Saturday, April 24, 2010

More Pictures of Klepzig Mill

In my last entry I posted only a few pictures of my trip. Normally I'm a bit embarrassed about my photography so I don't put very many pictures in a post. But I've received some requests for more pictures of the mill so here they are.

The mill owner originally built a concrete dam across the shut-in creek (a real travesty since it's such a beautiful spot!) which forced the water down this raceway toward the mill wheel. The dam is now gone. There are just a few places where you can see residual concrete stuck to the rocks.

Since it was springtime and the leaves were out the view of the mill is somewhat obscured from the across the creek. However there is a nice photo during leaf-off time at this post by another blogger, Jeff Moore, at his blog, Missouri Backpacking

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Klepzig Mill

I'm continuing my quest to see the sights I've been meaning to see here in Missouri before I move to Pennsylvania. This past weekend I returned to the Current River section of the Ozark Trail to visit Klepzig Mill. I had heard that it was one of the nicest spots along the trail. It's the site of an old grist and saw mill located on a shut-in creek.

This was an out-and-back trip. The map above shows the path I took. I started at Powder Mill, where the Current River and Blair Creek section meet. Klepzig Mill is at the very bottom of the map, a distance of about 6 miles. I arrived late on Friday and hiked in the dark for about a mile or so. I slept on the ground with my poncho pitched above me. During the night it rained but I stayed dry. During the night I was awakened by some rustling in the grass as some little critter was coming toward me. I shined my light and saw a little armadillo scurry away. That's a first for me -- to see a live armadillo (as opposed to a dead one on the highway).

Spring is in full swing and the Ozarks have exploded with grass and leaves and flowers. The air was full of the scent of flowers.

The hiking was pretty easy and the weather was great.

Klepzig mill is on a shut-in creek. That means a place where a creek is confined to a narrow channels because of a large rock formation. I have a bunch of pictures but none really do the place justice. Here are the best ones.

While there I had a swim in the shut-in creek. It was cold but very refreshing.

After hiking back to my car I drove a few miles to another place I've been wanting to see: Blue Spring. It's one of many springs in Missouri but probably the most picturesque. It's apparently 310 feet from where the water comes out of the cliff up to the surface of the pool. This depth, combined with dissolved minerals in the water give the distinct color. The spring seems quite still but in fact the flow of water is significant. A good-sized creek begins it's life at this spring.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Floating the Eleven Point

It turns out that I will soon be moving from Missouri to Pennsylvania. So I'm trying to see as much of the Ozarks as I can before I leave. I had never hiked the Eleven Point section of the Ozark Trail. This trail follows the Eleven Point river so I decided that rather than hiking it I would take a 2-day canoe trip down the river and camp overnight on a sand bar and see the same territory from a different perspective.

I rented a canoe from Richard's Canoe Rental. Richard moved out from St Louis in the early 70s and he and his daughter run the place. The eleven point river is not as popular a destination as the Current or Jacks Fork rivers apparently. That means that it's much less crowded although some people I know who have floated both claim that the Eleven Point is nicer.

The eleven point river is spring fed, and not just from one spring. There are many springs along the river, some of which are quite impressive and add significantly to the flow. This one is called Roaring Spring because of the sound it makes as the water rushes out from the rocks a few feet above the level of the river.

Springtime in the Ozarks is a beautiful time. I was just in time to see the bluebells in their full glory.

In the evening I pulled my canoe onto a gravelly sandbar and built a fire from drift wood (very plentiful). It was really delightful. It's early enough in the spring that the insects aren't really out and so the night was quiet. The sky was clear and the view of the stars was perfect. I fell asleep looking up at them as my fire burned down to embers.

On thing I keep forgetting is that when you are camped near a river the morning dew is pretty thick. I brought a warm synthetic quilt because I was afraid it might get cold. In the morning the quilt was quite wet on top (although I stayed dry). I'm glad I didn't bring the down quilt. When the sun came out I draped the quilt over a nearby branch and it was soon dry and ready to be packed up.

On of the great things about these Missouri rivers is the bluffs that overlook the river. I took several pictures but this was the only one that turned out the way I wanted.

I floated about 30 miles in all. From Thomasville to a boat launch called Whitten Access. I had a really nice time. I'm glad I got to experience this before I leaving this fine state.