I'm all smiles. The heat has finally broken here, and the weather the last few days is more than welcome. Sorry, for those of you who are still suffering from the summer blahs. While taking our dogs for their customary weekend treks to some of our state parks, it hit me how very fortunate I am to live in the midst of scenic beauty that has withstood the test of time.
While contemplating my good fortune, I recalled an idea I had several years ago. There are many little spots here that draw tourists year after year, but also some that are not on the beaten trail. A few, known mostly by those who live nearby, deserve a bit of attention.
So, in the days and weeks ahead, I'm dedicating this blog to a combination of photos and narrative that will introduce you to my world. I ask you to bear with me, as this is my first attempt to mix photos and text on this blog; an adventure in progress. LOL
My first trek is to a town by a seldom used railroad, a meandering river, and the ghosts of glory days past; Blackwater, Missouri. There are buildings left there that echo those ghosts, but also a few hardy souls remain to handle the constant influx of wanderers, who mostly arrive (and leave) in the summer. The old Iron Horse Hotel still accomodates folks, operating as a bed and breakfast these days. It's called Iron Horse because it sits beside the train station at the edge of town. Once an establishment where my wife and I dined on fine cuisine, it is another reminder of days past.
Speaking of my wife, Patricia's dad once was Blackwater's town marshall. The fact that he was six feet six, and weighed a hefty three hundred pounds of pure muscle probably factored in the town's decision to let him ride herd on the rowdy crowd that filled the town night after night. I'm told things quieted down a lot after Red Stoecker laid the law down; and I have it on good authority that he laid a few of those rowdies right on their skinny bottoms, too. (good thing he and I got along well, huh?)
Oh, yeah. That meandering river is the Blackwater, and it still gives the locals fits when it floods. Good thing Blackwater (the town) is on the high side of Blackwater (the river). So, if you're ever coming down I-70 in western Missouri, look for the Blackwater turnoff. It's a few miles west of Pilot Grove, and an easy three miles north. For those of you who fancy antiques, that is the major industry of quaint, colorful, but almost left behind Blackwater, Missouri.
That's it for this time around. Next week, a visit to a town that has been the setting for a movie, and not just any movie, but a film recreation of Missouri's most famous author. Stay tuned. PD