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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Big Trees Indeed in the Bootheel aka "Swampeast" of Missouri...

I have lost track of the number of times I have driven past the sign for Big Oak Tree State Park ( in Southern Missouri. 

Often it's in a hurried rush to get to the beach or a hurried rush to get home from the beach. 

This summer, instead of our usual beach trip, my family headed to Reelfoot Lake, TN for a little fishing and Union City, TN to an awesome Discovery Park ( 
When I realized I could easily head north to Kentucky and take the Dorena-Hickman Ferry across the Mississippi River on the way home and fit in a few hours at Big Oak Tree, I was beyond excited. 

I am always trying to find new experiences for my daughter and I to share. I have to admit the ferry ride kinda pushed my "fear factor" limits, but she loved it. When my feet were on solid ground in Missouri, that's when my appreciation for the ferry finally kicked in. 
It was a little humid (go figure!) for June in Missouri, but Karlene and I really enjoyed the trail we did at Big Oak Tree. It was elevated above a swampy area, so we caught a lot of glimpses of wildlife, plants, and (of course!) HUGE trees. 

My daughter told me several times that she bet those trees could really tell a story. I have to agree. 

They simply tower above you. Beyond their size and age, it's a true moment that makes one realize that we humans are only here but a moment and then gone. I had a similar feeling when exploring the redwoods in Northern California. 

When we were there in June, Big Oak Tree was GREEN and so full of life. I can only imagine the other seasons at this park. It's something I hope to experience soon. Can you imagine these trees covered in ice or fall color? I can! I bet this snake can, too... maybe? 
Overall, taking the "long way home" can be so fun. Sure, the way back from Reelfoot, TN to our home is about 5 1/2 hours. On this June day, we turned it into about DOUBLE that time. A roadtrip, a ferry ride, a beautiful state park, Mexican for a late lunch on the way home...that's a pretty good way to break up a drive and learn more about your country, your place in the world, and much much more! 
I encourage you to take the long way home sometime, and if you can - go see Big Oak Tree State Park. 

Until next time, 
M of MK Designs

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