Sunday, May 24, 2020

Skinking Around at Some State Parks

We packed up camp and headed out. Cooking took some effort but all in all I think it was a successful first post apocalyptic camping experience!

The fun part was the we had arrived at Graham Cave State Park. The less fun part was that the cave was closed. Oh well. We had a good time hiking around it anyway.


Today's tree is brought to you by the letter N.

One thing that I learned pretty quickly: it turns out that Missouri is covered in friggin skinks. They are always skinking around and making a lot of noise in the leaves alongside trails. The first few times it happened it freaked me out. Is that a snake??? No. It's a skink. Always a skink. This five-lined skink is a juvenile with the tell-tale(nailed it) blueish tail.

I saw some iridescent tiger beetles... giving each other a piggy back ride. Must be really good friends.

At Boone's Lick State Historic Site you can see the remains of a salt business opened by Daniel Boone's sons. Salt was so important in Missouri history that we have a Saline County.

If I hadn’t visited Boone's Lick State Historic Site I never would have learned how snails poop! That would have been an empty life indeed.

Arrow Rock State Historic Site is a cool little village from the 1800s.

J. Huston Tavern dates back to 1834 and is the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River.

Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site is home to the grave of Claiborne Jackson, 15th governor of MO. Jackson declared Missouri to be a free republic in order to join it with the Confederacy during the Civil War, after failing he fled to Arkansas.

A fun related fact in my life is that the attempted secession of Missouri from the Union was voted on in Neosho, MO where I lived for a year. There was some signage mentioning the fact in the town square area, where a provisional confederate state capitol building was situated. There was not a lot going on in Neosho and so I had a lot of free time on my hands. So much so that I contacted the Missouri State Archives asked for related material. They kindly provided a copy of the Rebel Legislature's Senate Journal where the resolution of Missouri leaving the Union was recorded.

"AN ACT declaring the political ties heretofore existing between the State of Missouri and
the United States of America dissolved.

WHEREAS, The government of the United States, in the possession and
under the control of a sectional party, has wantonly violated the compact

originally made between said government and the State of Missouri, by in-
vading with hostile armies the soil of the State, attacking and making pris-
oners the militia whilst legally assembled under the State laws, forcibly

occupying the State capital, and attempting, through the instrumentality
of domestic traitors, to usurp the State government, seizing and destroying
private property, and murdering with fiendish malignity peaceable citizens,
men, women and children, together with other acts of' atrocity indicating a
deep settled hostility towards the people of Missouri and their institutions,
WHEREAS, The present administration of the government of the United
States has utterly ignored the Constitution, subverted the government as
constructed and intended by its makers, and established a despotic and arbi-
trary power instead thereof; now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as

That all political ties of every character now existing between the gov-
ernment of the United States of America, and the people and government
of the State of Missouri, are hereby dissolved, and the State of Missouri,
resuming the sovereignty granted by compact to the said United States
upon the admission of said State into the Federal Union, does again take
its place as a free and independent republic amongst the nations of the
This act to take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
Read first and second time and amended. Read third time and passed, October 28,1861.
JOHN T. CRISP, Secretary Senate."

Nailed it. Annie and Abel Van Meter State Park and surrounding lands were once the home of the Native American tribe known to French settlers as “Oumessourit,” or Missouri Indians, after which the state of Missouri is named.

Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site, north of Sedalia, Missouri was built by John Bothwell from 1897 to 1928. His influence helped to make Sedalia the permanent location for the Missouri State Fair.

An award for camping at Missouri state parks, you say? You shall be mine!

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