We crossed over the border into Missouri and soon made it to our campground, which sat just above the North Fork of the White River. I was surprised to see that the campground was nearly empty (of people, there were thousands of bugs out there). There was only one other person staying there, who we discovered when the car headlights swept across his campsite. I can't really say anything about how people camp, since I usually sleep in my car. But the guy at this campground was laying out on the rough concrete picnic table at the campsite. We weren't entirely sure if he was camping, or laid out as some sort of sacrifice for the woodland critters.
We woke up early the next day, and drove off before sunrise. We drove over the river and caught this view of the sunrise, above the small bit of fog drifting over the river.
From there it was a short drive to Hodgson Mill, which is considered to be one of the most photographed buildings in all of Missouri. And I can believe it, because it's a beautiful building in a beautiful setting. A spring pours out from beneath a bluff, passing under a mill that dates back to 1897. The waters of the spring gather in a small pond before cascading over a waterfall.
23 million gallons of water flow from the spring every day, creating this creek. On the morning we were there, fog drifted over the waters.
This is the walkway to the mill, which was closed that morning (granted it was about 7:50 am). The first mill was built here in 1861. The current mill building was built in 1897 after the original building burned. The mill sits right above the spring, which is the 19th largest in Missouri.
Just downstream was an old bridge, painted red to match the mill. There was a lot of moss perched on the edge of old iron.
The sun never really rose that day. A band of thunderstorms were closing in, and it would rain on us for most of the rest of the day. I was more than happy since it meant plenty of time to take pictures of every angle of the mill. This is a close-up view of the waterfall that tumbles over in front of the mill.
And one last shot from the mill...
This was an amazing spot, and I burned through a lot of space on my memory card here. But we weren't done yet, there were a few more mills in Missouri for us to see that day....