This time of year is usually great for roadtrips and hiking, with the foliage in full bloom but the heat and humidity still at bay. Unfortunately, recent storms, including the Inland Hurricane, have put a real damper on hiking opportunities.
Northern portions of the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois saw considerable damage on May 8. A note on their website says, "While no closure orders have been issued at this time, we are strongly encouraging the public to stay out of the forest." Meanwhile, southern portions of the forest are still recovering from the February ice storm.
The Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri also has some closures thanks to the Inland Hurricane. In addition, some Missouri state parks have suffered damage from floods, windstorms, ice storms, tornadoes, and who knows what else (plague of locusts, perhaps?).
With so many trails and destinations out of commission, there's not much I can write about this week. It's time for some filler material.
I've gone through my photo archives and selected some pictures of mystery locations in Southeast Missouri. Can you identify these places? It won't be easy.
1. Somewhere along the Mississippi River
This scenic outcrop is visible when the river is low enough. Can you figure out where this photo was taken?
2. The Mini-Me Version of the Statue of Liberty
What town square features this Statue of Liberty replica? Hint: The town didn't exist prior to the 1940s.
3. Prominent mountain
This peak played an important role in Missouri history during the 1800s. Where is it?
4. Cemetery with a view
It's not very often you find a private cemetery with its own panoramic view of the Mississippi River. Who is buried here?
5. Unnatural sight along a nature trail
When you visit a natural area, you generally don't expect to find a pile of old radiators. This might look like trash that was dumped here, but that's not the case. The radiators are the last remnants of a farmhouse demolished decades ago. Where is this place?
6. When they say "Bridge Closed", they mean it
The flatlands of Southeast Missouri have lots of wooden bridges crossing small drainage ditches. This one has suffered a partial collapse. Which county owns this bridge?
7. Not just a property line
It's not unusual to find stakes marking the corners of property boundaries. But this one near Perryville marks something a little more unusual. What is it?
8. All roads lead to Cape
Where is this street sign located and why is the road named for Cape Girardeau?
9. Iron bridge
This is a classic steel truss bridge with a scenic view. Sadly, it failed an inspection last year and is now closed to traffic. Where is this?
10. Not graffiti
In 1858, somebody carved his initials "J.L." into this stone. Why?
Check back next week for the answers to the Impossible Quiz.