June 15 - Bennett Springs, S.P. - Hatchery - Lebanon, MO

I woke up early today and headed in to Lebanon for food and supplies. I stopped at a carwash on my way, as the Westy hasn't had a bath in a while. As well as an ice cream cone at "The Swiss Inn." It has been a beautiful day.

My campsite here is nice, shaded from the sun and there is a lot of wildlife here too. I heard something rustling in the woods and looked around for it...I kept hearing it, but I couldn't find it. After I looked for about 10 minutes, from the back seat of the van I spotted the source of the rustling in the leaves....a box turtle. I didn't say it was a fast rustling.

I explored this state park a bit. It has been built around a trout stream that runs through it. At all hours of the day there are a lot of fishermen in waders, lined up, sometimes shoulder to shoulder in the water with their fly rods. I watched the fishermen for a while today. They pull a lot of fish out, and it's always interesting to watch a fly fisherman with good technique. There are several pictures of the fishing below. All the fishermen were men....except one.

I had been sitting there on the bank for a while when a girl, probably in her early twenties came by. There was a guy sitting near me on the bank....
"No waders today huh?" he asked her. I guess they're both locals, they were apparently acquaintances.
She looked at him, "Oh, no...my sister decided she wanted the waders today so I'm bare legged."
She was wearing flip flop sandals and shorts. She just walked right into the water and stood in the line with the rest of the fishermen. The men in the waders didn't seem to mind AT ALL. More than one of them asked her if she had had any luck. It was just great to see her, so matter of factly, stroll thigh deep into the water...all these old men have all this fancy equipment and she just strolls right on in.

There was a trout hatchery at this sate park as well. More than 35 huge concrete tanks all full of water and fish. I thought of the lake I watched them stock with trout in Pennsylvania and figured those fish came from a similar kind of place.

This evening I had dinner and looked at the map to plan where I will stay tomorrow night. Two nights at Bennett Springs has been relaxing...time to roll on. I'd like to cover about 200 miles tomorrow and make it into Oklahoma.

Swiss Inn, and a lone cloud.

The elusive eastern box turtle.

The Westy (sans bra after a wash) at the camp site.

Breaking the glass ceiling of Missouri Trout fishing.
The trout hatchery.

The vehicle