Read part 1 here
Saturday was our big adventure day. After getting ready in the morning and eating breakfast we made a quick stop at Wally World to pick up a couple of deli sandwiches. Supermarket delis offer a fairly cheap source of pre made and relatively fresh food. For $5 we had a huge sub sandwich that we packed away in a cooler bag along with some free hotel ice.
Now that we were ready, we departed Farmington and made our way West South West to the heart of Arcadia Valley. Arcadia Valley is situated in the St. Francois Mountains of the Ozark Plateau. The area has/is heavily mined and our first stop was an old abandoned granite quarry.
Elephant Rocks State Park is best known for its granite tors. A tor is a rock outcropping that has been left behind by weathering. The park is named for the series of tors that resemble circus elephants balancing on each others backs.
Before you even get to the main event there is much fun to be had just steps away from the parking lot.
The trees are covered with the same lichen and moss as the boulders
and in some places the trees grow around the tough granite.
This looked like a good place to take a family photo (hindsight is 20/20 eh)
As we walked along the interpretive trail, it wasn’t difficult to find signs of quarrying.
A short distance away, there stood the remnants of a 100+ year old engine house that helped carry the stone away.
Finally, we stumbled upon the site of the main quarry. According to a sign, the cliff walls are 30 feet and the water depth is another 40 feet.
One of my favorite things to do on this trip was to offer to take group photos of other people. It always kind of pains me to see folks trying to take group selfies. In return, it is almost impossible for them to say no when you ask them to take a picture of you!
Now it was time to get to the main attraction! The rocks created a twisty turny labyrinth that was an absolute playground to explore, get lost in, and rediscover one another.
I couldn’t think of a better place to take kids to go play (okay there was another awesome place later in the trip).
Thanks for the butt shot Shae!
Another moment of scratch your back, scratch mine.
We felt like we had explored every nook and cranny and our stomachs were starting to gurgle so we trekked back to the parking lot to have our picnic lunch.
and a parent nap (they are shorter than cat naps)
Then it was time to drive to our next adventure!