Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Day Trippin'

Yesterday Lu and I trekked up into Missouri to visit the George Washington Carver National Monument. Now she has one more Passport cancellation stamp in her book.  We've been trying to hit those within driving distance for the past couple of summers.  Last year we did Hot Springs National Park and Pea Ridge National Battlefield

This site is home to the birthplace of George Washington Carver.  It's tucked back in Missouri farmland and is one of the prettiest parks we've visited.  It may not have the grandeur of Yellowstone, the Tetons or the Grand Canyon, but for a day trip, it was well worth the visit.

There's a small museum inside the visitor center that details George's childhood and life, and a little one-room schoolhouse replica.  There's also a working science lab! 

The interactive educational exhibits were pretty awesome, maybe the best I've seen in any visitor center, including the "big" ones.  There is a 3/4-1 mile hike outside that takes you past his birth site and around the original homestead.

It's a gorgeous nature walk, and the park ranger gives a 1-hour interpretive walk too.  (We took to the trail on our own though, with the brochure).

A stream runs through the property that is gorgeous, and reminds me of the streams running through the woods here where I grew up.  Actually the entire trail reminded me a lot of my childhood, tramping through the woods and splashing through creeks, sometimes with friends, sometimes with a dog trailing me, sometimes alone.  This is where I grew up and may be the best example of what this part of the country looks like for you foreigners (or as my son calls you, city folk). ;)

the water is beautifully crystal clear
The end of the trail takes you through a field of wildflowers and passes by a small cemetary where Moses and Sarah Carver are buried.  George is buried at Tuskegee, AL.

There's a really pretty picnic area too, where we ate lunch before we hiked. 

Most excellent day trip.  If you're in the area, I recommend visiting!

And in a completely fun "small world" moment, the park ranger on duty when we got to the park graduated from the same college (NSU) as me within the same time frame!  As an education major!  It was a fun coincidence.

I mentioned that I've been saying for the past few years that when I "stop teaching" I'd like to work or volunteer at a NP,  and she told me about the Teacher to Ranger to Teacher program.  I've got to say, it sounds very, very cool.  It will be a few years before I don't have kiddos at home in the summer (sob! my babies!), but I am definitely keeping the program in mind for the future!  Fun!


  1. Your photos could be in the brochure for the park. Just gorgeous. My ten-year-old was just talking about GWC the other day. I wonder how far that is from us. I will have to look. The ranger program sounds great. I really enjoy your day trip posts. : )

  2. awesome day out! I should be taking the kids to our local state and national parks (we even get the Texas parks and recreation magazine each month, which is lovely). But... yesterday the high was 100, next week it's up to 105. June's too late for park trekking in daylight! Or so says me. (They are going to a state park event in the dark tonight though. LOL)

  3. Oh, my goodness, Lu is so gorgeous! When did she get so grown up?


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