NSS-CDS Midwest 2018 Workshop Held in Pulaski County, Missouri

National Speleological Society-Cave Diving Section Midwest hosted a workshop October 20th, 2018 at Hampton Inn (103 St. Robert Plaza Drive) Saint Robert, Missouri. Saint Robert is just two miles away from the site of the 2015 National Speleological Society convention that was held in Waynesville.

The workshop was preceded Friday evening by a social at Paradise Pit Caribbean Restaurant & Lounge in Saint Robert.

Paradise Pit Caribbean Restaurant

NSS-CDS Midwest 2018 Workshop Social at Paradise Pit Caribbean Restaurant.

Thirty+ attendees from 5 different states began arriving in Pulaski County as early as Wednesday. The group heard presentations from 7 speakers, including:

Forrest Wilson, Bill Harrison, Zachary Klukkert, and Kyle Moschell were speakers at NSS-CDS Midwest Workshop 2018.

Forrest Wilson, Bill Harrison, Zachary Klukkert, and Kyle Moschell were speakers at NSS-CDS Midwest Workshop 2018.

Forrest Wilson (National Cave Rescue Commission Diving Officer) spoke about sump diving rescue and the Thailand cave rescue. Bill Harrison (winner Abe Davis Safe Cave Diving Award 2006) presented his 2018 Underwater Speleology article “Cave Diving and Yoga.” Zachary Klukkert, a NSS-CDS and PSAI-certified cave diver spoke about the benefits and challenges of conducting paleontological research in underwater caves. Kyle Moschell focused on Karst Underwater Research’s operations and diving. Chris Jewell recounted first-hand experiences of the 2018 Tham Luang Thailand cave rescue. Jonathan Beard, who has assisted in mapping over 550 caves and authored “Caring for Your Karst”, spoke on his Missouri Speleological Survey article ““Vadose Speleogenesis in the Pierson/Reeds Spring Formation Sequence in the Springfield Plateau and Eureka Springs Escarpment of Southwest Missouri.” Konstantin Chartkov of Ozark Cave Diving Alliance was also a speaker.


Speakers at NSS-CDS Midwest Workshop 2018 included Chris Jewell (via Skype), Jonathan Beard, and Konstantin (KC) Chartkov.

NSS-CDS Midwest 2018 Workshop attendees at Hampton Inn, Saint Robert Missouri

NSS-CDS Midwest 2018 Workshop attendees at Hampton Inn, Saint Robert, Missouri.

Saturday’s post-workshop activities included a gathering hosted by Odyssey Scuba and Roubidoux Grotto at an undisclosed location in Pulaski County. Attendees explored a dry cave and feasted on Sweetwater BBQ, sampled local craft brews from Piney River Brewing Company, and nibbled on homemade cookies created by local bakery Cookiez By Nourish & Nurse. Conversations, tall tales, and jokes were told around an Ozarks camp fire.

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Post-workshop dry cave trip. Via Andrew Bachhuber.

Conference attendees participated in pre and post-conference dives at Roubidoux Spring (Waynesville, MO), Boiling Spring Cave (Dixon, MO), Boiling Springs Cave (Licking, MO) and Cannonball Cave (Lake Wappapello, MO).

Other conference activities included a gear swap, door prizes, and a raffle.

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Post-conference dry cave trip. Via Andrew Bachhuber.

Workshop sponsors included Subgravity, Dive Rite, Highline Ropes, North Florida Springs Alliance, Scubaforce, Bigblue Dive Lights, Shearwater Research, Aquatech Scuba & Travel Center, Cave Country Dive Shop, Dayo Scuba, Odyssey Scuba, Amigos Dive Center, Inner Mountain Outfitters, On Rope 1, Lake City Dive Center, and Ozark Dive Shop.

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Post-workshop dry cave trip. Via Andrew Bachhuber.

The workshop was organized by Joshua Shouse. Shouse, based in Kentucky, was assisted locally by Karen Hood, Marketing Relations Manager for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau. Shouse remarked that attendees appreciated the nearness to Roubidoux Spring & Odyssey Scuba, area hospitality, and conference room facilities.

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National Speleological Society-Cave Diving Section Midwest 2019 workshop is tentatively scheduled for October at Saint Robert, Missouri. Workshop dates will be announced January 2019.



Pulaski County Tourism Bureau Mourns the Loss of Leon Saxton Jr.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau Board of Directors and staff express our deepest condolences to Leon Saxton Jr.’s family, friends, and loved ones. Leon has been a part of our tourism family for over a decade. At the time of his passing he served on our board as a restaurant representative. Leon was an avid supporter and champion of Pulaski County, Missouri. He was a forward-thinker, a patriot, a family-man, and he evoked the spirit of entrepreneurship. His commitment to Pulaski County Tourism Bureau and to Pulaski County sets the bar high and cements his legacy to Fort Leonard Wood region’s economic growth and prosperity. Rest in peace Leon.

Leon Saxton Jr

Leon Saxton Jr. 1947-2018. Photo via Facebook. 

Service information and details will be announced via https://www.memorialchapelsandcrematory.com.

US FLAG with Rose

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau releases expanded Route 66 Driving Tour brochure.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau releases expanded Route 66 Driving Tour brochure.

Saint Robert, MO- March 28, 2018

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau Executive Director Beth Wiles is delighted to announce her team has expanded the Route 66 Driving Tour brochure. The free guide, first offered in 2001, now includes 66+ points of interest, 10 detour worthy side trips, and 7 roadie inspired tips to enhance your Route 66 experience in Pulaski County, Missouri.

The brochure takes inspiration from Jack D. Rittenhouse’s 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66 and is adapted from Route 66 in Pulaski County, Missouri (a local history) by noted Route 66 historian and author, Terry Primas. The updated version includes 20+ vintage Route 66 postcards, almost triple the prior amount. The images were provided by John F. Bradbury, Jr. Collection and noted Route 66 author and aficionado Joe Sonderman. The expansion project was managed by Tourism Bureau content creator Laura Huffman. Huffman is also a local historian and life-long Route 66 enthusiast. She remarked that the guide was produced “by a Route 66 fan for Route 66 fans. It’s a keepsake.”

For the first time in the seventeen-year history of the booklet, it now includes detailed directions to Pulaski County’s abandoned “ghost section”, a short two-lane 1930’s alignment at the former Morgan Heights community. The brochure also details Waynesville’s significance to Route 66 as the “Birthplace of the Byway.”

For the first time in the seventeen-year history of the Route 66 Driving Tour brochure, it now includes detailed directions to Pulaski County’s abandoned “ghost section”, a short two-lane 1930’s alignment at the former Morgan Heights community. Image courtesy of Joe Sonderman/www.66postcards.com.

For the first time in the seventeen-year history of the Route 66 Driving Tour brochure, it now includes detailed directions to Pulaski County’s abandoned “ghost section”, a short two-lane 1930’s alignment at the former Morgan Heights community. Image courtesy of Joe Sonderman. http://www.66postcards.com.

The turn-by-turn directions guide visitors, travelers, tourists, and roadies to Route 66 alignments that date to the 1920’s, 1930’s, & 1940’s. Pulaski County’s boundaries include 33 miles of drivable Mother Road.

Wiles says, “the Bureau’s expanded Route 66 Driving Tour brochure is being released just as Route 66 fans begin hitting the legendary road to tour, explore, and discover.” She noted that the complimentary guide also includes driving tours of historic Fort Leonard Wood and of the former Frisco Railroad line through Dixon, Crocker, and Richland. She also noted that the beefed-up pamphlet is an example of Pulaski County’s tourism dollars at work. “The brochure is designed to engage Route 66 travelers with our Route 66 communities, namely, Devils Elbow, Saint Robert, Waynesville, Laquey, and Gascozark.”

The updated guide has been submitted to the Route 66 Association of Missouri’s magazine, Show Me Route 66, for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

The free turn-by-turn guide can be preordered by contacting Pulaski County Tourism Bureau at 573-336-6355 or via email at email@pulaskicountyusa.com. It will also be distributed to Pulaski County businesses that cater to travelers along the route. Pulaski County residents can pick up a copy at the Visitors Center at 137 St. Robert Boulevard, Saint Robert.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau is the destination marketing agency for Pulaski County, Missouri. The bureau, funded by the hotel/motel guest tax, promotes tourism throughout the county and markets their destination to fuel the local business climate and broaden the local tax base. The Bureau has actively promoted Route 66 to the traveling public for nearly twenty years.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center
Executive Director
Beth Wiles


17 April 2018

The expanded Route 66 Driving Tour brochures have arrived hot off the printer’s press!  The Tourism Bureau will begin shipping copies for those who pre-ordered Wednesday, 18 April 2018. If you are in the area feel free to stop by the Visitors Center in Saint Robert to claim yours!

Hot off the printer's press! Order yours today!

Hot off the printer’s press! Order yours today!


Pulaski County, MO set to host the 2018 River Bassin’ National Championship

Presented by Jackson Kayak
$75,000 in cash/prizes at stake

River Bassin Logos

Dec 6, 2017 – Kayak fishing in wild waters continues to grow in popularity, thanks to the abundance of eager bass, awe inspiring scenery, solitude, and the childlike anticipation anglers feel while exploring these waters. The River Bassin’ Tournament Trail not only allows fisherman of all skill levels a chance to fish these wild places, but do so competitively. The 2018 grand finale will be held in the beautiful Ozarks, at Ruby’s Landing in Waynesville, MO, on September 22nd, 2018, and is an open tournament for all to enter.

Despite nearly $75,000 in cash/prizes on the line, the tournament has a laid back festival feel to it. Spectators and anglers attending the event will experience great food, music, have a chance to demo kayaks, play yard games and win numerous random prizes; some may get the chance to spin the River Bassin’ Prize Wheel, where participants can win big or even lose a fishing lure of their own! There will be two Jackson Kayak door prize giveaways, with proceeds benefiting local non-profits. Anglers can choose to enter several divisions besides the mandatory Individual Division ($50) – Team (2 anglers) + $30 per person, a new Super Team division (5 anglers) + $20 per person, Youth $30, Top Lady Angler $50, College Kayak Anglers $30, and a new Fly Fishing division + $20.

Aside from the championship, anglers can get involved during the entire 2018 season by fishing in three tournament categories: 1) River Bassin’ Club Series tournaments (approx 30 events) that are held throughout the country by various kayak fishing clubs, 2) River Bassin’ Online Regionals (5), which are season-long events (Feb 1 – Sep 16) where anglers compete against those in their own regions, and 3) The final National Championship tournament in the Ozarks. Anglers vying for the coveted River Basser of the Year (RBOY) or River Bassin’ Team of the Year (RBTOY) titles, and prizes, will be earning points as they fish these tournaments throughout the year. Club Series events are worth 100 points to the winning angler/team, while the Online Regionals carry a 200 point total for a victory. An angler’s top Club Series score will be combined with their top Online Regional score heading into the championship, which is worth 300 points for the win. The angler and team with the highest combined point total after the championship will be the 2018 RBOY & RBTOY Champions, and will take home over $15,000 and $8,000 in cash/prizes, respectively.

“I got into kayak fishing to be able to catch fish in less pressured wild places, such as rivers or creeks, that my boat couldn’t get to. Large reservoirs and lakes already have plenty of competitive series, so I wanted to
give kayak anglers a chance to have fun competing in the locations where the kayak really excels!”

– Drew Gregory, River Bassin’ Founder & President

The Friday before tournament day, there will be a non-mandatory “meet n greet” and rules Q&A, lead by tournament founder and host of the Hooked on Wild Waters TV show, Drew Gregory. This is the perfect chance for anglers to socialize, ask questions, get some last minute advice or just hang out and talk kayak fishing with Gregory and other pros in attendance.

Pulaski County was chosen due to its river-rich resources, the abundance of healthy bass populations living in these scenic waters, and being geographically centralized with easy interstate access. For these reasons, anglers will flock from all regions of the country to attend.

River Bassin’ is an eco-friendly catch, measure, photo, release tournament, in which anglers kayak in rivers within a specified radius targeting black bass; they then measure and photograph their fish via smart phone, release them, and upload the photo to the live leaderboard, where fans can follow along with their favorite anglers in real time. The top three bass (inches) will be the winner.

For more information or to register, visit riverbassintrail.com or call 706-540-4280.

Top sponsors include Under Armour, GoPro, Jackson Kayak, Orion Coolers, Z-MAN Lures, Bending Branches Paddles Smith Optics, 13 Fishing, YakAttack, Thule, Power-Pole, Kokatat, Raymarine, Tennessee Trailers, Boonedox, Plano, Buck Knives, Anchor Wizard, Lucid Fishing, Tackle Warehouse, Suspenz, Mountain Khakis, Ice Mule, Nocqua, Seal Line, Goal Zero, YakLights, Kanu-Lock, Line Cutterz, Hi-Seas, The Rod Glove, Cablz, Gamakatsu hooks, RAM Mounts, SPRO Lures, Gator Guards, official media sponsor Kayak Angler Magazine, local non-profit Ozarks Smallmouth Alliance, & retail sponsors Ozark Mountain Trading Company, the Alpine Shop & many more.

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Pulaski County, MO set to host 2018 River Bassin’ National Championship

Belgian solar powered electric bicycle team overnights in Pulaski County USA

First Solar Bike Route 66 Journey


Belgian solar powered electric bicycle team overnights in Pulaski County USA

Saint Robert, MO- October 9, 2017

Baymont Inn & Suites General Manager Betsy Thomson is pleased to announce that Belgian telecommunications engineer Michael Voros, who is riding the famous Route 66 on an electric bicycle powered by the sun, and his support team, will be lodging at Saint Robert, Pulaski County, Missouri October 13, 2017 before continuing their westward journey October 14, 2017.

Voros has invented and built his solar bike piece by piece. His is the first electric bike sourced by solar panels to reach a speed of 20 miles per hour. The prototype, in its third evolution, consists of a Prodecotech Phantom X3 electric bike equipped with a homemade trailer of his design, constructed of carbon fiber. Each single piece will support the 6 HQST lightweight solar panels regulated by a high-tech computer. This equipment will allow Voros to travel for 60 days on solar energy. If necessary, Voros will contribute needed pedaling. The level of engineering of this bike is “completely innovative and unique, the first 500 watt electric bike straightly fed with 600 watt solar panels.”

Voros describes the challenge as not just technical, but also as a great human adventure: “The technical challenge is obviously what drives me, but it also brings a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with the people I’ll meet along the way.”

Voros’ Solar Bike Route 66 journey will cover 2,448 miles, cross 8 states, ride through 45 cities—all in 60 days! Successful completion of his mission will set a global record.

Voros will be championing green energy as “the sustainable new way in serving our daily needs.” Voros will also be raising funds for the Willie Dixon Foundation during his adventure.

Follow Voros’ Solar Bike Route 66 journey via Facebook at www.facebook.com/SolarBike66 or via his website www.solarbike66.com

Voros will be accompanied by a film crew documenting his trip for Belgian national television.



Solar Bike Route 66

Laure Froidecoeur


+32 477 863 751

Tens of thousands fright fans flock to the Haunted River Float in south-central Missouri


Tens of thousands fright fans flock to the Haunted River Float in south-central Missouri

Waynesville, MO- September 7, 2017

Haunted River Float organizer Glen Clark is thrilled to announce that Haunted River Float trips continue to scare up a great time at their new location in Pulaski County, Missouri. After Spring flooding in late April devastated the original location at Lay Z Days Canoes and Camping on the Big Piney River near Saint Robert, Clark quickly teamed up with the staff at Ruby’s Landing on the Gasconade River near Waynesville, Missouri. Together the Haunted River Float staff and the Ruby’s Landing team continue to offer Missouri’s only river based haunted attraction- an experience like no other in the Show Me State.

Haunted River Float participants raft down the Gasconade River after nightfall drapes the water in darkness. The setting can be frightening in its own right- but a team of dedicated actors amp up the adrenaline with a series of scary scenarios that play out in the water alongside and near your raft. You are almost guaranteed to scream at least once during your nearly hour long water adventure.

Adding to the uniqueness of the Haunted River Float is the hayride to the river put-in location. After disembarking the raft fright fans can navigate the corn maze and brave the haunted house. One night of primitive camping at Ruby’s Landing is included in the $25 admission price.

Are you brave enough to conquer Missouri’s ONLY Haunted River Float?

Join almost 20,000 other Haunted River Float followers on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheHauntedRiverFloat.

Haunted River Float was first organized in 2013 and operated at Lay Z Days Canoes and Camping through 2016. In 2017 the event was moved to Ruby’s Landing located at 22472 Restful Lane, Waynesville, Missouri. The event has expanded each year since its premiere and continues to draw multitudes of Halloweniacs for a thrill like no other in Missouri. Haunted River Floats are offered every Friday and Saturday during September.

Haunted River Float on the Gasconade River near Waynesville

Haunted River Float
Glen Clark, Founder
(573) 337-4305



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 29th, 2017

Team Uranus
Uranus Inc.


Uranus, Missouri: Guinness World Record Headquarters notified Mayor Louie R. Keen that Uranus is now the Title Holder for “The World’s Largest Belt “.

The “World’s Largest Belt Buckle” pays homage in its appeal to the Midwestern Lifestyle. The Mayor’s motto is “It’s gotta be BIG if it’s in Uranus!”. What better way to do that then to have “The World’s Largest Belt Buckle” establishing its home in Uranus, Missouri.

The “World’s Largest Belt Buckle” comes in at 13.371 W x 10.12 H (FEET). Created and designed locally. The process took over a year and a half to complete. Team Uranus, The Mayor, Ed Wilson, Travis Baur, and Nick Nickels along with many staff members helped put this together. John Mackey was the certified surveyor. The witnesses were Julie Marlea Harmon, Local business owner of Nona’s Kitchen and Beth Wiles from the Pulaski County Tourism. This process was certified by Guinness World Book of Records.

Uranus, Missouri: One Stop Shop #1 Tourist Destination on Route 66 with all things fun in The Heart of Uranus.


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