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.
ROCKY SPRINGSAlthough 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.