Camping at Greer (Oregon County)

April 22, 2016

The bluff wall below the cave outlet at Greer Spring (Oregon County). The cube-shaped boulder in the foreground, along with the moss-covered log, parallel with the current, caught my eye on this trip.

Joyce and I camped at Greer Crossing (USFS) in Oregon County last night so we could take an early hike down to Greer Spring. I wanted to check out some columbines that I had discovered last year, hanging from a boulder in perfect juxtaposition with the cave outlet. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an image at the time because the flowers were well past their prime. I did make a note, however, to return this year, a little earlier in the spring bloom, to try again.

We arrived at the campground in late-afternoon and were happy to find a sign on the bulletin board stating that all sites were free until May 1. We also found a poster (see next image) reminding us that we were in bear country. I can’t get used to the fact that Missouri now has enough bears to warrant friendly reminders to campers that they should be “bear aware,” especially regarding food around the campsite.

 

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A friendly reminder from the U.S. Forest Service to be aware of bears that might visit your campsite or cross paths with you on the trail. I am seeing more and more signs of this type in the Ozarks and it makes me smile to know I might encounter a bear in the wild during one of my excursions.

 

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Joyce was excited about our new “stand-up-tent,” which simply means that it is tall enough to stand up inside. I’ll admit that I found it pretty nice myself while getting dressed the next morning at 0-dark-30! We have assembled quite a collection of tents, ranging from my backpack version for the motorcycle, to a mid-sized version for when I’m car camping alone, to this full-sized cabin with plenty of extra space.

 

It was the perfect evening for camping, and we found plenty of firewood around the site. As we were settling in by the fire, a couple of hikers came in from the Ozark trail. They must have been disappointed to see the sign, “No water available until May 1.” When we offered them several bottles for the next leg of their trip, they were more than grateful. We even gave them some some ice-cold soft drinks and orange juice.

The next morning we were up about an hour before sunrise and heading down the Greer Spring Trail. We were immediately greeted by a virtuoso performance from a wood thrush, my favorite musician of the avian world. Joyce said that its otherworldly song reminded her of the pan flute sounds of the Great Zamfir! As if the beautiful sounds of the forest were not enough, we walked into a full moon, low on the horizon, which illuminated hundreds of bright-white dogwood petals that had fallen along the trail during a recent rain.

We arrived at the spring by sunrise and I rushed to find the columbine from the previous year. It didn’t take long to find the same flowers hanging from the moss-covered boulder, but my smile turned into a frown when I saw that they were yet again shriveling and lacking in color. Joyce could see that I was a little upset but I just said, “Hey — nature loves to mess with me,” and began looking for some other landscape opportunities.

After making some shots of the bluff wall (see featured image) I headed downstream to the second spring outlet, which I call the “Big Boil.” Together, the two outlets of Greer Spring represent Missouri’s second largest spring discharge, doubling the size of the Eleven Point River!

 

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The “Big Boil” which is about 250 feet downstream from the cave discharge of Greer Spring.

 

Soon we were headed back up the trail, making frequent stops to listen to wood thrushes, ovenbirds, tanagers, and a variety of other avian visitors to the wonderful site. I listened all the way for the song of the hooded warbler, a perennial nesting bird at Greer Spring, but I never heard its familiar tune.

I look forward to returning to Greer Spring in a few weeks when we’ll be camping again with a couple of friends. I’d say the chances are good that I’ll have more images to share of this lovely area.

Thanks for looking,

DB

Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images:  Danny’s Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 comments on “Camping at Greer (Oregon County)”

  1. Thank you for e-taking me to Greer, even though the columbines were past their prime!

  2. Hi, Danny~It was fun to see your images if Greer Spring! My mom’s best friend and her family are all part of the Dennig/Gildehaus clan who owned then had a 99 year lease on that property. They dearly love it and it was a pleasure to share your post with them.Thank you and the stand up tent looks great! Kathy  ; – ))

    Sent on the new Sprint Network from my Samsung Galaxy S®4

  3. The picture of you and Joyce in front of your tent makes me so happy☺

  4. Thank’s Danny, for sending those images of Greer Springs ot me. I makes me want to get out my tent, and go camping. Beautiful Country, and some wonderful shots of the springs.

    Art


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