Last week, Zack and I were having trouble trying to find a new place to go take pictures over the weekend. After a bit of discussion, we decided to look a little outside of the box - or, well, really the state. We picked the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, in southeastern Missouri. There are a lot of huge springs, and neat old mill buildings there. And all just a few hours away from home.
So after work on Friday, we loaded up the car and headed out. Or tried to. It was raining, which when combined with rush hour in Little Rock meant horrible traffic. There were a few wrecks, which backed up traffic. We finally got through town, but it took over an hour.
It soon got dark, and after a few hours we finally crossed the state line into Missouri. We eventually hit the campsite at Big Springs, which sits near the Current River in the ONSR. The campground was nearly empty, in fact I saw more deer and possums than other people.
Before dawn on Saturday, we packed up the campsite and headed towards Big Spring. We had arrived at the campground at night, so we weren't really sure what it would look like outside. We were thrilled to see that the fall colors were nearly at peak. And the park was covered with a thick layer of fog.
We made it to Big Spring, which is aptly named. The spring is big. It's not only the largest spring in the Ozarks, but one of the largest springs in the country. Every day, about 286 million gallons of water tumble out from the base of a bluff, instantly creating a river.
Here is the spring, it was a bit bizarre to see a river just pouring out from the rocks:
The color of the water at the spring was amazing. It was a deep and vivid blue, almost the same color of the water that you see running through glaciers. The color is from particles of dissolved limestone in the water.
This is the view looking back at the spring and the bluff that it empties out of..
There was a sign there that said something like enough water comes out of the spring every day to completely fill up all of Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Since there are no stadiums in the park, the spring water flows into the nearby Current River.
We spent about an hour at the spring, and then headed out to do some more exploring. But we were only in the car for a few minutes before stopping to get pictures of this old cabin, sitting in a foggy field.
We headed out of the park, hoping that the thick fog would stick around a bit more...
From there we hit the road, heading towards a few other neat springs...