So I took a 9 mile scenic drive to arrive 6 miles south of where I started. Sorry, but I did not get a picture of my egged windshield.

Meandering on down the road...

I'm headed to Mitchell, SD, and should get there tomorrow evening. My kayaking adventures in Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri have come to an end for this year. I was on the water nine times and managed to stay upright for all those floats. Eventually I know I will dump, but for these nine trips I stayed upright. It did help that the water wasn't real fast and no real rapids. It was sad yesterday as I pulled off the water. There were only eight of us, where several weeks ago we had as many as 28 on the water. Since it was my first kayak adventure it was doubly sad. But I know I can look forward to next year, so on I go...

And I'm excited about getting to Mitchell to see my kids and grandkids. It will be nice for a little time out for family. And then it will on to the next adventure in the Black Hills with the Escapees SOLOs.

On Sunday, the last official day of the NARKSMO adventure, we took a day trip. Four cars of people went south to hike and see several natural springs. Southern Missouri is famous for its springs, I believe there are over 20 in the state, with many in the local area. In fact, we were parked at Alley Springs which has a restored mill. We visited three additional springs this day. We first stopped at Falling Springs, an unrestored water wheel mill, some old buildings and a pond where we saw lots of snakes and tadpoles. Next was Greer Springs, which was advertised as 1/2 mile down and 5 miles up. It wasn't that bad, but was a good drop and beautiful spring with an area where the water just boils up out of the creek. Last was Rocky Springs. It reminded me of Turner Falls in Oklahoma. Lots of people were there enjoying the water, climbing up and down the springs and swimming in the pool at the bottom. I won't try to describe these places in detail, instead will add a few pictures and hope you get the idea of how beautiful this area is.




Although kayaking is the main adventure, there are plenty of other activities as well. Hiking, sightseeing and geocaching during the day, dancing, campfires, or campground programs in the evening. In fact, one evening we went into Mountain View for a community dance at the Senior Center. But it wasn't all seniors. There was the cutest little cowboy all decked out in his 10 gallon hat and he couldn't have been more than six or seven years old, but he could two-step out on the floor to the band. We also found a little closer, just a few miles down the road in Eminence, a real Honky Tonk bar, where a few of us danced the night away several evenings. Found the greatest restaurant with a balcony overlooking the little town where we all went out for dinner before dancing. The most exciting evening was the night we attended the ranger led interpretive program at the campground amphitheater. We had a copperhead slither right down through the benches between our feet. The ranger verified, yes, it was a copperhead, so she took a broom and tried to redirect him to the woods, but the snake wasn't cooperating. I guess the snake was lonely and wanted some companionship, but suddenly there are kids coming up to the amphitheater and in the middle of the path is Mr.. Copperhead. This one snake that should have gone back to the woods when he had the opportunity. The ranger got her trusty hatchet and between her and one of our group became 5 little pieces. Max was our hero as he chopped the head off the snake as the ranger held it still with the broom. So hiking, kayaking and evening activities, believe me there was never a dull moment.

So until my next adventure I hope everyone gets outside and visits some of your local attractions. So, here I am meandering down the road.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Small World.....

It just amazes me how small this world is. I can travel hundreds of miles to a place I have never been before and run into someone who knows someone I know. Like today.... I decided to find a Lutheran Church here is Harrison, AR. I am visiting with the pastor and I mention I once lived in Oklahoma City. He said one of his classmates and good friends was a pastor at a church in Edmond. Well, you know how it goes from there. Yes, I did know his friend and pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Pastor Huss. It was really just in passing though since he came to the church in Edmond after we had moved away. But still, small world. It seems to happen over and over in my travels....Who was it said "six degrees of separation, that we are related to 1 out of every 6 people in the world" or something like that.

But on to other things. I am posting the photo of the picnic table in the tree. 20+ feet up in the tree to be exact. I guess it was lodged there following the floods last month. I saw this while kayaking on the White River in Arkansas.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

First Blog

I just created this blogspot and now find myself wondering what to write. I am currently sitting at an Elks Lodge in Harrison, AR. I am waiting to be initiated into the Elks on Monday night. (I'm actually joining the Elks Lodge in Ajo, AZ, but that is another story)

For those that want to keep up with my travels, I hope this will be a way for you to follow where I've been and what I have been doing. I know I won't always have internet to keep this updated the way I should, but I will try to post something at least weekly. But we will see how that goes.