Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park

That’s where we were most of the weekend and it’s too long a name to type out anymore. It is not even close to the Lake of the Ozarks. link

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If you found my site missing this morning or over the weekend sorry. I didn’t renew the www.theprewitt.com domain in time and it expired but it’s renewed now and should auto do it again in 2 years.

Friday I came into work normal and after an hour or so got a call from Heath. Nanny was sick and could not watch Pumpkin and Heath had to get to work. I finished up the important stuff and headed home. Pumpkin was tired from the chiefs game and still sleeping. I started packing for the weekend. Actually packing ate up most of my day. I did feed and change Pumpkin and bring her into work for a while and we ran to Aldi for a few things and she took a short nap in the afternoon but the rest of the time we were packing up things for the weekend and getting our plans figured out.

Heath got to leave work a little early for the holiday weekend and as soon as she got home we loaded up the truck and left. We didn’t head strait for the Ozarks, first we started with a side trip to Lambert’s near Springfield for dinner.  IMG_1932

If your not familiar, they toss rolls at you from across the room and give you giant portions of everything and someone is always walking by your table with a big pot of something and offering you some more. The place is huge and we had a 45 min wait. However as soon as we got in we ordered and our food was there in just a few minutes. Heath got the country fried steak and I got the meatloaf. They were both pretty good, though I prefer my own meatloaf. We stuffed our and Pumpkin’s faces then headed out.

We drove on to the Park. The park is shaped like a giant “Y” tipped over the Y is where 2 rivers coming from the west connect and continue on. All along the rivers are springs, caves, history and more.  At the very tip of the national park along the top river is Montauk State Park. This was the closest spot so we headed there. We called ahead and made sure there were campgrounds and found out what to do since we would be arriving late. We got in at 9:45, found an available campsite and quickly set up our tent in the dark.
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This night did not go so well. The park was really full, our neighbors on 1 side were a big group with lots of adults and kids and they were pretty loud. The rangers came up and talked to them just after 10 (beginning of quiet hours) and I thought they would quiet down but they did not. On the other side there was a car and tent but no people. Until after midnight when a really drunk couple showed up and were loud too. These problems were nothing compared to the big problem we had all night.

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(it felt as though she was pointing a different finger at us all night)

So we got set up late and just put the tent up and got ready for bed. Heath fed Pumpkin then we went for a walk. We wanted to find an information board and make sure there were no bears or anything wild to watch out for. We didn’t find anything abnormal and walked a bit more then got ready for bed. We could  hear or neighbors but all 3 of us climbed into the bag and Heath tried to feed Pumpkin some more and put her to sleep.

Pumpkin was not interested in sleep she wanted to play.  Heath held her in bed and she yelled and we all rolled over and around and tried everything we could think of. I could tell Heath was about to get violent so I took the baby and let her go in the tent. My thought was she will crawl around a while, get tired then be ready to sleep. Pumpkin did climb around, and shake noisy things, and play high five with her parents faces and crawl over us and best of all pooped her pants twice. My plan worked, however it was around 6am before she tired herself out. Heath tried to nurse her several times and get her to bed but she was not into it. A few times she laid down on a blanket but would hop up and run around right after.

She had done so well on the road trip and other camp outs we didn’t know what to do. At 6 she fell asleep and we all slept good. At 10 I woke up and got worried check out time would be 11 and they would be wanting our money for the site or would try to make us pay for a second day if we were not out. So I got up and started doing a little packing and making a plan. Then I saw a sign that said check out was at 2.
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So I had a couple beers and some fruit and raisin bread and tortillas and beans. In packing up I had stolen all the stakes for the tent and unhooked a few non essential parts. After a while the wind blew hard and the fly flew off the tent and woke up the girls as they now had a big window.

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Pumpkin was in a great mood but Heath looked a little grumpy at first. We joked around about how Pumpkin would be tired today but we would not let her sleep and we would shake stuff and crawl around her and poop our pants whenever she tried to go to sleep. This got Heath feeling a little better and some breakfast had her good as new.  IMG_1937

We had a busy Saturday. First we checked out the montauk spring

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Then we checked out the trout hatchery there (they release about 200,000 trout into the river there each year)

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Then we went for a really nice hike.  IMG_1943

and we met some friends

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After the hike we had a short hike along the road back to the car. Then we left the state park and headed into the National Park. First we went to Welsh Spring/Cave/Hospital.

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It was a really cool spot for the canoers to stop and play and an OK spot for the hikers to hike to. There is an old hospital right in the middle of the picture. They built it next to a cave with a spring in it. The “science” was that the cave air and spring water would help people recover from illness. The problem was there was no real science to this and there were no good roads for people to get to the hospital. You can see the cave just above the surface of the water on the right.

I was getting nervous about finding a campsite for the night so our next stop was Rocky Spring Campground. They had 2 spots left when we got there and we took #40 and fell in love right away.  IMG_1949

The neighbors looked good, there were only a guy and his kid on one side and a young couple on the other side and we were spread out a lot farther and had lots of private woods on our back and a hill in front of us. This kept the noise and the sun down.  We unpacked some of our stuff and had some lunch (sandwiches and snacky stuff) then drove over to the rocky spring.

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It was up on a hill and was a big circle surrounded by rock and the water was super blue. At the bottom of the hill the water drained out in a small creek and it was so cold my feet went numb after a few minutes.  IMG_1955

Next we drove a ways to blue spring, it was said to be the most beautiful spring in the area.

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There was a nice little hike to it and the water was again super blue but we kinda liked the first one better and it was a lot closer drive.
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You can’t see it in the pictures but the surface of the water looked like a light rain was hitting it.  IMG_1962

Upon examination we discovered millions of little bubbles coming out of the spring with the water and making their way to the surface.

Next we headed to Rocky Falls.

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This would have been a great place for Peanut to play. There was lots of steps of rocks with water running down them.

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It was getting late so we didn’t stay long but we almost decided to put on our swim stuff and hang out. We got back to our campsite a little later then we wanted but quickly got a fire and dinner going and set up our tent before it got dark.  IMG_1971

I got a pan of fried potatoes, a pan of green beans and a pot of pork chops cooking.  IMG_1978

Heath got started on dessert a blueberry cobbler.  IMG_1975

And Pumpkin ate some green beans and cheerios.

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The pork chops marinated in some spices, chunks of apples and a bunch of applesauce and I cooked them in it till the potatoes were getting close to done then grilled them.  IMG_1981

It was a pretty tasty dinner. Heath washed her down by putting a sprite and some rum in the blueberry can and siring up all the blue leftover goo.

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We set up the portable crib thing, sectioned off part of the crib and put Pumpkin to bed. She nursed a bunch then Heath laid her down. She fussed for a while and Heath nursed her some more then she fussed a few minutes and then fell asleep like a normal night. It was still fairly early and before quiet hours so worked out fine. While the girls were in the tent I moved more coals to the dutch oven. Heath and I watched the fire and waited on dessert till we were too tired to wait anymore then we scoop out some not quite ready cobbler.

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It was pretty tasty still and there are no eggs or anything in it so fine to eat. We all had a great night of sleep and stayed in bed till 8:30. Then I got up and packed up a few things and started making peanut butter and crackers for breakfast. The girls got up at 8:45 and got dressed ate a bit then we rushed over to the park office at 9. At 9:30 tickets went on sale and they only had 15 seats so we wanted to make sure we got some. We were first in line but a few minutes later there were at least 20 people behind us. We paid $10 for our spots then rushed back to camp to leave some gear then we headed to the cave for our 2 hour tour.

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This cave tour was probably the highlight of the weekend and easily the coolest cave we have ever seen. All 15 of each got a nice big bright lantern, well actually all 16 of us.  IMG_1985

The cave was locked at the front and the guide was a volunteer geologist from Rolla that knew a lot of cool stuff and was pretty funny. We started out in a narrow passage and the ceiling was sometimes so low that tall people were crawling. We were able to duck really low with Pumpkin to get through. After 100 feet or so the cave opened up and was huge. We saw bats and salamanders IMG_2019

And grooves were giant prehistoric bears had hibernated that were 9ft tall and 2,000 pounds. We saw lots of the stalactites  IMG_2007

and the stalagmites. IMG_2001

and lots of other cool stuff

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Pumpkin started out in the front pack and happy singing songs and stuff then got a little fussy and Heath fed her on the go, which was impressive then carried her while she slept.  IMG_2016

Eventually we made our way out of the cave and returned the lantern and thanked the guide. It was noon and we were starving so headed strait to camp for lunch.

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We boiled noodles and added tuna, peas, black beans and cheese.

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Heath and I thought it was really good but Pumpkin loved it and ate leftovers for the rest of the weekend. We took it easy after lunch and tried to make Pumpkin nap but she just played in her crib, we had a few beers and watched a movie on the laptop for about 30 minutes then gave up on Pumpkin. We drove to a few different spots along the river looking for good swimming spots and not really finding anything. Of course Pumpkin fell asleep as soon as we put her in the car so we drove around for a while. When she woke up we stopped back at rocky falls and got ready for a swim.  IMG_2027

The water was pretty cool at first but we all had a blast.

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Pumpkin was in full on monkey mode trying to climb all over everything. We swam in the deep pool a while first then headed up on the falls to play.  IMG_2039

We spent a few hours moving from pool to pool.  IMG_2054

Then we went back to camp and cooked dinner. I got a fire going and tossed a bunch of stuff into the pot.  IMG_2061

Pumpkin ate lunch leftovers by the handful.  IMG_2060

Dinner was pretty easy, we cooked noodles, chunks of pork, potatoes, onion, celery, zucchini, carrots and anything else around into a huge stew.

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I was expecting us to eat about 1/2 of it but we kept going till the whole thing was gone. Then Pumpkin went to bed. This night went great, Heath fed her and laid her down. She was quite for a while then made a few sounds then was out. Heath and I loaded the cobbler leftovers up with coals and then watched the rest of Iron Man. Once the movie was over we opened the cobbler and ate it up. It was lots better then the night before.

The next morning at 6:50 Heath rolled over and said eggs and sausage. Then I got out of bed and got to work. I had told her to remind me in the morning because I had brought really good breakfast foods but we had been to busy to eat them. Pumpkin woke up as I left the tent and shortly later got Heath out of bed.  IMG_2064

Heath packed up the inside of the tent and I worked on breakfast and a bit of the outside stuff. Pumpkin had some apricots and raisin bread and some more leftovers.  IMG_2071

We ate and packed up pretty quick then went to take freezing cold showers. Then we drove to Joplin. We met up with Heath’s mom and all her siblings for a birthday lunch.  IMG_2073

After lunch we hung out with her sister for while at their apartment then went to Applebees to buy her a 21st birthday drink. Then we headed home. We got home around 6:30 and just ordered a pizza and collapsed on the couch till bedtime.

 

 

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One Response to Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park

  1. Courtney says:

    Looks like a really fun trip.  I really want to go camping in that area sometime.  And the comments about Pumpkin on the first night cracked me up!

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