Beauty Now Noticed

It’s funny how sometimes there’s a place that’s incredibly amazing within a few miles, but we don’t even know it’s there.

Every Tuesday since September, we’ve traveled 50 miles to bowl at a town north of us. I thought that in the past 5 months, we’d seen everything there is to see around that town.

Within 10 miles, there is an area called Clearwater Lake and we’ve ventured there many times. It’s very beautiful. One Saturday we went north about 20 miles and stumbled upon a campground, marina, and beach. So pretty there.

This time though, we took our feet to a hiking trail within 5 miles of the bowling alley. I’d heard about it, but we’d never been there.

My goodness. All I can say is nature’s grace was right around the corner! I was missing out and didn’t even know it. It’s called Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area and it’s part of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Whoa. Simply put, it’s stunning. Huge rock walls, waterfalls, granite, clear water, stone steps, a path along the creek. Breathtaking beauty.

It’s like a combo pack of places we’ve been. It’s a touch of Colorado, a smidgen of Klepzig Mill 60 miles west of here, it sort of reminds me of Castor River Shut Ins northeast of us, and it’s even a bit like Johnson Shut Ins by Elephant Rocks State Park. Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area feels sort of familiar, but it’s totally new.

Spring is starting to show her lovely face, bringing longer days and sweet wild flowers. We will definitely be returning there to see nature’s spring show.

Thanks for reading. Hope you find some ‘under your nose but you don’t even know it’ nature treasure, too. Beauty unnoticed becomes beauty now noticed. Love that.


©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys- stone steps at Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area
©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys- creek at Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area
©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys- rock wall at Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area
©️ 2023 Unmeasured Journeys- looking up creek, Lon Sanders Canyon Conservation Area
Lon Sanders Canyon sign at the start of the trail


Some Favorite Photos


  • forgetting our bag
  • visiting with new friends
  • favorite photos I’ve taken recently
  • naps
  • warm days

My son has a club on Wednesdays and I’m supposed to remember to take our bag with us. It contains the papers and pencils he needs and the notebook and pens I need to take notes to track the week’s story.

Yesterday, I forgot the bag.

So, instead of my normal note taking, I sat with the other moms. My goodness, it was divine! We talked, got to know each other better, swapped stories, and laughed. Maybe I’ll forget the bag more often!

Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos I’ve taken over the past couple weeks.

a nest at Alley Spring
a bench up close at Big Spring
a log across Slough Trail
double the scenery at Big Spring
some green at Big Spring
a mossy rock hillside on Black River Trail
a stunning tree at Clearwater Lake Beach
a heart with little tiny angel wings at Bluff View Beach

Today is our last warm day for awhile. We may stick around home and hang around outside or go to the river. Yesterday I took a nap! How glorious. I may even do that again, ha ha.

Thank you for being here! Hope you have a great Thursday.


©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys


Slough Trail


  • afternoon hikes
  • natural areas
  • reflections
  • noticing details
  • Burr Oak acorns
  • fall days

Monday when we were at Big Spring, we hiked the Slough Trail. It parallels the park area near the spring and ends at the road coming into the park.

trail sign at Big Spring near Van Buren, Missouri
Slough Trail
steps to somewhere on Slough Trail- we didn’t try them
reflections on Slough Trail
looking up on Slough Trail

When we reached the road, we crossed over towards the campground area that brought us to swings, a pavilion, stone steps, and a river view.

stone steps and pavilion
river view
love this sign
Burr Oak acorns

When we walked back to our truck, I saw this reflection on my truck window. Is that beautiful or what?

reflection on my truck window at Big Spring

We had a wonderful time. So glad we got to go.

Thanks for being here.