In the middle of yet another heat wave (hello, second official day of summer!), here’s a post to chill you out and cool you off. Welcome to Big Spring, Missouri…
One of the things I love about driving back roads is that I never know who (or what!) I’ll meet along the way. I’m not even sure what this thing was, other than it would have been happier in a field than on a wet paved road. As soon as the driver made it to dotted lines and could see the way ahead was clear, he waved me around, which was nice of him because going 15 mph isn’t really my speed of choice, even when towing my Alto.
Big Spring campground, about five miles out of the town of Van Buren, MO, is in the southern part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverway, a new area fo me to explore. There’s a nice trail from the campground to the boat dock and then on to the Big Spring itself, with lovely shade and a lot of green.
First stop was the boat dock, which was the first place I could actually see the Current River that borders the campground. It was a perfect late Spring day, and if I’d driven down, my kayak would already have been in the water.
To experience 20 seconds of the Current River in motion, complete with lovely water noises and some birdsong, click THIS LINK to watch it on my YouTube channel. (I tried to upload it here, but no joy on that front.) Go on, click the link, it’s totally refreshing!
The next day, I drove about a 1/4 mile more than the previous day’s walk to enjoy the coolness (literally!) of Big Spring. This thing is huge, with an average daily flow of 286 million gallons of water.
The video of Big Spring did upload to this post, so no jumping to YouTube for this one. When I watch this one, I can still feel the cold air around me, due to the spring water being so cold and then hitting the warmer air.
I’m not sure I’d make a detour to see Big Spring, but since it was kind of on my way east, it made for a nice stopover for a few nights. The campground was mostly deserted midweek (3-4 campers in the 20-site electric loop and none in the adjacent dry camping loop). It’s about 10 minutes drive into Van Buren, which has three dollar stores, two gas stations, and one Post Office with very friendly and helpful staff. So, to sum it up: Big Spring, big river, small town, quiet campground. Pretty perfect recipe for an excellent stop, in my opinion.
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.