Travel Blog 4: Missouri State Parks

 

Highway 51 brought me over a bridge, exiting Kentucky to reenter Illinois before another bridge would bring me into the state of Missouri. The two bridges crossed the Ohio River and the Mississippi River, meeting at the southernmost point in the state of Illinois; Fort Defiance State Park.  

Crossing into Missouri provided a warm feeling of freshness! Missouri State Parks are among the best I’ve ever seen. Taum Sauk Mountain State Park expressed a colorful view of Mark Twain National Forest with bright trees popping in every direction. Johnson’s Shut-In State Park provided an opportunity for children to wade through river water while jagged rocks let them climb like adventurists. As the sun beat down, refreshing water put a smile on everyone’s face. Continuing on to Elephant Rock State Park, massive round boulders challenged the legs of visitors and also opened the creative mind while displaying natural-art to gaze at. 

Preparing to sleep beside Council Bluff Lake, I watched two men load their boat out of the water onto a trailer. The men in their late sixties shared about spending their covid-lockdown time rebuilding an old boat they bought on the side of the road. That particular day was the first day it reentered water. When I asked about their experience, they responded with excited emotions, “This was the best fishing day of all time... But we didn’t catch a damn thing!”

Mark Twain National Forest has various sections spread throughout Missouri. October is a fantastic time to drive through with fall colors shining so beautifully bright!

My final night in the state, after a week of exploring, was spent watching sunset from the top of a fire tower with colorful trees outlined by a gorgeous glowing sky. My energy felt strong! My mind was perfectly satisfied. Being back on the road has helped me to realize where I feel most happy. Nature has a way of bringing joy.

Whenever you’re feeling down, go find a trail!

Happy travels all!

K2