Last days Bennett Spring 2018

This particular spot on the stream is my holy place.

Spent many mornings on a bench here watching Phil, Brett and Brett’s dad, Rex gracefully lay their fly lines gently on the water over and over. Its beautiful to watch. This is sacred space for me….peaceful, quiet and a place where I can connect with loving spirits.

Until next time….

From the south, there are two roads to Lead Mine Country Store

There is the easy, yet curvy blacktop. Then there is the road less traveled …the dueling banjos road. When we turn off 64 highway onto the gravel, I get a little lightening bolt of excitement because the roads are gravel, narrow, curvy, washed out and not very populated but they are the most beautiful backroads during the fall! Pictures never do justice but here’s a few I snapped.

The Lead Mine Country Store is packed full of everything you might need to live a clean, healthy Amish, Mennonite, off-the-grid lifestyle. In the back of the store is a small restaurant serving homemade food…cash and check only…no credit cards, no internet signal and no cell phone service. They speak with what I assume is a german-Amish accent which is pleasing to my ear. During the meal, I enjoyed listening to the two girls conversing and singing to themselves but just a little out loud.

Until next time….

I woke up to 45 degrees this morning at Bennett Spring…

Of course it was 8:30. I have no idea how cold it got last night but we are sleeping under a sheet and 3 blankets so it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is the rolling out of bed shower….that fear when I step into the shower wishing there was a foolproof way to check the gas level in the tanks. Knowing the water heater doesn’t hold a lot of water, last October trip I stepped in and started rinsing before the hot water reached the shower area as i always do … ya…it’s cold but I knew when the hot water got there it would be divine!….the temperature of the water did not change…so then I was really cold AND wet.

Absolutely perfect autumn day in southern Missouri. Leaves are not peak color yet but they are beautiful.

Started the day meditating along the stream.

Watched the bald eagles on the Niangua

He found a couple sticks and made me walking sticks for hiking the trails today, saved $17.99.

He sketched while I read

Took a drive after supper “somewhere” we didn’t have an Internet or cell signal and only nearly one and a half lane roads but we found a Missouri crossing type “bridge” over the beautiful Niangua River

Until next time….

I’ve been turning off the hot water heater

In order to save propane.  While we have two very large propane tanks to use from, the furnace has been running pretty steady, so I decided this morning when we woke up to 42 degrees at 9 am that we needed to hit Ft Bennett for an electric heater to help with propane conservation.  Because quite frankly if we lose the ability to heat the water for showers and dishes when we need it, someone is going to get cranky!

Fort Bennett is a store just outside the park that stocks everything other than fresh fruits and vegetables…..and I’m not kidding.  Anything you might need for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and eating will be stuffed on a shelf somewhere in Ft Bennett.  I remember the first time we stopped with Brett at the store 15+ years ago, my first thought when we pulled into the narrow gravel drive/parking lot was…..seriously, we are going to find something here ….. then we walked in the door, I thought Oh Holy Mother of God, I could spend a day in here just browsing all of the “stuff” crammed in the space.

Last night on my campground walk, I detoured down to “the bridge”

I took this picture looking toward the confluence of the stream and the Niangua River.  My new IPhone 8plus takes some pretty good pictures after dark.

The result looks like a painting.  I then spent some time practicing the portrait feature with him as my subject. Feel free to label his thoughts!

Until next time……..

The air was chilled with the wind

He got in a walk on the trails today but not before he came back to the camper twice for more clothes.  We had penciled in a trip to the Heartland Antique Mall just off I44 in Lebanon.   But I thought…hmmmm…antiques and primitive stuff is always cheaper at the little antique stores along secondary roads rather than off the interstate highways so we took off south out of Lebanon on highway 5.  Think of the difference between highway 5 and I 44 as the difference between wreath ribbon and curly ribbon….after you put the scissors to the narrow curly ribbon.  There is nothing on highway 5 south of Lebanon except cows.

After what seemed like a hundred miles with me gripping the safety bar above my window, we decided to go cross country on a road that made highway 5 seem like an expressway.  Narrow, curving and culver crossings rather than bridges over waterways….and no bathrooms….so I had him pull over on a gravel next to a field of curious cows so I could get some relief.

Finally made it back on 44 and to the antique mall where we should have gone in the first place but I needed an adventure and I got one……and the curious cows are all now emotionally damaged.

Until next time…..

It should be noted that one of us likes order

And the other one…well the other one just stuffs things in any space with an opening as long as the door will close.

Case in point….we have the same cords plugged into our USB chargers…I may have one more than he does.  Before we left for our camping trip, I attempted to wrap all of my cords around the charger base the way he does.  I had a worse mess than if I would have just followed protocol and stuffed them in my bag.  [full disclosure:  when he pulled his neatly packed cords out yesterday there was some sniffing and snorting because his were a mess too] and (full disclosure:  I turned my back to him and snickered)

After I crammed all of my cords down the side of the dresser in the bedroom.

I looked over at his side


Beautiful day at Bennett Spring today.  We took a couple of walks and  I Pretty much sat outside under the awning and read most of the day.  

He relaxed too but with spurts of getting up and organizing things.  If opposites attract we have a perfect marriage ❤️

Until next time

There are just those people…

In Ankeny Iowa for a CT and appointment with ENT to figure out what is going on inside my head….sinus headache since mid August.  Off and on now but the first couple of months were hell until I had the guts to put Braggs Apple cider vinegar in the neti pot which got things moving.  I’ve found some other anti-inflammatory remedies but sharing only with a select audience.

Because I have to drive to Iowa for my health care due to only Iowa doctors and facilities are in network with my insurance….at least I have insurance…. I was able to spend the evening at Panera with childhood friends, Suzy and Lennie.   I had no idea how much I needed to have some girls talk until the Hello Hugs in the parking lot.  These two are in my small circle of long time friendships who offer love and acceptance with no judgement…..I guess we call that unconditional love.  I feel very, very safe and loved when in the company of these friends!

……and then there is Brett….Brett’s been gone now for 7 years.  I miss him everyday.  Today is his 50th birthday….we will be at the stream next week and the soul of Bennett Spring will bring us together again! I posted this picture on FB this morning and it got me primed for the day….the short bouts of tears.  So, Happy Birthday, Mr Hall….hahaha  you would have been 50 😍

Until next time…..

The bridge

After the flood in May 2017, this bridge was closed for a time so engineers could determine the safety of crossing it.  I, personally, could answer that question prior to the flood and I am not an engineer although  I can mark “some college” on applications.  If that’s not enough, I will tell you that pulling a 30 foot 5th wheel over it is not safe for my mental health….thankfully as a result of the flood it is now only safe for passenger vehicles. 🙄


My thinking has always been that you don’t stick your tongue on a frozen swing set in winter, you don’t stick metal wires in electric outlets and you don’t drive over this bridge unless there is no other way out and someone is chasing you wearing a hockey mask and his name is Jason.

Until next time…..

My view this morning

Very light sprinkles this morning so we are hanging out in the trailer….well, I’m glued to my spot at the table with this view with the only excitement being if someone drives by, in or out…he, on the other hand, is checking out the other campers from his perch and just went outside to tie down the awning like the camper next door in case a wind gust or mini storm blows up.  I assume he will be in shortly to continue reading about knot tying.

He’s baaack

Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Lebanon..antique shopping at our favorite store down here and then over to the sporting goods store at the “mall” (calling it a mall is a little grandiose).

He found me this beautiful sig saur .380 with black pearl grips.  It fits me much better than the one I currently use which was cheap and is difficult to break down as well as a very tight trigger.  I’m very excited to hit the shooting range.

I would assume that after lunch, he will be in the stream rain or shine.  He loves to fish in the rain.

So, that’s it for now, Dear Diary.

Until next time…..

Bennett Spring history

We’ve been all up into the history of Bennett Spring since I accidentally found some information on the Department of Interior website last night.

Today we  attempted to find some of the CCC buildings built in the 30s…there are several of them still here and I love that fact.  While creeping around this morning, the fish hatchery manager found us and wow…..he was a plethora of information and he loved sharing it.  I’m waiting for him to send me some pictures he has of the building of the new damn in 1960.

The old dam abutments are still there and we could actually see the reinforcements in the water but could not get pictures because of the reflection.  He is standing on one end of it.

The stone bridge built by the civilian conservation  Corp.  Arches turned sideways designating CCC.

Today and then.  Then was a hotel.  An elderly gentleman who blasted  the horn for the beginning of trout season 2017 shared stories of the hotel where he and his wife stayed…rooms went for $2.50 a night

Of course, the lodge which hasn’t changed much.

And this building which has been many things…currently restrooms

So…now he is off to catch some of these

Until next time…..