Sunday, January 03, 2021

New Year New Parks

Well it's a new year and you know what that means: new Missouri State Parks!

I was embarrassingly excited to take a hike in the beautiful white ice covered trees I was seeing along the highway.

Of course the fact I was excited about it meant that the universe could not allow it to happen. I was the whitest thing at the park.

Montauk State Park near Salem, MO sports its own fish hatchery, and is noted for its rainbow and brown trout angling. Its natural springs form the headwaters of the Current River.

The trees were getting icier!

Elephant Rocks State Park is home to an outcropping of Precambrian pink granite in the St. Francois Mts that I guess if you squint look like elephants. Quarries here supplied stone for St. Louis City Hall and the Eads Bridge. 

A nearby sign:

"The granite rocks of this area are found in that part of the Ozarks known as the St. Francois Mountains. The rock making up these mountains formed over one billion years ago when molten magma beneath the earth's thin crust cooled. In the millions of years to follow, the land was uplifted, leveled by erosional cycles, and covered with sediments deposited by ancient seas. The granite rocks again were exposed when the land uplifted and sedimentary rocks eroded away."

I thought the remains of the Engine House were cool. They were composed of the same pink granite from the elephants, and they had the original train tracks that would take the quarry's products away to market.

The elephants looked a lot more like baked potatoes to me. Or maybe I'm just hungry.

"Located 14 feet to your left and four to five feet high are letters and numbers carved into granite rock. Many quarry workers carved their names and the date into the rock when they became master stone cutters."

I found these name and date carvings to be haunting. This will probably last longer than their gravestones will. In 1876:

Alexander Graham Bell makes the first successful telephone call

 Battle of the Little Bighorn: an army under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer is defeated by 1,500-2,500 Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho

The first cremation in the United States takes place

 Wild Bill Hickok is killed during a poker game in Deadwood, Dakota

Colorado is admitted as the 38th U.S. state

1875 was the year of the first Kentucky Derby.

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