Sunday, August 5, 2007

Day 37, Missouri has nice state parks


Woke up early and went for a 2.5 mile run. Packed up, cleaned up, and went to Graceland. There are a lot of people who are crazy about Elvis. We are not, but it was still interesting. I never knew he was drafted into the army or was such a philanthropist or that his parents lived in Graceland too.

The house was left as last decorated in fabulous 70's style -- lots of mirrors; shag carpet on the floor, walls, ceiling; velvet; gaudy figurines. There was lots of memorabilia and gold/platinum records on display. Elvis had a racquetball court built behind his Graceland mansion, now it's full of records.

Left Tennessee, drove into Mississippi for a few minutes, then back into Arkansas so we could get to Missouri. Our first stop was Trail of Tears State Park situated alongside the Mississippi River. The park commemorated the Cherokee march through the area.

We hiked the Sheppard Point Trail which was strenuous for about 2 miles. There were bluffs overlooking the river -- much wider here than in Minneapolis.

Back on the road and headed to Pevely to scope out some potential sport climbing. There were not any "No Trespassing" signs explicitly posted on the trail we took... the limestone quarry we found looked like something out of an Indiana Jones movie (Limestone Quarry of DOOM!), or perhaps the Mines of Moria. Just a little scary! There were bolts leading up one of the columns, so we were in the right place. This cave was huge -- the ceiling was 30-50 feet up, supported by 20' square columns that hadn't been blasted away. This went back for 400 feet. The Rock and Road atlas suggested you could drag race 18-wheelers in there -- quite accurate! (That little blip in the photo below the middle "garage door bay" is Laurel.)

The access seemed questionable so we took off for Babler State Park to set up camp. So far we have a great impression of MO state parks. Tomorrow we'll check out St. Loius.

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