Discover and Explore Johnson Shut-Ins State Park

Johnson Shut-Ins State ParkJohnson Shut-Ins State Park is famous for its natural water-park, carved out of purple-pink granite by years of erosion. Generations of visitors have come from all over to explore this natural playground.

Johnson Shut-Ins State Park (it's actually "Johnson's" but more folks seem to know it without the possessive 's') is a public recreation area on the East Fork Black River in Reynolds County, MO. The "shut-ins" part of its name comes from its most famous feature: a steep-sided gorge or "shut-in" on the East Fork of the Black River.

The gorge is pocked with waterfalls, chutes, and potholes carved out of the ancient purple-pink granite by countless centuries of natural erosion. The area attracts visitors year-round but is especially popular in the warmer months. What could be more fun than to swim and clamber around this unique formation on a hot summer day?

More Than Just Shut-Ins

Johnson Shut-Ins State Park contains more than 8,780 acres to explore. It is much more than just a stretch of unique river gorge to splash around in.

Johnson’s Shut-Ins Fen Natural Area protects a small, sensitive wetland fed by groundwater rather than rainfall or surface sources. The fen provides habitat for unique species of plants and animals. These include arrowhead, wild sweet William, four-toed salamanders, and devil crayfish.

Another rarity within the park is the 18-acre, Johnson’s Shut-Ins Dolomite Glade Natural Area. This sedimentary glade is a very unique occurrence in the St. Francois Mountains. Consequently, it, too is home to an array of plants and animals not found elsewhere in the area.

Johnson Shut-Ins State Park also supports two outstanding Missouri wild areas: the East Fork Wild Area and Goggins Mountain Wild Area. The two areas make up the largest chunk of unbroken wilderness remaining in Missouri. Neither are accessible by road and do not include paved trails or other park amenities. This makes them a magnet for experienced back-country hikers and campers.

Johnson’s Shut-Ins Scour Trail

In 2005, a broken reservoir atop Profitt Mountain sent over one billion gallons of water rushing through Johnson Shut-Ins State Park. The flood devastated much of the park, uprooting trees, smashing buildings, changing landscapes.

While most of the park was restored in the years following the disaster, evidence of the destruction remains. Most notable is the Johnson’s Shut-Ins Scour Channel: a 1.5 mile stretch without trees, flowers, or soil. This startling feature has become one of the park's most popular attractions, after the shut-ins, themselves.

Johnson Shut-Ins State Park

Johnson Shut-Ins State Park offers camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, and biking. Amenities include picnic spots, a gift shop, visitor center, bicycle rentals, and virtual tours. Learn more at mostateparks.com.

Missouri Lodging
After a fun day exploring Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, you're going to be hankering for some shut-eye. For the best comfort, quality, and value, book your stay at a locally owned and operated Missouri B&B!  Missouri Bed and Breakfasts are your source for personal service, an insider's knowledge of the area, and delicious, hearty breakfasts. Do yourself a favor and look us up the next time you're planning a Missouri getaway - you'll be glad you did!

Columbia Experimental Music Festival 2018 - Art, Music, and More!

Columbia Experimental Music Festival 2018Come to Columbia, MO October 5th through the 7th, 2018 for the Columbia Experimental Music Festival! Over two dozen artists from around the world will provide 3 days of adventurous art and music at 10 venues throughout downtown Columbia, MO. Don't miss it!

Columbia, MO has been the site of some great musical happenings of late and the upcoming Columbia Experimental Music Festival continues the thread.

Previously known as the "Dismal Niche Festival," the event attracts a variety of neo-classical, ambient, folk, and pop artists from around the region and the world. Previous years have seen such alternative luminaries as Laraaji, Jon Mueller, Kath Bloom, Moor Mother, and Scott Tuma.

The folks behind the Columbia Experimental Music Festival have released a similarly exciting roster of artists for this year's event. Guitarist Glenn Jones, string-trio Hear in Now, the Chicago collective ONO, and multi-instrumentalist Benoit Pioulard are all on the schedule.

2018 Columbia Experimental Music Festival Lineup

Thursday, October 4th
Opening Thursday Night Film Screening at Ragtag: TBA
Friday, October 5th
5pm - Tape Looping workshop with AMULETS at Hickman High
7pm - Aki Moone Art show with Vulvette at Resident Arts
8pm - Benoit Pioulard at KOPN
9pm - ONO, JoAnn McNeil, Cunningham/Bucko/Adams, Complainer at Cafe Berlin
12am - Scammers & Midwife + TBA at PDM

Saturday, October 6th
5pm - Oxherding & Tim Pilcher at Hitt Records
7pm - Glenn Jones & Benoit Pioulard at Stephens College Senior Hall
9pm - AMULETS, Entrancer, Eric Donte at Eastside Tavern
12am Afterparty (DJ Set): 18andCounting & Scales

Sunday, October 7th
11am - Morning meditation with Lake Mary & Friends at Firestone Baars Chapel
2pm - Glenn Jones at the Daniel Boone Regional Library
3pm - LOOSE LOOSE, Devin Frank Vanishing Blues Band, It's Me: Ross at Rose Music Hall
7pm - Hear in Now & Forest Management at Firestone Baars Chapel
10pm - Jennifer Simone & Mourning A BLKstar at Cafe Berlin

More Than Music - Art & Workshops

Despite its name, Columbia Experimental Music Festival offers more than just concerts.

Art is an integral component of the Columbia Experimental Music Festival. 2018 will see visual installations from Sasha Goodnow, Blank Thomas, Aki Moone, and others. You'll also be able to attend a variety of artists workshops. AMULETS, Midwife, ONO, and JoAnn McNeil are all on the schedule to present.

Columbia Experimental Music Festival 2018

October 5th through the 7th, 2018
Downtown Columbia, MO
Learn more at cargocollective.com. You can also follow the festival on Facebook.

Missouri Lodging No matter where your Missouri getaway takes you, a warm and friendly Missouri inn is somewhere nearby. Missouri Bed and Breakfasts are locally owned and operated, offering the kind of service and amenities you can find nowhere else. Book your room at a Missouri B&B today for the best in Missouri lodging!

Get Out On The Water With Eminence, Missouri Float Trips!

Eminence Missouri float tripsLooking for a amazing way to get out and experience the great outdoors? Eminence, Missouri float trips on the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers are the answer!

The Jacks Fork and Current Rivers are located in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri’s largest National Park. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways was established in 1964 to protect 134 miles of the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers. These two clear, fast rivers are fed by natural springs; in fact, the area is known as Big Springs Country.

The Current River is the most spring-fed of all Ozark rivers, allowing it to be floated all year. River difficulty is measured by class, from I (easy) to IV (extraordinarily difficult). Most of the year, The Current River is very safe, rating a class I - occasionally a class II - with no rapids.

The Jacks Fork River is a tributary of the Current River. Jacks Fork
 is one of the wildest and most scenic Missouri Ozark streams. It is located in a valley so deep that it is practically a canyon. In fact, there are no bottomland fields along the first 25 floatable miles! The Jacks Fork River is rated as class I and II river, with many sections providing excellent fly fishing.

Missouri Float Trips in Eminence

Eminence, MO is often referred to as the canoe capital of the world, with many folks coming here for their Missouri float trips. Eminence, MO offers more than 120 miles of navigable waters just perfect to canoe, kayak, raft, tube, fish, swim, and generally enjoy.

The area is also home to a broad selection of outfitters offering canoe, kayak, raft, tube, and other Missouri float trips. They don't call it the canoe capital of the world for nothing!

As noted above, Missouri float trips can be enjoyed all year long in Eminence. The busiest months are June through August, of course. Plenty come for the fall colors, too though - best mid-October. May and June are the best fishing months.

Missouri Lodging
After a fun day on the water, you're going to be ready for a nice, full-night's rest. For the best comfort, quality, and value, book your stay at a locally owned and operated Missouri B&B!  Missouri Bed and Breakfasts are your source for personal service, an insider's knowledge of the area, and delicious, hearty breakfasts. Do yourself a favor and look us up the next time you're planning a Missouri getaway - you'll be glad you did!

Explore Missouri Highway 36 - VFW Memorial Highway

Missouri Highway 36Invention, innovation, history, Hollywood, heroes, and more: Missouri's Highway 36 may seem like just another long stretch of 4-lane highway ... but you'd be surprised.

U.S. Route 36, known as Route 8 from 1922-1926, runs east–west through six states, from Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado to Uhrichsville, Ohio. The highway is part of the Chicago–Kansas City Expressway and America's Appian Way, which stretches from coast to coast. 

In Missouri, Highway 36 cuts across the North end of the state, from Hannibal to Saint Joseph. Missouri Highway 36 is a four-lane highway across the entirety of Missouri and has been since 2010.

So far I've described just a long road. Big deal, right? Wrong.

Missouri Highway 36 is surrounded, from state line to state line, with history, scenery, and great attractions. When you see how many famous and influential people have gotten their starts along Missouri's stretch of Highway 36, you'll begin to get the picture.

VFW Memorial Highway

Missouri's stretch of Highway 36 is named the "VFW Memorial Highway" and appropriately so. Missourians hailing from along 36 have proudly served, including some notables. Both General Omar Bradley and General Sterling Price, who was Governor of Missouri from 1853 to 1857, were from Randolph County, MO. Laclede, MO boasts the General John “Black Jack” Pershing Boyhood Home Museum.

Fame and Innovation along Route 36

Both world famous author, Mark Twain and brash millionaire, Molly Brown of Titanic fame had their humble beginnings in Hannibal, MO. Both the Mark Twain Boyhood Home Museum and Molly Brown Birthplace Museum are here. Jesse James, on the other hand, met his end in Saint Joseph.

Walt Disney spent some of the formative years of his youth in Marceline, MO. How formative? Disney famously said "more things of importance happened to me in Marceline than have happened since.” Further, Disneyland's Main Street USA is based on memories from his youth, including Marceline! How nice to find the Walt Disney Hometown Museum here in Missouri!

James Cash Penney was born in 1875 in Hamilton, MO and went on to change the way we shop with set prices and many other standards that remain in place. Oh, and he started a little company that bears his name to this day, albeit in somewhat abbreviated form: JCPenney. You can visit the JC Penney Museum in Hamilton.

The Missouri Highway 36 corridor has been home to lots of great ideas. In fact, one of the most lauded inventions of all time came to light here in Chillicothe, MO: sliced bread. The first machine-sliced, commercial loaves were produced here in 1928, on a machine invented by Otto Rohwedder. Rock Port, MO is the first city in the country to be 100% wind-powered and The Pony Express got its start in Saint Joseph, MO. The Pony Express National Museum is located in Saint Joseph to this day.

Missouri Highway 36 Today

The Route 36 corridor is more than just a path to the past. It's also home to many active Amish communities and the Missouri Quilt Trail. Northern Missouri boasts many beautiful parks, lakes, hiking, biking, kayaking, and other outdoor recreation areas.

You'll find lots of locally owned cafes, bakeries, wineries, craft breweries and more all along Missouri Highway 36, too. There's lots of good Missouri lodging, too in the form of locally owned Missouri B&B's, both in the Northeast and the Northwest.

So go ahead, get out on Missouri's stretch of Highway 36 and discover all it has to offer!

SubTropolis - World’s Largest Underground Business Complex

SubTropolis Kansas City, MoDeep beneath Kansas City, carved out of a layer of 270-million-year-old limestone, there is another world. A busting, productive world some 100 or more feet underground. A sprawling, subterranean complex the size of 140 football fields. SubTropolis.

Almost all cities offer more than meets the eye but this is particularly true of Kansas City, MO.

Kansas City sits upon a particularly rich deposit of limestone that was mined over the years for building materials. Parking lots, malls, and miles and miles of freeways had their start here.

The limestone was easy to get at because access was horizontal, not vertical. Vast, openings were carved in the base of the bluffs above the Missouri River. Level, wide entries that both people and vehicles can easily enter, not deep shafts.

SubTropolis was mined using the room and pillar method. "Rooms" are dug out around 25-foot square "pillars" of limestone on 65-foot centers spaced 40 feet apart.

This space left behind - over 55,000,000 square feet of it - was dry and stayed a perpetual 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Using it as cold storage was a no-brainer. Converting for tenants? Genius. Concrete flooring, 17-foot high, smooth ceilings, and electricity transformed the space. SubTropolis was now brightly lit, with miles of wide, paved streets accessed at street level.

The first tenants moved in in the 1960's and the amount of leasable space continues to grow. Today, SubTropilis offers more than 6,000,000 square feet of leasable space. Another 8,000,000 square feet of space remain available for expansion.

In fact, because of SubTropolis, about 10 percent of Kansas City's commercial real estate is underground. More than 1,700 people work here - and that's not all. The world’s first and only underground paintball arena, Jaegers Subsurface Paintball, is here. There's also an exotic flower garden loaded with orchids, Bird's Botanicals.

Server Farms, retail production, food distribution, even a Wednesday flea market call SubTropolis home. Hollywood stores it's fragile film here. Ben Hur, Gone With The Wind, Looney Tunes, every episode of Seinfeld.

More SubTropolis Facts

  • more than 10,000 limestone pillars
  • 8.2 miles of roads
  • 2.1 miles of railroad track
  • More than 500 truck docks
  • Over 55 companies renting space
  • More than 1,600 parking spaces

SubTropolis

8300 NE Underground Dr, Kansas City, MO 64161
SubTropolis is located just 10 minutes from Kansas City’s central business district and 20 minutes from Kansas City International Airport. Learn more online at huntmidwest.com or Facebook.

Missouri Lodging One thing SubTropolis doesn't offer (at least not yet, anyway) is decent Kansas City accommodations. No matter where your Missouri getaway takes you, a warm and friendly Missouri B&B is somewhere nearby. Missouri Bed and Breakfasts are locally owned and operated, offering the kind of service and amenities you can find nowhere else. Book your stay at a Missouri inn today for the best in Missouri lodging!

Discover Central Missouri's Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Castle ruins at Ha Ha Tonka State ParkHa Ha Tonka State Park is a public recreation area in Central Missouri, five miles south of Camdenton on the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. The park features trails, caves, sinkholes, a spring ... and a the ruins of a massive, abandoned stone mansion.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park is one of Missouri's many must-visit attractions. Its winning combination of intriguing history, outstanding geologic features, lake, and trails make it the perfect park for anyone and everyone!

The park is a geological wonderland of sinkholes, caves, sheer bluffs, and a huge, natural stone bridge. 70-acres of the park were designated as the Ha Ha Tonka Karst Natural Area in 1981.

Ha Ha Tonka Park is also home to Missouri’s 12th largest spring. Many believe this is the source of the park's odd name. “Ha Ha Tonka,” is supposedly the Osage phrase for “Laughing Spirit." Many think this is in reference to the park's gushing springs.

The natural spring and fascinating geology are not Ha Ha Tonka State Park's biggest claim to fame, however. That would be reserved for the impressive stone ruins of Ha Ha Tonka Mansion.

Ha Ha Tonka Mansion is frequently referred to as a castle, which is the very effect its builder was going after. Robert Snyder was a wealthy Kansas City businessman with dreams of building his own, European-style castle, right here in Missouri.

Snyder made his fortune in St. Louis and Kansas City during the late 1800's. By 1905, he'd amassed enough wealth to follow his dreams. Stonemasons from Scotland, a European supervisor, and Kansas City architect Adrian Van Brunt were hired to bring Snyder's three-and-a-half story tall vision to life.

Ha Ha Tonka Mansion was designed with an iconic center atrium that rose three and a-half stories to a skylight. The plans included nine greenhouses, a carriage house, and an 80-foot private water tower. Local stone was quarried and local timber cut for the construction.

Snyder never saw his dream completed, however. Instead, in 1906 he had the ignoble honor of becoming one of Missouri's first automobile accident victims. The incomplete mansion languished until 1922 when the family was finally able to complete construction. Ha Ha Tonka Mansion was leased out in 1937 and run as a hotel until a fire gutted the structure in 1942. The estate lay abandoned for decades before the State of Missouri purchased it in 1978.

Visitors to Ha Ha Tonka State Park will enjoy the ruins of Snyder's turn-of-the-century stone castle. The ruins are currently off limits but they provide impressive views of the Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka Spring. A series of well-maintained trails and boardwalks provide easy access to the park's many attractions. Swimming, boating, hiking, fishing, picnicking, and more are all available.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

1491 State Road D, Camdenton, MO 65020
April through October - 7am to sunset
November through March - 8am to sunset
Learn more about Ha Ha Tonka Park online at mostateparks.com.

Central Missouri Lodging
No matter where your Missouri adventures take you, you're going to need somewhere to call your home base. Luckily, there are locally owned Missouri inns and B&B's all across the state, offering the very best in Missouri lodging. Missouri B&B's offer uncommonly comfortable amenities, nutritious breakfasts, and an insider’s knowledge of the area. Choose your Missouri accommodations now!