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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thru The Midwest We Go (April 12th to 22nd.) 2012

Edwards Mill
Dripping Springs


Our journey continues back to Michigan and Oklahoma State is next. So our stop was at "Natural Falls State Park" in the Northeast Area of the State just outside the Arkansas border.  There we walked the paved trail to the "Dripping Springs" which was a very scenic area.  We stayed a couple of days until the rain and tornado warnings subsided.  Proceeding into Bentonville Arkansas, of course we had to visit Walmart's Corporate Headquarters and  Sam Walton's Visitor Center (his first original store being a Ben Franklin) which told his history and contribution to society and the tremendous growth of his vision to sell a little bit of everything at a competitive price for all consumers.      

Walmart World Home Office
Sam Walton's Original Store / Visitor's Center
War Eagle Mill                                                                   
Our stay was not complete without visiting the War Eagle Mill located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas built in 1832.  This working mill also contained a country store with a vast array of fresh organic flours and mixes.  Upstairs you could find unique hand-crafted items made by local artists and the top floor contained the Bean Palace Restaurant with homemade comfort food.
     We traveled into Missouri and stopped at the "Table Top State Park" near
Original Beverly Hillbillies Classic 
Branson, Missouri one of the Hottest Tourism Spots in the U.S. and called the "Midwest Musical Theatre Capital".  However, a tornado cut through the center  of Branson on February 29th of this year and damage was still quite evident.  We spent most of our time at the College of The Ozarks  where the "Original Beverly Hillbillies Classic Car" was  on display and the Edwards Mill sat amongst its beauty.   There was also a great overlook of the Taneycomo Lake with the Ozark mountains surrounding it.                                                               

World's Largest Toy Museum 



Driving through Branson we came across the "World' Largest Toy Museum" and saw many of the Famed Theatres.

Dawt Mill near Tecumseh, Mo.

   Our next stop was Montauk State Park  in Salem, Missouri.  Here was the Finest Trout Fishing in the Midwest and is located near the Headwaters of the Current River.  Anglers descend for the official trout season (March 1 - Oct. 31) and during the winter weekends for catch and release.  There is a Trout Hatchery, The Montauk Gristmill, a Lodge and several Cabins on the premises.  The park was gorgeous and a must return.  Mike tried his hand at Fly-Fishing because it was a beautiful spring day to enjoy.  Two other Historic Mills were in the area so we took a drive to visit them both.  The Dawt Mill which is still in operation today (May to September) to grind corn into meal and is still run by the water powered turbine just as it was over 100 years ago.  The Hodgson Water Mill is the Most Picturesque Mill in Missouri which once provided electricity using the power of the stream flowing by.            

Hodgson Water Mill near Sycamore Mo.

Montauk Gristmill

Mississippi River Ferry Ride
 We proceeded through Missouri and landed at Hawn State Park in Ste. Genevieve (not without stopping by the "World's Largest Rocking Chair" along Historical Route 66 in Cuba, Mo.).   Many visitors believe this state park is the loveliest of Missouri's State Parks with forests of pine and oak, sandstone bluffs and canyons and clear sand-bottom streams.    Truly a nature lover's paradise.  The weather cooled down a bit and it rained but the sun did shine before we left.  Since we were near Ste. Genevieve Mo. settled in 1740 (an Older French  Colonial Village), we decide to adventure Across the Mississippi River via The Ferry which became very interesting with the Strong Currents of the River. Land-HO Here We Go Thru Illinois!!

World's Largest Rocking Chair


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