Fall 2017

The hot days of summer are winding down and we look forward to a Missouri fall. Well, maybe students and teachers look forward with a bit less joy than many of us. Both my wife and I are retired from the classroom, so we can travel even during the week.

As we plan our travel for the fall, it is helpful to use our computers to research and learn before we venture out on the IRL highway, and sometimes we not get on the IRL highway at all. I have researched some nice online destinations to get you started on those fall travels.

My first suggestion, Missouri-Vacations.com/index.htm is a travel guide to the Arcadia Valley Region in southeastern Missouri. The page has beautiful photos and a huge amount of information. I visited some of the sites that it features IRL this past summer with some Order of the Arrow friends from Boy Scouts of America. We went to Fort Davidson, Elephant Rocks and Johnson Shut-ins. I recommend them all.

In September, there will be a civil war battle reenactment at Fort Davidson, the site of the Battle of Pilot Knob. It came near the beginning of Confederate General Sterling Price’s attempt to seize Missouri for the Confederacy. I have presented a slide show about Price’s campaign and the Battle of Glasgow, which ended just a two block walk from my home. This page, Missouri-Vacations.com/fort-davidson-state-historic-site/index.htm, has a lot of information about the Pilot Knob battle. When I was there, I enjoyed learning more about Price and seeing the artifacts in the museum.

You can read about the Battle of Glasgow on Glasgow’s Lewis Library webpage at LewisLibrary.org/BOG.html. Be sure to click on the link “Memories of Glasgow” which will take you to an article written by my wife’s grandfather, Walter Henderson Sr.

Did you know that Missouri had more Civil War battles than any state, except Virginia and Tennessee? Some say that the Civil War began in Missouri because of the Missouri Compromise and the Dred Scott decision. You can read more at Visitmo.com/missouri-travel/where-the-civil-war-began.aspx.

Something more romantic than the battles of the Civil War would be a visit to one or more of Missouri’s wineries. Before prohibition, Missouri was a major wine producing state. Those wineries either closed or changed to mushroom farms during prohibition. More recently, wine making in Missouri has made a huge comeback. There are currently about 130 commercial wineries in Missouri with more being opened all the time.

Some of these wineries have grouped together to form 11 “wine trails,” which can be explored at MissouriWine.org/wineries. The wine trails are located all over the state, so pace yourself or establish a designated driver as you sample the wines and food. One winery is located in my hometown of Glasgow. Bushwhacker Bend (BushwackerBend.com) produces a great Norton from MIssouri’s premier grape. Gene does a great job with it and also his other wines. If you visit Bushwhacker Bend, have them call me. I’ll come down to meet you.

Finally, this list of 14 romantic spots in Missouri (OnlyInYourState.com/missouri/romantic-spots-mo/) may inspire you. Beautiful photos of places from carriage rides in St. Louis to luxury hotels in Kansas City with B&Bs from Branson to the Lake of the Ozarks will prove tempting.

Be careful as you travel IRL in Missouri, but do get out and enjoy our beautiful state. If we should cross paths at a Civil War site or perhaps while sipping a glass of Missouri Wine, be sure to say hello. That sort of friendliness is a big part of what makes Missouri a wonderful place to live.

J.Y. Miller lives in Glasgow and is a regular contributor to Show-Me Missouri. His e-mail address is jymiller@ShowMeMissouri.net.