Alley Spring Mill

Located just outside of Eminence, Missouri in Shannon County, Ally Spring Mill is part of the beautiful Ozark National Scenic Riverway.  If you are a photographer, this is the mill!!!  Beautiful scenery from above and across the mill pond, a heron which stood for a close up and rushing water pouring out of Alley Spring.  Cole and I visited this spot in June and it was worth the drive from Springfield!  The only disappointment was the missing water wheel.  I believe it would be worth it for the Federal Government to rebuild and install a historically correct water wheel if only to add to the authenticity and beauty of the mill.

Alley Spring Mill

Great Blue Heron waiting for lunch.

Alley Spring is part of the National Park Service and so staffed by federal employees.  The gentleman at the counter was very helpful about answering questions about the surrounding area, especially more scenic trails and the Ozark National Scenic Riverway.  We were provided with maps which whetted our appetite for more adventures, possibly this fall or next spring floating the Current River or Jacks Fork.

There are several short hiking trails at Alley Spring, but being in somewhat of a hurry to get to our destination at Taum Sauk, we only took time for the 0.3 mile hike around the spring.  This particular spring pumps out 81 million gallons of COLD water daily.  The trail is beautiful and gave us plenty of opportunities for excellent shots of the roiling water and the mill.

Alley Spring Mill

A photographers dream spot!

Originally built in 1868, Alley Spring Mill was the hub of country life as folks brought wheat and corn to be ground for use in homes across the area. Walking around the mill you can almost see the horses and wagons lined up, women gathered with babes in arms gossiping, men on the porch whittling and swapping stories.  Throughout the years the area held a school, blacksmith shop, and store to serve the intrepid homesteaders in this remote area of the state.  Situated as it was, the mill flooded quite a few times and was never very profitable for its various owners.  In the end it was taken over by the National Park Service to be preserved and enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.  So next time you are in the Eastern Ozarks, Alley Spring Mill is worth a look in any season.

Tons of water!

81 million gallons of water a day flows out of Alley Spring.

Check out the Facebook page How to do the Ozarks and Instagram htdto2020 for more pictures and places to visit!

Date Night with Mom at Getaway Golf

Getaway Golf Mini Golf

United States Course

Looking for a fun and somewhat educational activity?!  Getaway Golf on East Sunshine in Springfield Missouri may be what you’re looking for.  Recently, I took my oldest son, Bruce and his girlfriend, Cheyenne out for a quick 18 holes of mini golf.  We had a great time though I didn’t realize it would involve so much profanity on Bruce’s part.  With the possibility of small children playing near us, even at that time of the evening, we shushed him pretty quickly.  Unable to swear like the Army veteran he is, he had fun tossing his putter around when he couldn’t make par.

Cool nights, fun with family

A trip throughout the US with fun facts at each hole.

Open ‘til 10 p.m., Getaway Golf has two courses.  The United States course is the easier option and The International is the more challenging.  We stuck with the United States as it had been years since any of us had putted our way around any obstacle.  I liked the option of going later in the evening as it is cooler. The course closes promptly at 10 p.m. so it would be a good idea to get there by 9 p.m. to begin play and have enough time to get your money’s worth.  There were also fewer children to trip over or wait for.

The course is challenging enough to cause a lot of ribbing about needing more than 6 tries (6 is the limit to decrease the likelihood of holding up other players) for a few of the holes and they are interestingly displayed.  The Statue of Liberty, Old Faithful, and the Golden Gate Bridge are just a few of the well thought out obstacles winding around the park.  Cheyenne managed a hole in one, which was impressive as it took her close to six to sink most of the others.

Fun date night or with the kids

Getaway Golf, Springfield Missouri

Adults are $10.50 for one course and $18.50 for two.  Children 12 and under are $8.50 for one course and $14.50 for two.  Kids 2 and under are free and they may enjoy batting the ball around some. Knowing my 4 year old granddaughters, and how little they were likely to enjoy mini golf, we left them home with a sitter.  They are both at the age where if they can’t get something right the first try they are more than likely to just give up and sit in a corner to sulk.  Or dive into the water obstacles that dot the playing field.

Mini golf is one of those date nights that can give great insight into your current romantic partner’s reaction to challenge!  If they sulk, swear or throw their putter at you, it may be time to rethink this particular relationship!  Bruce and Cheyenne laughed at each other, me and most importantly, at themselves throughout the course.  It was great fun and I will be back!

Check out the Facebook page How to do the Ozarks and Instagram htdto2020 for more pictures and places to visit!