A lattice at Powell Gardens, near Kansas City, Missouri, has lots of shadows.
On the last day of our recent mini-vacation to Missouri we stopped for a visit at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. 10,000 acres of wilderness set in a beautiful canyon in southwest Missouri. It was founded by Johnny Williams of Bass Pro fame and is a non-profit outfit.
One can walk the three miles of trails, or ride a bike, or take a guided tour in a pickup pulled trail. We like walking so we walked or rather Heather walked, and I sauntered behind taking lots of photos and Logan was in front of me and behind her. We kind of do our own thing.
I love the trail markers. Johnny Morris really works on branding on his Bass Pro properties and you can see his influence on a number of things at Dogwood Canyon.
There is a creek that runs the length of the property. It has a bunch of pools separated by waterfalls. The pools were full of big fat trout. Did I say that you could go fishing there?
The canyon is full of features for photographers. Lots of beautiful scenery and the stream provides lots of opportunities for reflections. I would love to be here during the fall color.
I love all the little touches on the trail.
These markers on the various bridges are all works of art.
There are just so many things to look at.
A huge building is the entry to the park and has displays on early American and Native American relics from the area.
We’ll be back.
This week I didn’t know if I was going to be able to post a Skywatch Friday post. Our son is going back to school soon and we wanted to give him some sort of vacation after his summer of taking Spanish classes online (three hours a day, four days a week of Zoom, ouch, I hate zoom), working hard at Loews Hardware, and socially isolating during this resurgence of Covid in a state that is not doing anything it about in order to maintain “freedom and justice for all.” (Yes, literally the state is doing nothing at all.)
So we said goodbye to our worthless cats and incredulous dogs.
Loaded up the car like the Okies we are and headed to Branson, Missouri. (Aka, the “Baptist Las Vegas”) to stay at a cabin for fun and social isolation. No shows, no, Silver Dollar City, no elbow to elbow jostling with anybody, cook most of our own meals and go at off times and eat outside when we do go out to eat.
This cabin had some strict rules. Most cabins have don’t type rules, this cabin had “do” rules. We liked these rules, what about you?
The first day we went kayaking. It doesn’t get more socially distant than this.
So we went here, there, and everywhere in the cove of the place we were staying.
So we have done a ton of reading, hanging out at the swimming pool, and just kind of in general chillaxing.
We made one trip into the “Belly of the Beast” Branson Landing which is pretty much deserted. Taney County, which includes Branson has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the county, about 30% according to the state. I’m like wow! A city so dependent on outside visitors is doing everything they can to discourage travelers. Their brand new mayor is actually proud of their anti public health stance. What are we doing here!! We walked up and down the deserted area without entering any of the places that were open. Personally, I think they would be smart to get ahead of the issue instead of sticking their head in the sand.
Back in our bubble!! They skies are pretty cool. I tried to fly my drone but the cabin in in a no fly zone for some reason. Probably because we are so close to the lake.
Cabin internets are highly variable and I didn’t think that I would be able to post from there so I set Skywatch Friday up in advance and thought well I’ll just post when I get home but it turns out it is blazingly fast. So I am linking up with Skywatch Friday. Come join us!!
Still documenting the continuing saga of our family Spring Break Trip to Southwest MIssouri a couple weeks ago. Our second day we went to “Top of the Rock” which is a sister organization to Big Cedar Lodge and is right adjacent to it. I was kind of confused about what Top of the Rock was before we went and I am still kind of confused. The first part we ran into was the “Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Tour” which is kind of a self guided tour of a cave and series of waterfalls. It is not only self guided but they give you a golf cart to go in. No walking allowed!! To get the cart you fork over a pile of cash and sign the longest list of releases I have ever seen. And then off you go!! Was it nice, sure, but there wasn’t much natural about it. The cave is fake, and many of the rocks are faked and I think that the waterfalls are fed by pumped water. Was it fun? Sure it was a lot of fun. Was it a rip off? No, they spent a fortune building the landscape and the trails and did a great job of it. The golf cart trail winds along a canyon and they have places to get out for photo opportunities. So think of it as a very slow ride that you can get off when you want. Am I glad I did it? Sure! Would I do it again? Nope!!
From the parking lot of the Nature Trail, you take a shuttle bus to the rest of the complex. There is a beautifully set wedding chapel, a spectacular golf course and driving range, a wine bar in a cellar, two very nice restaurants, a great Natural History Museum, and there is a hotel just starting construction. You can see why the complex is called “Top of the Rock” it is on top of a mountain overlooking Table Rock Lake. It is spectacular. We were there on a Sunday so everything is closing early but we will be back from some sunset dining there.
The stone wedding chapel. The back side overlooks the valley and lake below. What a place to exchange vows. And who knows, you pay enough money they might shoot off the cannon for you at the right moment.
A view of the driving range and par 3 golf course. My friends tell me that it is an evil course. I would love to play it again.
As much as we loved the outside, Heather and I thought the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum was a highlight. It is a sprawling museum covering everything from the ancient flora and fauna of the area and the heritage and history of the Native Americans from the area. The museum is very well done and has lots of unique items. Photography without a flash is permitted but it is so dim (to preserve the art and specimens on display” that it was hard to get a good photograph (cuz I am a rule follower especially when it comes to photography in museums).
They had some Native American Pottery like I had never seen anywhere else, and we hit all the museums that we can.
So here is the rest of my crew. We had a great time and will be back.
I am linking with Skywatch Friday
We went on a little Spring Break trip this past weekend to southwest Missouri. Monday we visited the Dogwood Nature Park near Lampe, Missouri. It is a 10,000 acre private preserve owned and operated by the nonprofit Dogwood Canyon Foundation. The land was originally acquired by Johnny Morris, owner of the Bass Pro Shops and the branding is very familiar. The park has a very nice, affordable restaurant, wildlife museum, and a gift shop.
The Park has a beautiful tree house built by some famous television tree house guy. It is nice, very cozy with two levels, a deck and would be a perfect place to sit and read and get away from it all.
What is about a treehouse that is so peaceful?
The park offers walking, bicycling, tram tours, segway tours, trout fishing, and horseback riding. They even have a wedding chapel. They don’t have any accommodations or camping. Do your research before you show up. It costs $10 per person to enter which gets you access to the restaurant, museum, and gift shop and a short trail. If you want to go walking on into the canyon it will cost you and another $10 per person. Personally, I think it is worth it, but I understand others may differ.
The park has about 10,000 acres organized up and down a canyon with a nice stream that has a lot of waterfalls feeding it. The water is crystal clear and you can see lots of big fat trout swimming around. For a fee you can go fly fishing on the property. Apparently the best spot is right behind a wedding chapel.
The stream is dammed up behind a series of weirs. The water pools up behind the weirs and spills down into the next pool. Bring your camera, there are lots of opportunities for photos. The trail is paved so I don’t know if you can really call it a hike or not but at least it is all weather. There a few side trails that are dirt but we didn’t take them.
There are several waterfalls coming off the canyon into the stream. They are really beautiful. I think the walking trail is about six miles out and back. We didn’t get quite to the end but close and turned back. It is uphill going into the canyon and downhill coming out so the second half was a lot easier than going in.
So are walk/hike was about 5.6 miles and we went a steady 20 minutes per mile including taking lots of photos and stopping to look at the sights. We finished up with a nice meal at the restaurant on site. It was a great family outing.
I am linking with Skywatch Friday