The Last Nice Day
This November has been a month of fine weather. Our above normal temperatures and lack of any real freeze has pushed the time for full color into Mid-November. The best day of the lot however was the 16th. The weather was forecast to get as high as 81 with full sun and a nice breeze. It seemed like the last day to wear shorts and a t-shirt. Our game plan for the day was to start out just outside Harrison, then drive up to Lowes in Hollister to pick up some project materials, then find somewhere picturesque to visit on the way back home. We decided on a trip south and east of Hollister to visit the Drury-Mincy Conservation area in Missouri.
Outside of Harrison, all the way at the end of Cottonwood Road, stands a swinging bridge. The Haggard Ford Bridge was a WPA project constructed from 1939 to 1941. By the early 70's it was in an unsafe and deteriorating condition. The local citizens raised money to pay for a restoration which was completed in 1977. One of the ways they raised money was to carve a donors name in a plank on the bridge. Some of them can still be read today. The bridge does swing and move when you cross it. The site is still cared for by the local citizens to this day.
We left there and slipped over to Hwy 65N and scooted up to Hollister. We left Lowes by the back way. I had used google maps to carve out a route from the parking lot to the conservation area. David called out the turns and we found our way there fairly easily. It was an interesting area and we stopped in several spots. Unfortunately my driving skills were poor and before we realized it we had driven clean out of the area and back into Arkansas. We intend to go back there soon and do a better job of checking the whole area out.
When we realized we had some time left we decided to take the scenic route from the old Hwy 65 at Burlington all the way over to Denver. Driving along the old route across the tops of the mountains gives you great panoramic views of the Ozark countryside. I find it spectacular and breathtaking. Pictures don't do the views justice.
Today Denver is a small rural community but remnants of the old historic downtown are still there although not much is being done to maintain or restore them. At some point they will just disappear.
This was a really enjoyable day. The high for the day turned out to be 83, but it felt even warmer than that out in the sunshine. There was a gentle breeze in the air, and as we headed home from Denver we knew that this was probably the last nice day of fall weather. We had not explored as much of the Missouri Conservation Area as we had hoped, but that just means another trip! I hope you get the chance to explore the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. They are beautiful in all the seasons, but my favorite is the fall.