Thursday, January 10, 2013

More Cousins, Running and Turkey

This is going to be the last post of our Thanksgiving vacation! Phew!

After a stop at Starbuck's to treat the coffee drinking peeps in the fan (yes, they were open and they were the nicest Starbuck's people I had ever had), we got home and cleaned up. We had a nice meal of turkey and so forth, scaled back a bit since we were in a condo, and then the cousins had a scavenger hunt.

The scavenger hunt, which ended with a jar of popcorn and we opened Christmas gifts since this was a combined vacation/Thanksgiving/Christmas. Then we lazed about eating pie, goodies and making cookie turkeys. My mom had sent the fixin's for these, which are chocolate chip cookies on the bottom, fudge striped cookies for the tail, mint drops for the body, and candy corn for the beaks all held together with frosting.
Since our little hike in Ha Ha Tonka the day before, I couldn't get it out of my head how fun it would be to run there. So the next morning, Bill and I grabbed our running gear again and headed back. We figured out a slightly different loop to run and it lead us to some great views. Our first time around we didn't have our camera with us so after we got done running, we hopped in the car and headed back to our favorite part to grab some shots (and get a little more running in- we're addicted).

 We did a little off trail climbing, so this isn't really a part of the trail, but it was fun navigating up and down.

This section of trail had a fun little crevice to work through.
And right on the other side is a wood plank walkway. Oh and suddenly your eyes catch a glimpse of some stairs. No problem, you think to yourself, and then your eyes keep tracking the stairs higher and higher! This is part of the Spring Trail system and has 316 steps in 200 vertical feet. Bring it! One and only goal- run the whole thing without stopping.
 But right at the base of the stairs is this- the springs. It was just so pretty!

Sort of made you forget what you were about to do. If you read the trail map guide, it only says this climb could be difficult for some. I would say this climb would be difficult for many. Bill and I embarked on the climb. He got ahead of me, while I paced myself slower. And... We Did It!! Phew.

So another great thing about this trail is that you get a different view of the castle. Beautiful! You definitely want to seek out this park if you are ever in the Lake of the Ozarks area.

We were looking for another outing the next day and found another park to go to. The trail we picked was shorter but much harder because of the slippery rocks underfoot. With all the leaf cover, it made the going slower. (Don't remember the name of this park.)
 We also found a swinging bridge that you could drive across, which we did drive across and then got out and walked across.

Our last day there we decided to head up to Jefferson City to visit the state capitol. We usually pick free stuff and this was free and a nice tour, though us Iowans think our capitol is prettier.

 Here endeth our Missouri vacation!! Hope you enjoyed it!


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