June 24, 2002
2 min. read
This post is part of the Trans-Am series.
The Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is 8,470 acres around the East Fork of the Black River. The Shut-Ins are formed by blue-gray steel hard volcanic rock. These rocks were formed when violent volcanic eruptions exploded, causing material to avalanche down layer upon layer, forming the rocks exposed today. The rocks were covered with sedimentary such as limestone, sandstone and shale. After a major uplift that caused the Ozark region, the water covering this area (producing the sedimentary rocks) subsided. As streams cut through the area, it sliced down through the sedimentary rock, exposing the older igneous rocks. Swirling over and around these harder rocks, the river carves potholes, chutes, and canyon like gorges. Johnson’s Shut-Ins is Missouri’s best example of this occurrence.
You can climb among the rocks where the current creates almost waterslide like areas and great places to lay down for a neck massage or a thigh massage. There were many large tadpoles, crawdads, and fish to watch. It was a great place to be last night after riding.
I wasn’t feeling very good in the morning and my legs wouldn’t mind a rest day, so we headed to the office to get another camp site. We got the last one left, but it wasn’t the same one as last night. We moved from 48 to 41, so I actually traveled about 0.2 miles on my bicycle today. :)
We did the same thing as yesterday and headed to the Shut-Ins after 6 PM. The sun isn’t too high and most of the people are gone.
We headed to sleep for an early start, but battened the hatches for rain. I heard the familiar sound of a guitar being harmonically tuned and listened to a little bit of some very well played fingerstyle guitar, while walking to the toilet. I miss playing and wonder how much I will have lost after 3 months on the road. The sound outside my tent was just loud talking until 11. Wish we camped closer to the Celtic guitar music. Thunder at 2 AM woke me from my sleep and I watched nature’s strobe lights flash for a good while. The rain finally came around 3 AM and I didn’t get back to sleep till almost 4.
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, MO
Tent Site: 37 deg 32.687 min N, 90 deg 50.637 min W, elev 921 ft.
Trip Miles: 1369.7 miles
Part 41 of 48 in the Trans-Am series.