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Rail Trail and Nature Trail

November 11, 2012

Missouri – Thursday, November 8

I didn’t want to venture too far from Springfield in case I had short notice to meet up with the claims adjusters, but luckily Missouri has a lot of rail trails – having been a hub of so much expansion to the west has left them with a lot of now-unused rail lines, and many of those have been turned into wonderful hiking/biking corridors. So I headed for the Frisco Highline Trail, the 2nd longest rail-trail in the state, and 1 of 10 overseen by the Ozark Greenways organization. (The KATY trail, which starts back in St. Charles – and I walked on part of that – is the longest rail-trail in the country at 237 miles – it stretches across nearly the whole state). The Frisco Highline trail is 35 miles long, and as I read more about it at the trailhead, I can’t imagine what else could be done to make it more accessible and enjoyable for absolutely everyone of all ages. Lots of the trail is paved which works for people in wheelchairs, walkers, joggers, skaters and bikers. Eight miles up, it turns into a crushed stone trail, and horses are also allowed to use the trail, so that adds another component. And it’s paved again for miles at the other end. There are parking lots conveniently located at different intervals so that the trail can be accessed in a half dozen different places. There were quite a few people out enjoying the trail while I was walking. I was getting ready to turn around at the 3 mile mark, and I passed a lady walking an exuberant beagle – the dog was so excited to see another dog that he pulled against his leash until he was standing on his hind legs and he literally hopped at least 20 paces to get to Tula – it looked pretty funny. While the dogs were becoming acquainted, the lady and I talked for a few minutes, and she said if I walked just a little farther on, I would see a “rest area” set up by the local storage unit owners – so I did, and there was a water dish for dogs, a water pump for humans, a picnic table in the shade, and flowers in baskets on tricycles. It was so unexpected! Tula didn’t want the water in the dish – but when I turned on the pump, she had fun snapping at the water gushing out, and playing in the spray – she has always had a fascination with water spraying from hoses and this was no different. No ladylike sipping from a bowl for her! The storage unit also had inexpensive mini-storage units for bikes in case someone lived somewhere that was too cramped to keep a bike. It was nice to read and see all the extras with this particular rail trail, and since I’m in full support of communities working together to provide good outdoor recreation, my donation today went to Ozark Greenways.

After I had turned around and was walking back to the trailhead, I finally got a call from the claims adjusters, and their mobile units were all tied up today, but we made an appointment for first thing in the morning, and I was happy it would all be taken care of before leaving Missouri. Even without seeing my damage, they have already accepted liability (as they should!), and they will make a repair estimate and give me a check to cover expenses right then and there. I got back to the car after walking about 6 1/2 miles, and decided it was time to take care of a few little shopping errands – mostly I needed a new air pump for my new inflatable mattress (my old one has a leak somewhere) and I’m being optimistic I can camp again soon. With those finished, I then headed to the other side of Springfield to go walking on the trails at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. This was a really nice nature preserve, and it’s so close to highways and everything, but one would never know. Tula couldn’t come on those trails, but she was ready for a nap anyway. Lots of the trails were boardwalk, and there were hills and it was so quiet and peaceful – there were quite a few deer and turkeys around. I got a couple more miles of walking in – I’m trying to do a little extra walking today, so I have fewer miles to walk in Missouri tomorrow before moving on to State #10. Then, since I was going to be spending my 2nd night in Springfield, I decided I should maybe walk around the historic part of town since I hadn’t really seen that yet. So I found that area, and Tula and I walked some more, but it just wasn’t an area of town that I enjoyed walking in as much as other places – but that’s bound to happen too!

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  1. Barbara G. Trojan permalink

    Hi Nancy, Lynn provided the information I needed & I am now able to follow your blogs. I started at the beginning and have now caught up. I’m thoroughly enjoying every word & learning a lot also. I love what your doing!!!! Barbara Trojan

  2. Hi Barbara! Thanks for the nice comments – glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂 Writing about my days really helps me get all the details in my memory. I wouldn’t want all of this to become a big blur! It was fun talking to you from Delaware!

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