Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dogwood Canyon

With all the activity of Sedalia behind us, we headed south Saturday to quiet, peaceful Monett. We have a long-standing joke with family in this small southwest Missouri town that Monett is the “Crossroads to Everywhere.” This week marks our fifth stop here since beginning our rolling travels, so it’s definitely a crossroads for us!

Yesterday, cousin John and Melissa treated us to a scenic drive to a lovely bicycle path along the Missouri-Arkansas border.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, in Lampe, is a 10,000-acre slice of the scenic Ozarks. A beautiful trout stream winds through this private preserve, which is operated by the owners of Bass Pro Shops.

A 6.4-mile round-trip hike and bike path runs along, and sometimes over, the stream. We walked our bikes across this wooden bridge constructed by members of a Missouri Amish community with wood salvaged from a century-old warehouse in Chicago.

The bike path is lined with high stone bluffs, Indian burial sites and a bear cave. But, our most frequent sightings were waterfalls. With a drop of 60 feet, Thunder Falls is one of the most impressive.

This waterfall spilling over a striking bluff into a well-stocked trout pool is aptly named the Great Spirit Rock Shelter. The story is that the oldest human remains ever found in Missouri were discovered here. Found 8,000 years ago, the great spirit is old!

The Butterfly Garden was doing its job during our visit, attracting many butterflies. I managed to capture not only one...

..but two!

Glory Hole combines a waterfall, cave and beautiful pool in one picturesque spot.

Wish Bowl Falls marked the turnaround point on the trail. This was one of those out-and-back trails that was so scenic it was a treat to see everything twice.

Thanks to John and Melissa for a wonderful day and your warm hospitality during our stay.

We’ve especially enjoyed our visits with Aunt Martha here in Monett. We caught up with her and cousin Nancy over dinner Sunday. Knowing how much of a cat lover Martha is, we took a special guest along with us on our visit today. Our boy kitty was a big hit! Martha and several of her neighbors enjoyed visiting with him. He was so good, he brought out the cat lover in everybody. We are so proud! He’s already “asked” to return. So, we’ll certainly do that again before we leave Saturday.

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