Saturday, October 10, 2009

A trip down the back roads looking at old stuff

And we drove on.....for miles it seemed like. Down and up, tree lined , little one lane roads like the one below. The good thing was it is so rocky in this part of the country that we didn't have to worry about getting stuck in the mud. Tool Belt Jim loves these kinds of roads.

But even he had to give up and stop and check the map to see where in the heck we were at. The map said this road would come out on a highway, but it wasn't looking too good!!

Aah, another barn. This one was about to fall over but it still sheltered a turkey and a goat.
We passed a "impassable in high water" sign and rounded the curve and there was our second mill. Built right up against the rock bluff.

The water was roaring right along at this mill also.

Again, Tool Belt Jim had to check out the paddle wheel.

And I had to pose beside it. The Hodgson Mill was mill # 2 in our quest for the old grain mills of the Ozarks.
Not sure what this old building was but Tool Belt Jim had to check it out. I thought it cute that there was an old outhouse across the street. I was running out of battery or I would have stopped and snapped a picture of that too. Remember that is all they had back in the days of old

Toured the old mill here also. And it was cold inside here. The weather started out in the lower 40's this morning and had warmed up to the 50's or so by now but keep in mind this mill is backed up to a rock wall with water dripping down it which added to the coldness I am sure.

And there was even an old cave in the rock behind the mill. I notice they have it blocked off. I think the lady said it goes back about 50 feet to the spring. Probably was a good place to store their food in the old days to keep in cool. A cave and a spring both. Natural refrigeration I am thinking. Natural place for a bear to live too....

And back into the truck we headed to find more adventure further down the road...

There are many weathered old houses like this that families have moved away from and left to the ravages of nature. Probably to live someplace closer to a Wal-Marts I am thinking... I judge how far something is by how far it is from the nearest Wal-Marts. This part of the country is too remote for me. Tool Belt Jim kept making comments like "this place is for sale" and "I would love living in this kind of country". Think remote and isolated. With his next wife is all I can say!

Oh yeah, here comes another barn. Looks like the one where I grew up at too. Gotta take a picture even if my battery is running out on me

Another low water bridge. We're getting more daring (or stupid) as we go along. Gave it a moments thought and zipped right on across. I just had a thought. How in the world does the school buses go down these back roads to deliver the kids that live in this area?

Holy cow! It's a buffalo way out here in the middle of nowhere in the backwoods of the Ozarks. I had to get out of the car and call them up to the fence so I could take a picture. How do you call a buffalo, you ask? Something like "here buffalo, here buffalo" while you bang on the metal fence. That's how we always called the pigs and cows at home. Along with "sooeee". I tell you I grew up on a farm and I know these things!

By now my camera is really giving me fits and I keep turning it off and on to get a green light. Then I got the bright idea of switching places with the batteries and it came back on for a few more shots. Genius!
And now for our third and final old mill. We had to cross another small river to get to it and I was sure we were going down a dead end road but lo and behold it appeared across the road from the man who owned it. Tool Belt Jim kept hoping he would come outside and give us a tour but didn't happen so I got out and snapped some pictures. Tool Belt Jim said someone told him the man did not mind people "trespassing" on his property. Trespassing is how I would have viewed it anyway.

Wait! Is that another water wheel I see?

And is that Tool Belt Jim checking it out also?

And me posing beside mill paddle # 3. This one is the Topaz Mill.

And the owner of this mill was also restoring the old store. Don't you know back in the day that the mill and the country store were the hub of the town. I remember in my great-great-grandmothers day they wrote of taking their grain into the mill to be ground. Brings history a little more to life to actually see what the old stores and grain mills looked like. Most of them are huge two story buildings!

Well, it has been a fun day but now it's time to head back to "the city" to spend the night and maybe get a little shopping in so all we have to do now is drag out the map and find the nearest blacktop highway heading to someplace with a population over 20,000 and a mall! And maybe a Wal-Marts. Which by the way this silly spell checker keeps telling me I am not spelling Wal-Marts right. Trust me, I write enough checks there that I know how to spell it!
So we're "back on the road again"...

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