End of the Trail in the Ozark Mountains

End of the Trail at Top of the Rock_13086 StaatsOn our last night in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, we went to the Buffalo Bar at the Top of the Rock, near Ridgedale, Missouri.  As the sun was setting after a warm summer-like day, it illuminated the clouds that were on the horizon and in the sky above, and all was reflected in Table Rock Lake.  At the Top of the Rock is a water pool that has a statue of the End of the Trail, all at the precipice overlooking the lake.  In researching the statue, I learned that the sculptor James Earle Fraser was originally from Winona, Minnesota, and the piece was first modeled in 1894.  This area of the Ozarks had been home to the Osage Indians, and this evening’s sunset beauty seemed a fitting tribute to them and the area they loved.

A lush green spring in southern Missouri

Waterfall_Staats 13007We’ve just returned from a full week of traveling, bookmarked on each end with a graduation; one nephew’s college graduation and another nephew’s high school graduation (congrats to them both –  I couldn’t be more proud!).  The first part of the week found us in southern Missouri, south of Branson.  With all the rain that has fallen (including while we were there), everything is a beautiful and lush green.  The Ozark mountains were in their prime, and waterfalls were running full and fast.  In other areas, flowers were in full bloom – iris and peonies, foxglove and phlox.  We truly couldn’t have picked a better time for our trip.  It was a great time to explore the area with its natural beauty – a wonderful relaxing time.