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Posted: 9/2/2021 2:57:50 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/2/2021 4:44:40 PM EST
[#1]
I travel those roads from Council Bluffs to the 125/160 intersections regularly. There's a lot of good scenery and the roads are in pretty good shape.

Mammoth springs which is just a mile or so south of Thayer is worth checking out, several good restaurants there too.

West Plains and Poplar Bluff will be about your only shopping opportunities if you need more than what Dollar General has to offer.

Nice looking wife to keep you company too
Link Posted: 9/2/2021 5:10:21 PM EST
[#2]
i would turn north on 19 and go up to eminence and east on 106 to ellington.... blue springs can be seen off 106, and worth the detour...   And since you will be in Ellington anyway, stop by Opy's general store... it's rumored that a Arfcomer owns it..
Link Posted: 9/2/2021 5:31:08 PM EST
[#3]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By elginrunner:
i would turn north on 19 and go up to eminence and east on 106 to ellington.... blue springs can be seen off 106, and worth the detour...   And since you will be in Ellington anyway, stop by Opy's general store... it's rumored that a Arfcomer owns it..
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That's an absolutely more scenic drive.
Link Posted: 9/2/2021 5:45:19 PM EST
[#4]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By elginrunner:
i would turn north on 19 and go up to eminence and east on 106 to ellington.... blue springs can be seen off 106, and worth the detour...   And since you will be in Ellington anyway, stop by Opy's general store... it's rumored that a Arfcomer owns it..
View Quote

Don't they make some nice knives as well?
Link Posted: 9/2/2021 8:52:33 PM EST
[#5]
I would omit everything from Clinton to Springfield and spend more time from Springfield onward.  I'm partial to the Alton, Thayer/Mammoth, Eminence area but I'm sure the route northward is great too.
Link Posted: 9/2/2021 9:43:24 PM EST
[#6]
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Originally Posted By bigbryce31186:

Don't they make some nice knives as well?
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I think they are somewhat un-repugnant
Link Posted: 9/3/2021 6:35:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: Bladeswitcher] [#7]
That's a lot to do in one weekend. Good luck.

Hwy 13:
If you have time, detour to see more of the lake areas at Warsaw and Stockton. (Caplinger Mill is an interesting place). Probably need to punch on through this area, though.

Hwy 65:
I could skip Branson, but I get it . . .

Hwy 160:
Detour up to Rockbridge for a meal at the trout lodge.

Hwy 63 (West Plains/Mammouth Spring):
At some point head north (maybe Highway 19) to visit Emminence/Alley Spring/Round Spring

(Yes, personally, I would skip the whole Poplar Bluff part of the trip and concentrate on the Current River/Jacks' Fork region of the Ozarks. You don't really need to go east of Doniphan. IMO, your current route misses the absolute coolest parts of Missouri. Honestly, I would probably skip West Plains and Mammoth Spring and head up through Willow Springs to spend more time around Emminence. If there's some reason you need to go to Poplar Bluff, then detour at Van Buren, head west on Highway 60 and loop through the Current River area.)

Hwy 72/49 (Lesterville):
At the end of your route, you should definitely check out Johnson Shut-ins (bring your swimsuit if it's warm) and Elephant Rocks. You could do those as a day trip from your final camp spot at Council Bluff.  If you have time, check out Silver MInes.

Ideally, you should work in a float trip while you're here. There's lots of outfitters around Emminence. Also, your final destination isn't far from Steelville and there's good outfitters there, too. Meramec Spring Park, west of Steelville is worth a visit (Hwy 8 to St. James when you leave your final camping spot).

Link Posted: 9/3/2021 7:52:47 AM EST
[#8]
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
...the Current River/Jacks' Fork region of the Ozarks.

...check out Johnson Shut-ins (bring your swimsuit if it's warm) and Elephant Rocks.
View Quote

I love those places. My parents started taking me there in the 60s, and I've gone several times after that.
Link Posted: 9/3/2021 7:56:51 AM EST
[#9]
Link Posted: 9/3/2021 8:02:10 AM EST
[#10]
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Originally Posted By Rick_NE:
I wouldn't have a problem with bypassing Poplar Bluff, that would just be the likely Southeastern most edge of our "move-to" area and I thought we'd check it out. Was actually thinking of passing through Silva, Fredericktown, and Ironton after Poplar Bluff as there's a few places for sale in that area that looked interesting... What's that area like?
View Quote

@Smullen lives down there. Maybe he could help you.

Regarding Elephant Rocks, here's some pics from the 70s. I'm in the white shirt, and I'm aware that my dad sucked at taking pictures.






Link Posted: 9/3/2021 11:13:30 AM EST
[#11]
I was down in Alton last week retrieving a boat from my Aunt and Uncle that live.  I hadn't been there in 20 years and forgot how relatively remote it is there.  I needed to put two new tires on the boat trailer to bring it home which required a 30 mile drive each way into West Plains.  It looked like anything beyond groceries and auto parts, you've got an hour round trip drive.  

If you go north from alton on 19 stop and hike down to greer spring.  It's the second largest spring in the state and a beautiful sight to see.  You're definitely going to want to bring your swimming attire and water shoes since there are so many streams to stop and play in.
Link Posted: 9/3/2021 2:24:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: smullen] [#12]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rick_NE:
We're trying to keep driving down to 4-5 hours each day. Leaving tonight after work and should hit Poague Cons. by 9pm. There's no camping fees there and all we need is somewhere to park so that seemed like a good enough spot. The next 2 camping spots are not State parks either and that's on purpose as they have a 3 day minimum stay on holiday weekends which is not possible for us.

I've never been to Branson or anywhere in the Ozark area and that's one of the possible areas(away from town) that is on our list as possible retirement spots... as is most anywhere in Southern MO.

I wouldn't have a problem with bypassing Poplar Bluff, that would just be the likely Southeastern most edge of our "move-to" area and I thought we'd check it out. Was actually thinking of passing through Silva, Fredericktown, and Ironton after Poplar Bluff as there's a few places for sale in that area that looked interesting... What's that area like?

I'd love to run into some fellow ARFCOMers on the trip! I'm pretty sure I could use another knife too...

After our stay at Council Bluff lake, we're headed to see family in KC on monday afternoon.

Also, any good breweries on our way(besides in KC)?


Thanks for all the info!
View Quote

Yep, I'm in good old Fredericktown, or just outside it in the county rather.  
I'm just far enough out, I can shoot, ride atvs, Bonfires, huge parties whatever I want. No one cares.
Maybe 4-5 mins at most off 67 and close enough to town for groceries, auto parts, my doc, a few small restaurants, etc.. etc...
If I need much more than that, I head up to Farmington. There are a lot more restaurants, groceries, Lowes, Menards, Rural King, tractor supply, etc...
There is a really good gun/outdoor shop that stocks and sells NFA items.

Or south to Cape, same there, plus a lot more...  Or last resort up to St. Louis to my tax lady and any real major shopping like Cabelas, Bass Pro, a few malls.

Popular Bluff is about an hour south of me on 67.  I honestly don't care for that place. Parts of it are both way to Red(meth)neck and Ghetto for my liking.  No so bad that I am concerned for my safety, I just don't care for it. I avoid it, unless there is something I need/want there pretty bad.

Town itself is pretty small, pretty quite.  My office is right on the square, so I see/hear a lot.
99.9% of the folks are really nice, good people.  Not sure I've met more than one or two folks I could't drink beers with.
When I moved here from North St. Louis County where I was born and lived 40+ years, the only real culture shock was lack of retail/shopping and eating places and the difference in the service you get in the few places we have here vs St. Louis.   Here, like a place or not, they are usually friendly and helpful.  St. Louis, you see fights in line and the lady working the counter at the DMV will shank you with a shiv she made on break.

Here, I hit the DMV, they smile, ask me about my day and I'm and out in 5-6 mins, that includes my wait time.

While I'm not up on land for sale as I've not been in the market for a few years, I know there are many sizable tracts that can be had.
To me, the area is beautiful.  After moving here from the hood in St. Louis, but working and being all around, I 'ove it here and would not move back for a 6 figure job. Actually, had an offer, but had to move back.

If you need anything or I can look for anything in the area for you let me know.  
If you ever want to meet up, I'm always hip to meet fellow Arfcom'er...

ETA...  Sat (09-04-2021)I will be out of the pocket most of the day as I have a family reunion down south of here at Sam A Baker St. Park.
Not sure how thats gonna end up, the weather dude is calling for some pretty good storms...  Hope that doesn't get you guys...

-Scott
Link Posted: 9/3/2021 7:15:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: Bladeswitcher] [#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rick_NE:

I've never been to Branson or anywhere in the Ozark area  . . .
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rick_NE:

I've never been to Branson or anywhere in the Ozark area  . . .


I'm looking forward to your after action report. Curious to see what you think of the Ozarks. If you follow the advice in this thread, you'll see areas that I suspect will be quite different from Nebraska.


Originally Posted By Rick_NE:

Also, any good breweries on our way(besides in KC)?



We're better known for wineries, but we do have some beer makers . . .

Here's a list (with a map):

https://www.visitmo.com/search?userquery=Brewery

And while we're at it, wineries (the best ones are just north of where you're going):

https://www.visitmo.com/search?userquery=wineries
Link Posted: 9/3/2021 9:34:28 PM EST
[#14]
The area between Farmington and St. Genevieve had 8 or so wineries...

One of them also has a brewery...
It's called Crown Valley Brewery.
They brew several beers and ales...

They also raise their own Bison and have several entrees made with it..

We ride up there on our SxSs with friends fir drinks and lunch or dinner...

We try and take back roads, there's on stretch you don't see hardly anyone for 20 or so miles....

Link Posted: 9/3/2021 11:24:17 PM EST
[#15]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 67Firebird:

@Smullen lives down there. Maybe he could help you.

Regarding Elephant Rocks, here's some pics from the 70s. I'm in the white shirt, and I'm aware that my dad sucked at taking pictures.

https://i.postimg.cc/yxJxchTR/1970-8-Elephant-Rocks-2.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/NGV5YVgk/1970-8-Elephant-Rocks-3.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/Hnfx2JSh/1970-8-Elephant-Rocks-4.jpg
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
Originally Posted By Rick_NE:
I wouldn't have a problem with bypassing Poplar Bluff, that would just be the likely Southeastern most edge of our "move-to" area and I thought we'd check it out. Was actually thinking of passing through Silva, Fredericktown, and Ironton after Poplar Bluff as there's a few places for sale in that area that looked interesting... What's that area like?

@Smullen lives down there. Maybe he could help you.

Regarding Elephant Rocks, here's some pics from the 70s. I'm in the white shirt, and I'm aware that my dad sucked at taking pictures.

https://i.postimg.cc/yxJxchTR/1970-8-Elephant-Rocks-2.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/NGV5YVgk/1970-8-Elephant-Rocks-3.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/Hnfx2JSh/1970-8-Elephant-Rocks-4.jpg

Judging by that first picture, he was probably just trying to cut you out of the photos
Link Posted: 9/3/2021 11:26:52 PM EST
[#16]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rick_NE:
We're trying to keep driving down to 4-5 hours each day. Leaving tonight after work and should hit Poague Cons. by 9pm. There's no camping fees there and all we need is somewhere to park so that seemed like a good enough spot. The next 2 camping spots are not State parks either and that's on purpose as they have a 3 day minimum stay on holiday weekends which is not possible for us.

I've never been to Branson or anywhere in the Ozark area and that's one of the possible areas(away from town) that is on our list as possible retirement spots... as is most anywhere in Southern MO.

I wouldn't have a problem with bypassing Poplar Bluff, that would just be the likely Southeastern most edge of our "move-to" area and I thought we'd check it out. Was actually thinking of passing through Silva, Fredericktown, and Ironton after Poplar Bluff as there's a few places for sale in that area that looked interesting... What's that area like?

I'd love to run into some fellow ARFCOMers on the trip! I'm pretty sure I could use another knife too...

After our stay at Council Bluff lake, we're headed to see family in KC on monday afternoon.

Also, any good breweries on our way(besides in KC)?


Thanks for all the info!
View Quote

I work at a bar in Liberty (just outside of KC) We have PBR tall boys. There's a good brewery about 1 1/12 miles from work that also has some of the best BBQ in town. 3 halves brewing/Jousting Pigs BBQ.
Link Posted: 9/4/2021 7:21:00 AM EST
[#17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bigbryce31186:

Judging by that first picture, he was probably just trying to cut you out of the photos
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bigbryce31186:
Originally Posted By 67Firebird:
Originally Posted By Rick_NE:
I wouldn't have a problem with bypassing Poplar Bluff, that would just be the likely Southeastern most edge of our "move-to" area and I thought we'd check it out. Was actually thinking of passing through Silva, Fredericktown, and Ironton after Poplar Bluff as there's a few places for sale in that area that looked interesting... What's that area like?

@Smullen lives down there. Maybe he could help you.

Regarding Elephant Rocks, here's some pics from the 70s. I'm in the white shirt, and I'm aware that my dad sucked at taking pictures.

https://i.postimg.cc/yxJxchTR/1970-8-Elephant-Rocks-2.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/NGV5YVgk/1970-8-Elephant-Rocks-3.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/Hnfx2JSh/1970-8-Elephant-Rocks-4.jpg

Judging by that first picture, he was probably just trying to cut you out of the photos


Link Posted: 9/4/2021 5:55:42 PM EST
[#18]
I'll second the Greer Spring as a great stopping point.

Greer Spring
Link Posted: 9/7/2021 8:01:32 AM EST
[#19]
No word from the OP . . . maybe he met some locals . . .

Link Posted: 9/7/2021 10:16:33 AM EST
[#20]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
No word from the OP . . . maybe he met some locals . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFutge4xn3w
View Quote


I meant to ask how it went.
I hope it did not go like my weekend.

It stormed here a lot and due to the lightning I worked from 7am Saturday  till well after midnight; A bit on Sunday and a bit more on Monday...

It was not my best weekend.
Link Posted: 9/8/2021 11:57:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: Rick_NE] [#21]
Link Posted: 9/8/2021 12:12:32 PM EST
[#22]
Late to the party here . . . I'm very near Meramec Caverns and work in STL.  We spend a bunch of time down in the Ironton/Arcadia/Lesterville/Eminence area as my kids are the age for Johnson ShutIns, Elephant Rock, Black River, etc.  I think its the best scenic area in MO.  Plenty of National Forest land which keeps it rather rural.  

Things to consider:
Rural Internet SUCKS.  StarLink is slowly changing that but check on availability before you purchase property.  You "might" have DSL in a 1up/6down if you are lucky.  Some places may have decent cell service or a wireless ISP, so ask around.

Shopping - plan on a once a month big shopping trip too somewhere.  Then fill in with the local dollar general for milk, etc.

Building? - check county codes, some are non existent.  Usually septic will at least need a perc test and permit.  Southern MO is pretty rocky but water is usually easy to find you just have to drill deep.  Simple projects like adding a 120V outlet or a garden fence will require 30mins + of driving.  Finding someone to move dirt won't be a problem, dozers, BobCats, etc seem to be everywhere.  Some mining still happens but mostly timber.  Getting the materials (lumber, concrete) to the site will be the issue.

Health Care - if you are retirement age, this needs to be considered.  There may only be 1 county hospital which might look close on a map, but really be on the other side of the county and an hr drive by road.  Anything serious means referral to Rolla, Springfield, Cape, STL.  My Mom recently had a heart attack, was 3+hrs before she had a stent placed.  Back roads, local hospital assessment, helicopter ride to STL.  There will usually at least be a few specialists who do 1 day a week appointments at the rural med center, but are based out of a Metro Hospital.

Neighbors - they make all the difference.  In a 5 mile stretch of road you will see ABSOLUTE poverty and million dollar homes.  Fentanyl/Meth is still an issue.  Since you mentioned using it as a travel base, if you aren't there to defend/monitor the place things may wander off.  This is where the good neighbors part comes in and CAMERAS!!
Link Posted: 9/8/2021 8:10:51 PM EST
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rick_NE:
. . . . Overall, the wife and I loved all the recreation opportunities, beautiful scenery, clean rivers, and friendly people.  We're looking forward to our next visit!
View Quote


Good report. Glad you enjoyed it.
Link Posted: 9/9/2021 6:28:10 AM EST
[#24]
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Originally Posted By Rick_NE:
Got quite a bit of rain Friday night to saturday morning right before we got to Springfield. We stopped at Missouri Ridge Distillery/brewery just nw of Branson, neat little place but they only had one beer on tap... seems the moonshine is their main thing.

Drove around the outside of Branson, didn't want to fight holiday traffic and then on to the North Fork Rec area. Wow, talk about some winding roads!!!  My little Prius actually handles pretty well and was fun to drive on the twisties of Hwy 160, wife was white knuckling it the majority of the time... LOL!   We also stopped at the Hogson Water Mill and spring on 181, beautiful place and damn that water is cold!! Got poured on at the campground saturday night just as we finished cooking up some steaks we picked up in Gainesville. Nice little campground right on the river, quite a few kayakers going by and looked like fun.

Sunday we headed west and went through West Plains, Mountain View, and Summersville on the way to Eminence, but unfortunately the General Store there was closed [url]/images/smilies/icon_smile_sad.gif[/img We then went on to check out the Blue Spring on the Current River, WOW that was neat! My wife couldn't help herself and jumped in the downstream area and lost a flip flop in the swift current, it's probably in Arkansas by now. It was so cool seeing all the campers on the gravel bar, kids playing and swimming in the river, nothing like that in Nebraska for sure... mostly muddy rivers and lakes full of trash fish up here in Eastern Nebraska. We wanted to take more "backroads" so we hopped on road K after leaving Ellington to Annapolis, wow that was a beautiful drive. We then headed north past the Asarco plant and stopped for some pics at Tip Top park on our way through Ironton and on to the Wild Boar Ridge campground at Council Bluff lake. Pretty nice campground for US Forest Service standards and the lake was very clear and refreshing for a swim.

After that, we headed to the KC area to see my daughter and grandkids and stayed at the Blue Springs Lake campground for the night.

Overall, the wife and I loved all the recreation opportunities, beautiful scenery, clean rivers, and friendly people.  We're looking forward to our next visit!
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Sounds like a great trip, you hit up a lot of good areas.


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