Castor River Shut-Ins

Wife Lila and Grandson Malcolm came up for a visit. When Malcolm was here last year, we went to Johnson’s Shut-Ins and Elephant Rocks. He liked them well enough he told us he wanted to do the same when he came back in 2018.

“I LOVE this place,” he commented. It’s good to see him infected with the Midwest. There may be hope for him.

Anyway, just as we were getting ready to pull out of the driveway, I saw Neighbor Bill across the street and told him where we were going. He asked, “Have you ever been to Castor River Shut-Ins.

I allowed as how I hadn’t, but since it was about half the distance to our original destination, we decided to check it out. (You can click on the photos to make them larger, by the way.)

Their new favorite place

My visitors said they liked it better than Johnson’s Shut-Ins. It has all the rock climbing of Elephant Rocks, with the water fun. I agree that all the pink granite is pretty, but Johnson’s has more cool water flumes to shoot down.

Traded bold for old

My bold days have been traded for old days, so I was conservative about where I stepped and climbed. Wife Lila was a bit more aggressive because she wanted to keep an eye on Malcolm so she could write the “Dear Matt and Sarah, Guess what we did to your kid” letter.

A gasp and a splash

It wasn’t long before Malcolm was playing mountain goat and heading up a near vertical wall.

I heard Lila gasp, followed by a splash. Showing that she really is a photographer at heart, she complained that there was a branch in the way that kept her from getting a good shot when he slipped and bounced on his backside into the river.

He sat in the cool water for a few minutes regrouping before frolicking some more. About the only thing injured was his pride.

Beautiful scenery

The place is pretty, offers plenty of room to spread out, and wasn’t overrun by people, even though it was a hot day.

Google says that the Castor River Shut-Ins are 45.7 miles (1 hour, 9 minutes) from Cape via MO-72. Johnson’s Shut-Ins are 88.6 miles (1 hour, 53 minutes), also on MO-72.

Earlier visits to Johnson’s Shut-Ins and Elephant Rocks

Road Warriorette Shari and Curator Jessica also made it to the parks in 2017, but they didn’t do anything outrageous enough to publish.

 

 

 

Leafing the Library

This hasn’t been a great season for fall colors in SE Missouri. It was too hot and too dry for the trees to put on a great show for more than a couple of days. I drove around trying to get excited, but there was too much brown for my taste.

If you’re wondering why I’m just getting around to writing about Fall when Spring isn’t far off (Please, please, please), it’s because the framework that drives the blog has been having Old Age issues.

Shaking out the bedbugs

Kid Matt has worked some magic that has given it a new look that’s going to take some getting used to, but will also, hopefully, shake out the bedbugs. By the way, you can click on the photos to make them larger, just like in the old version.

Trees were by the Cape Library

I stopped by the Cape Public Library to swap out some audio books and music CDs. On the way back to the car, the late afternoon set the trees on fire.

Is ‘Librarian Hell’ a real place?

I discovered the old Carnegie Library when it was on the Common Pleas Courthouse lawn. I must have been about 12 when I convinced the librarians that I really COULD read adult books. From then on, I would walk out with a stack of books on Saturday, then swap them out the next weekend.

The new library is one of the nicest I’ve been in. What makes it special for me is that I can wander the stacks and still find books I read half a century ago.

(How do I know? I may go to Librarian Hell for this confession, but I would write my initials very, very small print in the back of the book so I could tell if I had read it before. Some of them are still in circulation.)

The ‘good’ books

Debate partner Pat Sommers had a part-time job at the library, so we used his key to get in to do research when the facility was closed.

Not only did we have access to all the books and periodicals we needed for debate, but Pat knew where the “good” books were that were hidden from public view unless you were (a) an adult and (b) weren’t too embarrassed to ask for them.

Not just books

When I signed up for my library card, I was given a booklet that gave all the rules and regulations, plus a list of things you could check out. 

Take a look at some of things you can borrow: telescopes, WiFi hotspots,  audiobooks (they have a great selection, by the way), and cake pans. Yes, you read that right: cake pans.

It has an inviting kid area and lots of computers. Cape should be proud of its library. (I’d like to find out where they keep the “good” books, but Pat doesn’t work there anymore.)