When I left Montana I made a promise to myself that I would continue to take
While they are certainly different here-we were only on one gravel road and it was smooth as silk-
we did go see some new territory.
For most of the trip we drove between the Missouri River on the left and the bluffs on the right with a railroad track on one side or the other.
The first three shots are of the Missouri River from the bluff overlook at Weston Bend State Park.
It is worth commenting on the size of the river considering it's importance in the history of the American West.
Water travel, even upstream, is faster than travel by wagon or horseback(mule back etc).
Which is why the instructions given to Lewis and Clark were to use the Missouri and such of it's tributaries to find a Northwest Passage across the continent.
That didn't happen.
The Missouri is a very long river but back in the early days it was only deep enough for steamboats twice a year.
Once during the spring rains here and once when the snow melted upstream (think Montana, Dakotas, and so on.)
Otherwise is was really shallow.
Eventually a shallow draft steamboat was developed for just such use.
Small canoes, keelboats and flat bottom ferries could travel most of the year.
Today, the river has been dredged and confined by levies into a course that runs much deeper and faster than it used to.
Still it seems like the "Mighty Missouri" should be much larger than it actually is!
Unlike the Mississippi which is wide enough in places that you can't see the other side the Missouri is
easily crossed by a bridge.
The area around Weston used to have a great deal of tobacco grown around it and so the is a "Tobacco Barn" at the Park.
Now the rolling hills around the town of Weston are grass covered.
There are at least two wineries and one distillery-McCormicks
To make my sister-in-law, Jessie, jealous this is a photo of downtown Weston, MO.
She and I usually go shopping and out to lunch when she's here-there are lots of little unique shops.
Today, I only stopped long enough to take this photo as Quinn was with me.
They looked fairly busy for a Wednesday.
Our next stop was a side trip (gravel road) to Little Bean Marsh State Conservation Area.
Missouri has a great many of these small (and some large) conservation areas. I think we passed 4 others today alone.
As is normal for us, we saw no wildlife here but it was interesting to note that only archery hunting was allowed and only with non-toxic materials.
Then we went on to Lewis and Clark State Park.
The wind had really picked up and there were whitecaps on the lake.
This is the Lewis and Clark Memorial at the park.
I've never seen one just like this and I've seen a lot of Lewis and Clark stuff!
While Quinn and I were walking back to the lake here I'm almost certain I saw an eagle!
It was too dark and too far away to tell for certain but it was very BIG.
Much too big to be a hawk.
It's wings seemed to be straight out, where a hawk flies with the wing tips curved up.
I stopped at the office to ask if they had one about but it was closed.
From here we finished up the drive into St Joseph, MO.
Wandered about a bit--okay a lot-- and saw lots of neat architecture
including Shakespeare Chateau Inn!
Really amazing looking place and had really amazing neighbors as well.
Just goes to show that getting lost is not a bad thing!
Then it was time for the drive back.
Next week I have another drive in mind!