Some Favorite Photos

Gratitude:

  • 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.

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Slough Trail

Gratitude:

  • 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.

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Big Spring on a Monday

Gratitude:

  • living near Ozark National Scenic Riverways
  • errands that put us near beautiful places
  • noticing different angles
  • natural springs

Yesterday we had an errand that landed us by a natural spring and hiking trail! How cool is that???

I’ve written about Big Spring before, so this time I thought I’d share photos of different view points. The spring itself gets tons of attention, and rightly so. It pumps out over 276+ million gallons of water a day!

Whoa! I can’t even get my mind around how much water that is!

Hope you have a great day!

Jessica

stone wall on the path to Big Spring
bench with a view of Big Spring
small cave and rocks above the spring
mossy rocks and the spring

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Two Beaches

Gratitude:

  • Saturdays
  • hiking
  • time with my son
  • Missouri beaches
  • adventures on untraveled roads
  • small towns
  • Clearwater Lake
  • nature time

Yesterday my husband had a bowling tournament, so my son and I dropped him off at the bowling alley where we have our league on Tuesday nights.

Because the bowling alley is 55 miles from home, that opened us up for some new nature adventures.

Some new-to-us highways, streets, and gravel roads filled our afternoon with lake views, hiking trails, the dam spillway, and two beaches.

My, how I love Missouri. The backroads lead to some amazing sights, but so do the ones made of pavement.

I just love nature, don’t you?

Jessica

beach number one, Bluff View
the first beach we saw, Bluff View
a trail sign
trail sign by where we went in
the spillway by the trails
saw these picnic tables at the spillway
a stone table in a campsite
the trail bridge was closed for a hunting event, next time we can see where it goes
nice view
beach number two
second beach of the day

©️COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Miracles and Gratitude Challenge Day 22

Holy smokes! I’m guessing this could possibly be the longest 22 day challenge in history. I started this gratitude adventure on September 25, but because of some “I miss my momma” grief sprinkled in, it seems to have stretched it out a bunch.

Gratitude:

  • Lake Wappapello
  • beach time with my son, in Missouri (which isn’t near any oceans)
  • reflections on the water
  • a beautiful afternoon in nature on some random Wednesday

My son has a club on Wednesday afternoons for a couple of hours. Instead of just going home afterwards, we went out for lunch, then drove north to an area lake.

It was the perfect day to go. It was sunny, warm, and not very busy. We did a 1.5 mile hike on the hiking/bike trail near the marina and beach. It runs right next to the water and is absolutely beautiful! .

There was only one other person on the trail and she was very nice. She said that she walks 6 miles on the trail most days and sometimes she does it twice a day. I can see why! If I lived near that lake, I’d probably want to see those views every day, too.

Miracle photos:

part of the hike/bike trail at Lake Wappapello in Missouri
the section of the trail we were on has a walk out in
front of the marina
beach number one of the day
toes on the beach at Lake Wappapello in November

We went to two other areas around the lake after our hike. This one was completely new to us and it was down a lake road we haven’t been on before.

a new to us area on Lake Wappapello called Lost Creek
reflections at Lost Creek, Lake Wappapello in Missouri

From there we ventured to beach number two. We’ve been there many times. In fact, I’ve done other posts about this beach before.

This time, my son and walked the beach at sunset, drew in the sand as a tribute to his grandma/my momma, and tried to skip rocks. We are always on the lookout for heart shaped rocks, too.

beach number two, a heart for my momma
Tribute to Gram (grandma)
trees above the beach

We had a really wonderful afternoon. Saturday we are going to a new hiking area about an hour north of our home. It’s near a lake as well.

For some reason, my love for hiking has kicked back in. Luckily, it’s a wonderful time of the year! Less crowds, less bugs, plus beautiful fall colors.

Thanks so much for being here!

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ All photographs taken by me All rights reserved

Miracles and Gratitude Challenge Day 21

Gratitude:

  • Alley Spring
  • hiking
  • this lovely area where we live

On Halloween, after we went to Rocky Falls, we drove north and west about 20 miles to Alley Spring. My boy and I have a history there. Many times we have gone in autumn, when the leaves have fallen. We always make leaf piles and lay on them while watching the sky.

We arrived just about sunset and there were only a few other people there. There are two hiking trails. One is a mile and a half and the other is a third of a mile. Since it was close to evening, we chose the shorter one.

We’ve hiked it several times and I’ll tell you what, the views definitely change with the amount of sunlight. With or without much sunlight, the place is just amazing.

All the people left, so we had the place to ourselves! We made the leaf pile, stared at the sky, and walked back up to the mill near nightfall. The thought occurred to me, that now that almost all of the humans are gone, maybe nature could take a breath and rest for the night.

It puts on such a glorious show.

Thank you for reading. Hope you’re still seeing miracles and gratefuls.

Jessica

Miracle photos:

sign to the mill near Eminence, Missouri
Alley Spring Mill near Eminence, Missouri
Alley Spring Mill about sunset
look how much water flows through here a day
the spring at Alley Spring Mill
view of the mill from the hiking trail
I love this photo- the red, the water, and
sunset on the trees
the mill dressed up for fall

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ All photographs taken by me 2022 All Rights Reserved

Kangaroo Time

Van Buren is a small town in southeast Missouri. The population is 1,241 (in 2020). But, sometimes small towns can offer big things to do.

Tuesday my son and I drove about 40 miles to visit Van Buren and do some of those fun things.

There’s the Jolly Cone restaurant with its outside walk up and order counter. We went there for ice cream, tater tots, and french fries. Yum.

The Landing is a hotel and restaurant that offers float trips down the Current River. They had a fire in 2021, but are rebuilding and open. We didn’t float or stay there this time, but we have in the past. Here is their link is you’d like any information. https://thelandingcurrentriver.com

We went to Big Spring, which I wrote about in my last 2 posts. It’s a wonderful natural spring with 2 hiking trails, some buildings the CCC built in the 1930’s, a campground, picnic pavilions, and access to the Current River.

Another place we went is called Missouri Down Under Adventure Zoo. It is a small zoo, right outside of town. The big draw is the kangaroos. They also have gem panning, a cave, a quarry dig, other animals, and some amazing tree carvings.

The kangaroos are in a huge fenced enclosure and you get to go right in there with them. The day we went it was 102 degrees, so shade was a priority for most of them.

We did see one over at the water tank. I was able to give it a snack out of my cup.

snack time
drink time
shade time
kangaroo time
tree carvings
gem panning
that hole is the cave entrance
inside the cave

We had a great time. They also have lemurs, baby goats, rabbits, birds, snakes, porcupines, and a few other animals. Their website is https://www.missouridownunder.com if you’d like to see the hours or ticket information.

We had a great day in Van Buren on Tuesday with some hiking time, ice cream time, and kangaroo time.

Hope you have a great day!

Jessica

Big Spring Dining Hall

We live in an area filled with natural springs, Forest Service land, hiking trails, and history. What an amazing place to be! Three miles from our house is the Current River.

It is clear and cold, which makes it a popular area year round for swimming, fishing, boating, and floating.

Tuesday, we were about forty miles from home at Ozark National Scenic Riverways near Van Buren Missouri, which is also on the Current River.

Big Spring is the natural spring that I wrote about yesterday. The area itself is full of some pretty cool history. Back in the 1930’s, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) built the roads and buildings there.

near Big Spring, Van Buren, MO
sign at Big Spring about the CCC
sign with the history of Big Spring

One of my favorite buildings there is the dining hall. Set back off the road, in the trees, it just feels like it was an important place many years ago. Stately, is the word that comes to mind, with its rock walls and river view.

dining hall at Big Spring

The windows are amazing. I’ve never been inside, but they offer a glimpse in and a glimpse out, via nature’s reflections.

a peek into the dining hall from a window
reflections at Big Spring dining hall
a glimpse in, the lights are on
dining hall window reflections

Back in its day, it must have been a busy place. While we were there, one other car came, but I was the only one at the building. Back in the 1930’s though, I bet it was bustling with people. I love that the building is still standing after nearly 90 years.

Here is a great link from the National Park Service about the history of the CCC and Big Spring:

https://www.nps.gov/ozar/learn/historyculture/ccc-2.htm

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

Big Day at Big Spring

One time my parents came to visit us and we took them to a couple of local springs. My momma LOVED water. I mean loved!! Oceans, rivers, lakes, pools, and mountain streams, water was her thing.

Yesterday, my son and I went back to one of the places we took her. Near Van Buren, MO is a place called Big Spring.

near Van Buren, MO

It is a beautiful, powerful natural spring, tucked back in the corner of the rocks, by a small cave. I took a video so you could hear it.

Big Spring, Van Buren Missouri

When we were there in 2018 with my parents, my momma took a picture of me that she absolutely loved. It was me, looking at the spring.

picture of me my momma took in
September 2018 at Big Spring

To try to recreate it, I had my son take a picture of me yesterday. Funny thing is, I had no idea, but I was actually wearing the same blue long sleeve shirt!

me at Big Spring July 2022

Behind the spring is a set of rock steps that go up and lead to a short trail. It was 102 degrees yesterday and luckily, the trail was shaded.

one of two trails at Big Spring
trail sign
looking up from trail
looking down from trail

The trail just sort of ends. You can turn around or walk across a bridge and back to the parking lot. We chose the bridge because it’s new and it took a couple of years to build. It was our first time to walk across it.

view back towards Big Spring
from the new bridge

If you are ever near Van Buren, MO, Big Spring is definitely worth a stop. There is a campground, access to the Current River, an old CCC camp as well.

We really enjoyed our day, despite the heat. Our adventures didn’t end there, but that’s for another post.

Thanks for reading. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Jessica

Bollinger Mill and a Covered Bridge

Today we got to do 2 pretty cool things. Saturdays are our family day out. We ventured over east of us and started our day at a 100 mile long yard sale.

We did a lot of looking, but not much buying. It was fun to look at so many different things for sale.

At the end of the 100 miles, we stopped at Bollinger Mill State Historic Site, near Jackson, Missouri. I love that place. Why?

There’s a 3 story mill and a covered bridge, in one place. They are gorgeous!

Bollinger Mill
covered bridge at Bollinger Mill

I wish I could’ve gathered up the smell somehow of the bridge. It was antique and woodsy. Imagine stepping into a really old rustic barn- that! That’s what the bridge smelled like.

initials carved inside the covered bridge
reflection of the mill under the covered bridge
my view from a knothole in the covered bridge
the river side of Bollinger Mill, the covered bridge sits to the right

What a wonderful day! If you are ever in southeast Missouri, Bollinger Mill is definitely worth a stop.

PS I wrote a post about our 100 mile yard sale adventure on my other blog, if you’re interested, it’s https://jeweledagainbyjessica.com

Thanks for reading,

Jessica