Finding springs and unique places in Missouri
Or-----finding "Stupid Dog Spring"
Further down is more from a year ago.
There was a 5 day windown this December, 2012
of exceptional warm weather and I had inside info where a hidden spring was
and the spring had been named by a friend (Scott Williams---High Five) of mine and he named it "Stupid Dog Spring".
I'm still not clear on the reasoning for the name---------but anyway off I went and it would take me 3 days to go the 150 straight line miles to find the spring.
But I've road a motorcycle several thousand miles to find a bridge----but that's another story.
I left my home in southern Illinois early
and made a bee-line for my favorite place to eat in Missouri.---The Hideaway.
Out in the middle of nowhere this use to be a store and gas station years ago and was built a hundred or so years ago---forget when exactly.
Poplulation-----zero. But probably soars to about 40 on fish night.
The food is awesome---best pies in the world
and it takes you back in time to the days of Andy Griffith when you stop in.
Don't come in--------in a hurry--they'll throw you out.
I made my way to camp that night on the Castor
river at Castor river campground.
I met a lady there that made me re-think my life.
She brought me some firewood and asked for
help as she was dying of terminal cancer and was having a tough time of still
But told me she wasn't going to die bald and throwing up (chemo--therapy) and was just going to enjoy her last days and I was
glad I got to spend a few hours with her enoying them with her as we talked about this and that.
I spent some time at her campfire and then
went back to mine by the river and sat in my chair staring at the fire, the
river, and the
stars trying to understand the horrible things and the bad cards some people are dealt.
And how lucky I was to be here----right at this moment enjoying this fire.
I"ve told this before---but I have several
hundred springs loaded in my gps in Missouri and every so often when I go to
I poke around and try to find some more. This one was just over the top---I'be never been here or heard of this place.
This is Markham Spring state park and there is a lot of neat things to see here--------2 springs for one---one is huge.
It's almost cold--no one is out and I have the whole park and campground to myself.
My KLR is running perfect as always and those high powered LED lights I have mounted are going to come in handy on this ride.
On my way to the huge stone house that is
here I found this spring.
That light brown stuff you see in the spring is quicksand.
The main attraction is this old stone house
which is available to rent-----that pond you see in front of the house is no
It's a huge deep spring and use to provide water to a grist mill.
History of the house.
You can see the depth and clarity of the water in this picture.
The following pictures are of the grist mill right beside the huge spring in front of the house.
The water level in the spring is controlled
by a gate---when the gate is closed water rises up and flows up on this concrete
under that sidewalk and to the grist mill.
This is where the water is funneled-----the water wheel is just below the drop-off.
I've have read there are only 2 grist mills
in Missouri with metal wheels------that's not so.
There is another called the Turner Mill which I found years ago.
I had to hunt the Turner Mill wheel down as it had broke away from the mill and rolled down the creek quite a ways and is still
standing upright to this day.
I had to tear myself away from Markham state
park------it was way to early to camp and I headed further West-------------sort
This had to be an old railroad bed----for many miles the road never hardly changed in grade---tooked gentle curves and when the land rose
they made a cut in the land---and when it dropped they built the rail bed up.
This was in the '"Cane Ridge" area of the Mark Twin National Forest.
This is where I was at---and I made a waypont in my gps and when I got home changed the name to "Old Missouri RR Bed" and added it to my gps files.
Lot's of spring waypoints would come into view in my gps---and I'd try to find them.
This was over your boot------better raise you leg or you'll get a boot full of water.
As you see--------I got to Morris Spring
It was just a bit off the road and I had to go into this field about 100 yds.
There was a lot of quicksand in this one.
This spring flowed enough water to make a sizeable creek.
This is the creek it made------as I was riding
along this road I notice the green vegetation in the creek.
This doesn't happen in a normal creek----only spring fed ones with a constant water temperature.
This growth will last even thru the winter. I've learned to recognize these things while riding.
I dropped some more wayponints for interesting stuff.
Mills School----I don't know the history of
I was heading my way to "Loggers Lake" to camp with some friends.
They were suppose to be there and building a nice big campfire for all of us to enjoy----I was envisioning this big fire while I was riding.
I could have gotten there in the daylight easy----but kept going this way and that trying to get there "after" dark and I did.
Long story short------the campground was completely
blocked off and the only way in was to walk.
My buddy Bill Asher (Bash3R) and Kevin (toonedebt11)was there and they were there waiting for me to show up-----and the fire
I had anticipated pulling up to just wasn't going to happen--neither was the camping on the beautiful loggers lake.
We couldn't get in and took off in the dark on these one lane dirt roads thru many creek crossing as the wind picked up and rain threatened.
The guy on the DR650 didn't like another campsite we found and took off alone in the dark---me and Bill stood there a bit and the wind started howling about 40mph
and there was no way we could have a fire there---and it would be almost impossible to set up our tents. We headed on down the road in the dark again, ate
dinner in a small cafe in Centerville, Missouri and got some info on this B&B in Centerville---I've never stayed in a B&B before---tonights the nite.
This picture was taken the next morning.
My Buddy Bill Asher on his Yamaha WR250R.
Bill lives in Wentzville, Missouri and we get together when we can. He has the same passion for riding that I do and loves to get
out-----and does-------- mostly riding alone.
We had this whole house to ourselves. It was
awesome. I've never tried to stay in a B&B as I thought it would be too
I think her rates are normally higher but she let us have this for $60 cash----for the both of us.
We were tired---had a long day---it seemed it was going to pour down rain any second and we took it.
The next morning I took Bill to Reeds spring
in centerville---you could almost throw a rock from the B&B and hit the
One of the most pretty places in Missouri.
This is the spring coming out of the rock ridge.
It flows down into 3 ponds at lower levels
and finally into a creek.
This upper pond here is what feeds the grist mill here.
You can see the mills roof sticking up in this picture.
A Little video Bill took of this spring--if you haven't been--you'be got to visit this beautiful place.
I first found this 20 years ago--something
is missing now ???
The trough running water from the pond (left) to the water wheel has rotted away.
The first time I came here the wheel was still turning.
Bill did some research on this Mill that astounded
us-----and is hard to believe.
Way back in the 40's It was completely dis-assembled and shipped to the worlds fair in New York------I think ???
They brought it back and put it back together-------a story I just can't hardly believe.
Me and Bill had "Stupid Dog Spring"
to find still and headed South then West and went by that same old "Mills
This time I went inside a got a picture of it.
I never pass a fire tower that I don't at
least try to climb it----most our closed--this one wasn't.
A couple months ago I climbed a tall tower in Indiana and thougth my strengthened bicycle legs would easily get me to the top.
They did all right---but I guess I used a different muscle for the fire tower and I was sore for days.
I climbed this one anyway.
I'm not sure Bill wanted to climb it.
But told me "I ain't lettin' no old man out do me"
On the way to another grist mill.
The road to this mill had a dozen water crossings and the WR just has to much horsepower for this type of easy stuff.
The Kleipzig Grist Mill
It was on Rock Creek---imagine that.
After the Mill and riding on some dirt roads
along the Current river we set sail for "Stupid Dog Spring"
I had secret intell to not only the gps coordinates of the spring---but the location of this locked gate to the private property
and most important ------------the key to the gate.
The black square is the gate--------0166 is
There were no roads on the gps we had to find our way to the spring.
You can see the gps was pointing a straight line to it---but we had to find our own way.
Actually I guess I dramatized this a little
more than it actually was---as there was a faint trail to follow.
It was about 1 1/2 miles of an atv path back to the spring.
600 yds. from the spring this tree blocked
We could have worked hard and got around it---but walked the rest of the way.
It was really nice and warm out and we got a little warm walking--nice for Decemeber we thought.
Unbelievable what a guy will do to see some
water coming out of the ground.
I had spent $200 bucks---rode for 3 days---and suffered all kinds of horrible hardships to see this
"Stupid Dog Spring"
A revelation just hit me--no wonder it's called "Stupid".
How stupid can you be to ride all that way just to see water spurting out of the ground------now I get it !!!!!!!
The water made this little creek which then flowed downstream into the Jacks Fork river.
A little video of Stupid Dog---at Stupid Dog Springs
A "Stupid Dog" at "Stupid Dog Springs"
My buddy Scott Williamson (High Five) went
all the trouble to make this sign---as at the time I hadn't been here.
Someday we are going to go out and plant this sign and do a dedication----but,,,,obviously the sign needs some modifications.
Very near was a campsite.
It was too early to camp----but the fact was if it rained I didn't think we'd get out of here.
And we both agreed it would be "Stupid" to start a fire as the dry leaves were a foot deep.
But I guess it has already been confirmed we were both "Stupid".
It was a bit tough finding the spring-----it was down this leafy path.
Guess what ???????
I had to climb this one too.
Bill didn't climb this one----he was on the
phone with his wife.
He was too tired anyway-------he'd a never made it !!!!!!
You can see Bill down there---he'd a got a better phone signal up here.
I climbed 2 towers this trip and my legs never got sore this time.
Bills still on the phone---"come on we
got things to see and people to meet"
Bills got a lovely wife and 2 little boys--so he has to check in now and then.
I know he misses them when he's gone.
We went to the town of Emminece I think----the
campground there was a poop-hole.
Looked like it was left over from and bunch of noisy, drunkin' , partying, bikini clad young rafters floating the river.
We backtracked to Alley Springs campground which was a huge campground.
We were the only ones there and picked a campspot with dead fall wood laying everywhere and I got out my "Sven" saw and
commenced to cutting firewood. It was about 60° and I worked up a sweat.
Looks like Bill is eating a Mountain house meal----I had bought a can of Chile and cooked it on the open fire---man was that good.
Funny part about the chile was that between
the 2 of us we had no way of opening the can------but we thought of the survivor
and finally got it open. We "Endeavor To Persevere".
When it got late-----I saw Bills eyes gettin'
I brought out my little story book of lightweight adventure travel and gave Bill a bedtime story.
I signed the book---and told Bill I'd will that book to him when I died--but he couldn't have it just yet !!!!
"Now I lay me down to sleep---I ride the creeks that are way too deep"
We blew out of that campsite very early-----we
still had a nice fire going while we packed up---went to Emminence for breakfast
and I told Bill I was tired of leading-------right off the bat he finds the best road of the whole 4 days.
Just North and East of Emminence running right along the Jacks Fork river---very popular for floating in the summer.
The town of Emminence is super crazy in warm weather---but we had the roads and restaurants all to ourselves.
I was working the KLR hard to keep up withe
the mighty WR250R.
Those things are a breeze offroad.
At some point today me and Bill had to go
are own way as he had to be back at work the next day.
I found some more stuff on the way home---this spring was just beside a dirt road---I almost missed it.
The spring water went under the dirt road
and into this pond. It was not marked on my mapping software----a rarity.
So I marked it.
Me and Bill had went down many a road that
got private and had to turn around but I had to snicker at this sign.
There are many winery's in this area and I guess the people that lived down this road got tired of winery lookers.
December 14th, 2012
We felt so lucky to be out riding in the middle of the winter and went to find "Tower Rock" in the middle of the Mississippi River.
This is in Missouri and the town of Grand Tower is just across the river in Illinois.
The water very rarely get this low----and
this allows you to walk out to the rock.
While I was sitting out on the rock with Jay I imagined what Lewis and Clark thought when they went by.
Same thing we were thinking I suppose.
There is a rope from the top and you can climb
I wanted to so bad but wasn't going to try it on moto boots.
This gentlemen was out there all by himself and climbed to the top with what seemed no effort at all.
It is a neat ride along the river on a dirt
road just to get to this place---------it's a dead end road.
Maps say the road goes thru but it is private and gated-------believe me I've tried.
From a recommendation from a friend -----we
made tracks to the Bayou Bar and Grill for lunch.
It's in Pocantas, Missouri. Jay is asking me here if I saw the "Pie Safe" when we went thru town.
PIe!!!!!!!!!!!----to heck with the bar and
Grill. Everything is homemade at the pie safe.
We made fast tracks to the pie safe.
Even the whipped topping was homemade. We stayed here a long time and made conversation with the locals.
A very nice couple own the Pie Safe. Here she is very busy making pies, cookies, pastries and jams-----------all homemade.
Here is her husband-------resting----he re-built
this place. It was an old bank built in 1910 and the roof had a huge hole in
it and it had been
raining in the building for years and the floor was rotted away. He is sitting in front of the safe and you can see the steel door with it's steel latches.
He looks kind of grumpy and sad in this picture-------not so. Super nice guy and was full of local history and I loved listening to him telling me
how he re-built this historic old building. He admitted he was no carpenter at all---but got er' done. Really nice people---the kind that just make you day.
So now you see why it's called the "Pie Safe"
That''s it-----what is below is more of the same except in 2011---lot's of great stuff.
Missouri Fall Ride 2011
Riders: Mark Sampson (BigDog) and Scott Williams (High Five)
I've been making my annual pilgrimage to Potosi,
Missouri to the Falling Leaf BMW rally for I don't know
how many years-------20 or more ???? I rode BMW's for probably 15 years but that was way before BigDogAdventures.
On the way from my home in Southern Illinois
I was on the T road West out of Perryville, Missouri.
A road I've ridden before that has almost no traffic and has not subcumbed to road straightening or
flattening out of the road---it follows the hilly terrain and is awesome.
I can't believe I'd ridden down this road
so many times and didn't see this covered bridge by the road.
It was a pre-face of stopping and smelling the roses that would last the weekend.
I would meet meet many old friends at the
rally and then me and Scott would head out on our
own and head farther West.
I would also be on a quest to find some more springs I have marked in my gps in Missouri.
This creek and waterfalls were right before the covered bridge.
This is the same creek that runs under the covered bridge---but across the road.
The weather was better than ever at the rally
and Me and Scott camped there for one night
and headed out the next morning as the GS ride headed out with about 40 riders running nose to tail
eating each others dust----we really didn't want any part of that.
Me and Scott wanted to ride----and we both came to terms with stopping to smell the roses the next 2 days.
Me and Scott headed West ----Scott was on his 1 year old BMW800GS which he bought at the rally last year.
I had my gps navigating to an old railroad
culvert that I had seen picture of and heard about on AdvRider----we meandered
over the place following every dirt and gravel road we could find that led kind of toward the culvert----kind of !!!!
I don't really let a gps tell me where to go---but take suggestions.--sometimes.
This old railroad tressel is just West of the Culvert at a low water crossing.
A Spring waypoint popped up on my gps screen
and we would be riding right by it.
We had to beat it thru the bush to find this one. A pump house building was built right on top of the spring.
No one lived here anymore---the spring seemed to be dried up--maybe that is why they left.
There was an old abandoned mobile home and
old diesel tractor.
At one time a pretty neat little hideout.
This is the Dilliard grist mill----we ran
on a little one lane dirt road behind the mill that I knew of.
All the tourists park in the parking lot to the North of the Mill--it was beautiful back there
and gave you a neat view of the old mill and river. This mill is still run today for entertainment purpose only.
I've seen it run--the lady turns a big wheel handle and water starts flowing thru the water motor and gets all the belts
and shaft rotating in the mill----it's a sight to see.
"A step back in time"
Bo's hollow is a 1930's village built so you may take a step back in time. They are restoring the past and preserving the future.
It's miles down a one lane dirt road that few go down---a road your mom and dad would probably avoid
in the family sedan.
All vehicles on the property run---all of them. The nice ones are put up every night.
This is a working windmill pump. The wind
turns the blade--which in turn, turns a cranshaft that pushed a rod up and down.
This rod is attached to an ordinary hand pump at ground level and out comes the water.
It is then pumped into the wooden water tank.
All the stuff you see below is for your viewing
Bo will even fix you a paper sack lunch of Barbecue and give you a ride in one of the old cars and take you down to Ashley creek
for a picnic----now how cool is that.
Me and Scott stayed at Bo's hollow for at
least an hour---poking around at all the stuff.
This place just makes you relax. I really didn't know Scott all that well but soon learned that he loved slowing down and stopping
to smell the roses as they say.
Some of the old things we saw I remember well when I was a kid.
The air station below I can remember---you crank up how much pressure you want to put in your tire--then stick the air hose
to your tire and it will put that exact amount of pressure
This is the sweetest lady I ever met-----Lynn
I believe. I jsut wanted to hug her.
She told us the whole story of how here and her husband Bo and kids built and worked this place.
They can't be getting rich here----I sensed they just love the good old times and relished sharing it with others.
Scott kept prodding me to ask if they would
give us a ride in one of these---I hated to bother and asked to sit in one.
I would love to drive one----the sound of the motor is so relaxing---like and old tractor motor.
Now here is Blondie---she's a sweety too.
I came out from where Bo's son made Scott a Barbecue sandwich and Blondie was sitting there with those sad eyes. "Nobody ever scratches me"
Me and Blondie made friends as I had a rootbeer.
We stopped and laughed at this sign---and
a guy came out to see what we were doing and had a side arm on his hip.
Seem people have tried to steal his sign---really nice guy and we had a long talk about things.
He had a very big Arabian horse ranch--this was just a few miles South of Bo'l Hollow.
The Sun was going down and we were headed to a big ranch where a new aquaintance had invited us to stay and camp.
Me and Scott arrived at the ranch about 2
hours before sunset and took the opportunity for Stuart (owner of the ranch)
take me and Scotts picture together.
Scott by the way owns a Yamaha WR250R like
mine--except his is the most modified one on the planet.
He is very smart-----unlike me--dumber than a dirt clod.
This is the old Pebble Dam Lodge and would be me and Stuarts home for the night.
Stuart grilled up the best Braughts me and Scott ever tasted them and we enjoyed them with a rip roaring fire later in the evening.
This is a beautiful ranch--with a couple guest house on the grounds.
Scott wasn't about to sleep inside and set
up his hammock out in the trees. He said it was the most comfortable thing
he had ever slept in.
The whole place was way off a seldom traveled
dirt road and was perfectly silent.
Scott told me of a story when he was sleeping in his hammock and a black bear was sniffing at the bottom of it.
He stayed very still---and it walked away.
The fall colors were almost in full bloom---man I loved this place.
Me and Stuart.
What a nice guy to invite us to camp at his place.
He had a BMW F650 X-Country.
We slept so well--as we had a great long ride the day before and Stuart fixed us breakfast.
Man I'd like to live here.
I'm an early riser and was actually all packed
up by the time the sun came up but hung around long enough to have breakfast.
But I would head back East to home and Scott would head back West to home in Oklahoma.
This is the river right below the cabin and there is a dam there. It used to have a hyrdro electric plant here that powered the lodge,
way before the nearby town had electricity. Stuart said they have plans to build another hyro electric plant and put it back as
it was back in the 30's.
You can see it's still early as the early
morning fog starts to lift and the KTM V-twin rumbles down the curvy blacktop.
I was estatic with the morning.
This is the Harlow Ford---I tried to cross
this years ago on my BMW 1150GS and seriously could have drowned.
It was very slippery---I went down and the bike and hard panniers (which I refuse to use anymore) had me pinned
with only my head barely out of the water. My buddies riding behind me eventually pulled up and got the bike off
me and got it back to shore---we couldn't get across it.
I was alone today----and the rocks under the water today still looked slick---it would have been foolish for me to try it and I didn't.
Just a bit down stream it was way too deep.
I was wandering home---just going here and
there sort of heading East-------sort of !!!
I've never heard of this before in m life---and I spent about 3 hours poking around here--and hit one dead end road after the other.
But the ridng was very good---and I had gas !!!!
One of the dead ends I hit at the current river. A perfect camp spot was here. I marked it with my gps and rode on.
I thought I was getting near the Current river again and the Akers ferry crossing.
This ferry had been shut down a lot this year from high water and I didn't know if it was running or not.
I pushed the button on the pole to call the
ferry operator and it takes quite a bit of time for him to drive down here and
come over to get you.
I thought of the movie Josey Wales here and for fun asked him if he ever saw the movie and he replied in Clint Eastwood style.
"This is what we call the Missourah Boat Ride"
I laughed so hard I about peed my pants.
We maybe this is the neatest thing I saw all weekend.
You climb down and down and down the stairs
to the bottom of Devils Well.
It was awesome.
You end up here at a locked gate---if you
went past the gate if it was open---you'd fall down into the water to your death
My wife would have never come down here---it was spooky.
The stairs are getting in bad shape--and with the lack of money to keep stuff like this repaired I look to see it
closed off and shut down.
Looking up the really steep stairs from the
These stairs are so steep---if you tripped you would just fall and tumble to the bottom.
Up top was a nice little pond---I thought
this was the Devils Well when I first got here---nice picnic spot here.
Man it's nice out here---little did I know that Scott was poking around going home to and was finding neat stuff.
I found this little spring down a one lane rutted and rocky dead end dirt road---thanks to Mr. GPS.
This is Scott after I left the Lodge--him
and Stuart poked around the ranch and found some neat stuff.
Rock formations and a few springs.
The weather was so nice--the fall colors so
pretty and I sensed the end of a good October riding season.
You just have so many---better slow down and smell the roses.
I came to the Mississippi river in St. Genevieve, Missouri and waited for the ferry--but had a few barges to wait on.
Back in Illinois------I love the color of the yellow beans in the field.
It was very sad to see this day end.