On Wednesday we left our motel and got about 100 yards when the heavens opened with a cloud burst. We took shelter under the awning of a Sonic Drive-In. When the rain let up we continued out of town on Hwy 38. Luckily that was the last rain we saw, and luckily the day remained overcast, holding the temperature to reasonable levels. We decided to go long, and set our caps on Houston (no.. not Texas). We went 67 miles that all looked pretty much like the picture above. Periodically we would top out on a beautiful large plateau of rich grassland, then begin a rolling descent followed by a rolling ascent. Over all it was a very pleasant day topped off by a great steak dinner with a wonderful fresh salad (something we have come to crave) AND a martini, a real rarety on the back roads of Kansas and Missouri. If you find yourself in Houston, Missouri, eat at The Legendary, you won't be disappointed.
This morning we left Houston on Hwy 17 under a blissfully cloudy sky which prevailed all day. The countryside is beautiful and as we roll east we begin to notice some pines and other conifers mixed in with the prevailing hardwoods. Also as we move deeper into the Ozarks, the communities are becoming less affluent than in western Missouri. When we get to Summersville we head east on Hwy 106. About five miles west of Eminence is Alley Spring which has a daily outflow large enough to irrigate 24 thousand acres of Salinas Valley crops. Near the spring a state of the art mill was built in 1897 with the idea of importing wheat and exporting flour all over the nation. There was one glitch, the railroad decided to route elsewhere. The mill shortly went bust. The State took it over in 1927 and has maintained it as part of the park system.
After visiting Alley Spring, we climbed over a steep ridge and descended to Eminence, a tourist destination in south central Missouri in the heart of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways