Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Alley Springs, MO May 26-Jun 1

Alley Springs is located about 6 miles west of Eminence, MO.

We saw lots of these Mountain Bluebirds in the area. This one was right outside my motorhome and I managed to take a picture through my window.

. We had a fire almost every evening. Here is Cory chopping us some wood.

We hiked about a mile over to the Alley Springs Mill.

In the late 1800s this was a booming town. Now all that is left is this mill. For its day this was a very progressive mill. Instead of stone grinding, they used filters for the grain. Utilizing the spring they had power not only for the mill but also for the blacksmith shop and other businesses in the area. But as retail stores became more popular, less and less people grew their own crops, less grain was brought to the mill and eventually the town died. Twice a day during the summer the interpretive rangers turn the mill machinery on so you can see it in operation.

They created a funnel like water chute with a 6 ft drop. This is what created the power for the mill. It was supposed to be a very efficient method for a water powered mill.

We took the higher Overlook Trail returning to camp. We took the Spring Branch Trail on our way to the mill.

On top of the overlook.

Looking down on the spring and mill. The mill is barely visible as a little bit of red in the trees.

Here I have to stop and explain what happened to me on the end of the trail. I was not watching where I was placing my feet and I stepped on a 4x4 board. These boards were placed periodically on the downhill side of the trail to prevent erosion. I even had my walking sticks, but with all the rain it was slick and my stick and myself went flying. I landed with my leg in a heap underneath me. With help I made it down the rest of the trail, but very slowly and in pain. The next day I kayaked since kayaking doesn't use your legs and by the time I got out of the kayak I felt pretty good. By bedtime I was in pain again. Well, I finally went to the hospital and had it x-rayed. It wasn't broken, but the knee was badly bruised and they gave me crutches. I really did try to use the crutches, but they were terrible to use. After a few days I gave the crutches up and am still using a knee brace. I recommend kayaking after a knee injury. 5-6 hours immoble in a kayak really releaves the pain of a knee injury.

Maniac Mike arrived at Alley Spring and he offered us the use of his trailer for transporting our kayaks to the water.

We were floating down the Jacks Fork River while at Alley Springs. It is a shallower river, which means more obsticles and fast water through narrow channels. More fun! We saw lots of turtles and snakes both in the water.

On the first kayak trip we had 3 people dump. Here Nancy is emptying the water from her kayak.

Here are several guys salvaging Caroline's kayak from the river after she turned over. We almost got to see a miracle (Caroline walking on water) after she saw a snake just feet from where she was in the water. Luckily the snake swam the other way. We had one more person go over as well, but no one got pictures. Some of our group stopped to help some canoers who got the canoe stuck in some logs. While getting Caroline and her kayak out, we watched 3 canoes go over in about the same place.

Some goats along side the river.

Cory passes the kayak hat to Nancy.

Nancy passes the hat to Caroline.

Caroline passes the hat to Maniac Mike.

We took a day trip to Round Springs Cave.

This was the most natural cave tour I have ever been on. There is no permanent lighting at all. Everyone is given an electric light to carry.

What looks like coconut sprinkled on top is of interest to scientists. Most cave sculptures grown down from the ceiling. These little guys grow all directions. Scientists are studying these because they have not been found anywhere else in the world (at least that is what the ranger said).

More cave sculptures.

We planned to have lunch on the road, but found no restaurants in the area. So we settled for frozen sandwiches, which we microwaved, from the local outfitter store.

Our next destination that day was a place called "Devils Well". It was an underground lake with an opening. Stairs were built down to a ledge just above the lake. We all thought we would be able to see something, but once we climbed the stairs down, nothing. Just a concrete room with a grate on one end overlooking an opening. But with no lights you couldn't see down. I guess I'll take their word of an underground lake.

We found a ferry to take us across the river. It is supposed to be the last ferry like this in the state of Missouri.

Another day of kayaking. This time from the campground down the Jacks Fork to the confluence of the Current River.

It was warm and we stopped along the way to play. We had two people to turn over on todays trip.
Mike gives the hat to Caroline.

Caroline gives the hat to Geraldine. Geraldine will get to keep the hat until next year since NARKSMO is now over. Next stop is Sedalia, MO, to the Scott Joplin Festival.

1 comment:

Barbara and Ron said...

Thanks for all the posts - now I feel like I was there.