We left about 9:30 am and headed south towards Arcadia Valley. No big hurry so we headed down Hwy 21. First stop Elephant Rock state park. Got out and climbed around on the rocks for a while. Found a real pretty lake in doing so. Appears to be a natural lake without ant creeks or rivers feeding it.
From there we headed to Johnson’s Shut-ins. Neither of us has been there since we were kids or maybe in our 20’s. The park didn’t really look as I remembered it but I think things might have gotten shifted around when the Taum Sauk reservoir broke in 2005. Walked out to the point where the bold ones would jump into the pool below. This isn’t allowed any more.
From there it was off to the lower Taum Sauk reservoir, was going to fish there but it was the middle of the day so I passed and we headed to Taum Sauk mountain which is the highest point in Missouri. Drove up there to the lookout and took a few photos.
Now it’s off to the motel to check in. The to Shepard lake for a little fishing. Got 2 in the boat with one getting off the hook. After an hour or so we headed back to the motel and to a BBQ dinner at Betty-Jo’s BBQ & Seafood. After dinner I went back to Shepard lake for some more fishing. Got one bite and that was it. Did get some fly casting practice in so all was good.
Checked out and left the motel around 9ish to go get some breakfast. On the way we stopped at the car wash to wash the white gravel dust off the Freestyle. Went to the Fort Davidson Motel & Restaurant. Hand a Ham/cheese inlet with sausage, coffee & toast. Not Uncle Bill’s omelets that’s for sure. It was editable but I wouldn’t recommend it to others. After breakfast we went across the street to the site of a Vivaldi war battle between the north & south. Pilot Knob at that time was booming mining town with a railroad. Watched an interesting movie explaining the era. Left there and headed to Crane lake for some fishing. Got maybe half way there and the hard road ran out. Still had over 5+ miles to go not ready for that with the new Freestyle so we aborted that trip and decided to go to the lower reservoir of the Taum Sauk hydroelectric plant. Fished there for a couple of hours. A couple of curiosity hits but that was it.
Not wanting to go on already traveled roads we decided to go south on Hwy 21 to Hwy 60 then east to Hwy 67 then north. Made a pitstop at Greenville. Was going to get gas but the pumps were to crowded. Was getting crap because I didn’t fill up in Ironton. For $2.24 now we were seeing $2.39. Headed north again, fired up Gasbuddy, Fredicktown had gas from $2.21 to $2.35 so Fredicktown here we come. Got gas for $2.24 so now I’m off the hook. Decided it was time for grub so off to Hardee’s we went for a Burger and some fries. Sat in a meeting type room to get away from the noise. Blain & his wife came in carrying a guitar, this fellow had a few years on me. I ask them if they were going to play that rock-n-roll stuff. They looked at me and grinned asking if they looked liked they played rock -n-roll. Blaine started talking and telling stories including while he was eating his Burger. Says he played in Nashville in his younger days. Some of his pickin’ friend started showing up. I would have liked to stay and hear them but wanted to get home before dark plus Jackie’s hayfever was driving her crazy. Sows left before they got setup and started playing. Desert sounded good so off to Sonic for a Blast. North again towards home one more pitstop just outside of Festus to drain the old bladder.
Pulled into the driveway right at 7 pm, unloaded the Freestyle and settled in for the evening. All said and done we put 450+ miles on the new 2006 Ford Freestyle getting 22.6 mph for a average. Not bad for a SUV.
Took a few photos along the way. You can view then here.