November 3rd, 2021

These barn paintings used to be all over Missouri’s roads

With the crappy weather of late I have had to be inside sitting on my arse way too much. It was a beautiful sunny day, but it was still fairly cool; there is a cold front moving through and tonight the weather report calls for a hard freeze. I got the propane tanks filled up yesterday in anticipation so I am ready. I found a use for my leftover gallon of RV water line antifreeze – I put it down the drains and into the tanks to keep the tank drain valves from freezing.

The trailer does stay pretty warm with the electric heater so that helps ease the propane reliance. Propane is also a “wet” heat so the trailer windows will condense water inside if I don’t leave them cracked a bit – even of it is cold. When I use the electric heater they don’t do that. Crazy science stuff.

I finally got the oil changed in the truck this morning and thought “Why not use some of this new oil change and hit the road someplace?”. So that is what I did. After a Costco stop for fuel and a trip inside for a boxcar-sized bag of multi-grain chips and a twin-pack of barrels of salsa I decided to go visit a place I have previously been to many years ago.

Starting out on today’s trip I went through Marshfield, MO, the birthplace of Edwin P. Hubble – the guy they named the orbiting space telescope after. There is a ¼ scale model of the telescope at the courthouse there but I have not stopped to see it. Yet.

I got to my exit and turned onto some state highways to get to Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

This is a place I last visited probably 30 years ago, and at that time you could wander all over the ruins. Don’t plan on doing that now. It has all been fenced off to preserve the remaining structure. The ruins are what was left after a “European-Style Castle” burned. Click on the link to learn about the history.

You can still get a good look at the walls and the old water tower plus the surrounding grounds offer some very nice hiking trails.

I did not get to do another hike there to the spring. I have done it before and it is close enough to go again if I want to. I got a bit of a late start to be too ambitious so I needed to get back on the road.

On my way up through Lebanon, MO I saw a sign for another state park so I decided to go to it on my way back since it was not really out of the way.

Bennett Spring State Park was the next stop. This is another park I have been to many years back. It is a nice park and very busy in the summer. It is a major spot for trout fishing and there is also quite a lot of camping, canoeing and cabins in this area.

Like Roaring River State Park, this park also has a spring (hence the name, LOL).

With the drought conditions in this area this summer the trees have been pretty underwhelming with Fall colors from what I have seen. I did see a few exceptions today, though.

And, oddly enough, as I bushwhacked through the forest and got to a flat area I discovered this:

Why are there yucca in the deciduous forests of Missouri?!?!

I asked a park worker named “Smiley” and she said there used to be a house or cabin on this spot. I thought from the looks of the area it had a building at one time – there was what looked to be a partial man-made rock wall and it was pretty flat. Perfect location near water and roads.

Unfortunately I did not have time to go to the other end of the park. Last time I was here I came in from the north through that part so I have seen it.

It was nice to get out again and see some sights. The cabin fever was getting to me a little. It was good to get some exercise as well. These places were within 90 minutes of the trailer so it was an easy getaway that didn’t take much fuel.

That’s all for today’s post!

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