The Beauty of Fall in Pulaski County USA!

If you ask anyone in the Ozarks, they will probably tell you that this Fall is the most beautiful one we have had in a long time!  Between our rolling hills and roaring rivers, I just had to get out of the office and capture this for everyone to see.  I grabbed my partner in crime, Laura, and we set out on an adventure; seriously, it was quite the adventure!

We started our Fall Photo Hunt on Tuesday (10/16/12) in Waynesville, MO on top of Bell’s Bluff.  While this is private property, we were able to get the necessary permission to get up there and take these amazing photos.  Bell’s Bluff is known today as the location of Waynesville’s largest nativity scene during the Holidays.  So large that it can be seen from I-44!  However, that is not the bluff’s only legacy.  It is said in a book by Mabel Manes Mottaz, that during the Civil War, when the Union Army came marching down the hill into Waynesville, Bell’s Bluff was where the citizens gathered to watch their progress.  It’s no wonder why this was the perfect location for that!

We then scooted down the hill toward the Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area, but before we could get too far, I spotted the perfect photo-op of a local fisherman in the Roubidoux.  I kind of felt like the paparazzi, but I couldn’t help myself, too perfect of a setting!

Our next stop was the Roubidoux Spring in Laughlin Park, one of the few places in the state where scuba spring diving is routinely allowed to qualified and certified cavern or cave divers.  Also known as a great place to cool off in the Summer with average temperatures in the low 60s!

We then left Waynesville and headed up Hwy 17 towards Crocker to capture the Fall beauty of the well-known Pikes Peak along the Gasconade River.  Pikes Peak has had a couple of names throughout the years; Saltpeter Cave and Indian Cave .  This was the location of a Native American skirmish in 1818 when a hunting party of Osage Indians attacked five Shawnee and two Osage.

The Devils Tea Table was our last stop of the day.  Laura had been there before, but not recently, so we continued to drive until she thought it looked familiar.  We did a little bit of wondering about in the woods, but wasn’t until we went back to the van that we noticed a trail.  Lone behold, after following the trail a short distance, we were presented with one of the top 5 views in Pulaski County!  Just beautiful!

Wednesday (10/17/12) when we arrived to work, we were a little nervous about the weather ruining our Fall Photo Hunting Day 2, but we got lucky!  We started our journey in Devils Elbow, MO, a town named for a large bend in the Big Piney River that used to cause massive log jams to which the loggers thought “only the devil could create such chaos.”  Devils Elbow was once a resort town, but has since retained that same charm.  This small town located along the Big Piney River, holds one of Route 66’s biggest attractions; The Elbow Inn!  This area is also popular for two very well-known bridges.  The first is a steel bridge built in 1923 and yes it is still standing!  The second is a wooden train bridge built in 1941 to deliver Fort Leonard Wood with needed supplies during World War ll and other wars that followed.  The history and beauty of these bridges make them very popular among photographers!

Our last stop of the day was Portuguese Point out towards Dixon off of Hwy 28!  Where did the name come from?  It was named for the original owner of the land, John Anderson Smith, who came from Kentucky with his family in 1858.  Smith was one quarter Cherokee and showed many Native characteristics, but this was during a time that Native Americans weren’t very popular.  When folks began asking what descent he came from, he told them Portuguese because many people in that area didn’t even know what a Portuguese person looked like!  Just a funny random quote from Smith, who lived to be approximately 110 years old; when asked for the prescription for a longer life, he laughed and said “don’t die.”  A funny man!

I’d have to say that our Fall Photo Hunt really made us appreciate the area we live in.  Not everyone gets to wake up every day to views like these!  Come on down to Pulaski County USA during any time of the year and I promise that you won’t be disappointed with the view!

A big thank you to my tour guide, Laura!

Join me next time and have a great day in Pulaski County USA!
Cassie Lemus
Pulaski County Tourism Bureau