Pavement Ends
James Baughn

Blog without words: Castor River Shut-ins

Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at 5:55 PM


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  • How do you get there???

    -- Posted by doggone on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 6:00 AM
  • http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places-go/natural-areas/castor-river-shut-ins

    The drive is pretty, even the last bit on a rough gravel road. There is a short trek to the river from the parking area through the woods, but the path is well-marked.

    -- Posted by Glumdalclitch on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 8:05 AM
  • I've written about this place before. See:



    The first link includes detailed directions.

    -- Posted by James Baughn on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 9:12 AM
  • While you are there, take a trash bag and pick up some litter!

    -- Posted by Hugh M Bean on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 10:22 AM
  • Used to go there in the 80's alot and camp overnight, just a sleeping bag and cooler full of beer. We called it "Pink rocks" back then

    -- Posted by travellin man on Fri, Apr 8, 2011, at 2:23 PM
  • Castor River has been a part of my life for 90 years.

    Down in the south part of Bollinger County there wanders a river, and I like to refer to this river as, "My River", because as a youth it was part of my heritage that was created by Mother Nature and passed on to me by preceding generations. Mother Nature had carved a meandering pathway for this river through the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, winding its way around timber covered hills and through fertile valleys like a silver ribbon, adding its touch of beauty to natures robe of green. This river is born back in these rugged hills and is nurtured and kept alive by arm like, branches that reach out to gather the cool spring water.

    This river is a special river. Special because it has a movement of life, as it gently flows along, following the path of least resistance.

    As the rays of the morning sun awaken the many forces of nature, the canopy of trees along this river becomes a cathedral of life as the songbirds fill the morning air with their repertoire of melodies. All this is further enhanced by the fragrance of the blossoming wildflowers.

    This river is alive with a magnetic allure that challenged the energy of my youth. I explored the many facets of its enticing charm. I found great pleasure in pursuit of the many forms of wildlife that made their home along its banks, and with my rather crude boat, and fishing tackle I spent many days and nights catching fish from its rippling water. It was not until many years after I had wandered away, that I realized that this was my Eden, this parcel of paradise provided by nature where I had spent my boyhood years without appreciating this legacy.

    There is little doubt that many others have claimed this river. The deposits of crude stone tools, and projectile points along its banks is evidence that this river has nourished the roots of family life for thousands of years. Even in my case it was the virgin timber along this river that predetermined my destiny of having been born a citizen of "Swamp East Missouri", as my father, at age four, was part of the Corbin family that migrated from Indiana to Bollinger County Missouri in 1898, for the sole purpose of harvesting timber along this river.

    As other pioneers moved into this area they chose home sites along the banks of this river, forming small, and thriving villages, like Greenbrier, Richardson Crossing, Buchanan, Gipsy, and Zalma all of which were dependent on the growth of timber along this river for their subsistence. When the supply of timber was depleted, these towns became, just a small dot on our maps.

    Yes; this river has a name, and that name was no doubt derived from the Beaver that built their lodges and made their homes along its banks. My dictionary defines, (in Part) the word "C-A-S-T-O-R as "Beaver, or a quantity of beaver pelts". Some old trapper, many years ago probably told a friend that he had caught a castor of beaver pelts on this river, and from that day on my river has been known as "Castor River".

    In 1920, at age 6, I learned to swim in this river. In 2003, at age 89, I was baptized in its cleansing water. At age 96 I will, once more return to my river, where the pleasant memories of those boyhood years will wash over me, and as its sparkling water reflects a picture of the past I will bequeath the undivided interest of my heritage to succeeding generations, trusting that they will protect and preserve this one small thread in the tapestry of life, and pass it on to generations yet to come.

    -- Posted by paulcorbin on Fri, Apr 15, 2011, at 7:55 PM