Monday, April 2, 2012

Karst Topography at Ha Ha Tonka

That's right. Karst topography. Are you reaching back yet? Go ahead, reach back far in your memory (probably middle school years) of Geography. Yesterday, when we were at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, I remembered I had learned this once before. Many years ago actually but we don't have to talk about that. Karst topography means an area that is composed of springs, caves, natural bridges, bluffs, and the like. Exactly what we found yesterday at Ha Ha Tonka. According to one of the brochures I picked up, this park is a prime example of karst topography. If you go there, you can definitely see why. The views are amazing! Sitting on the shores (and encompassing almost an entire cove) of The Lake of the Ozarks, sits this glorious piece of Missouri history.

In the early 1900s, a man named Robert Snyder fell in love with the area now known as Ha Ha Tonka and bought nearly 5000 acres of land here. One year after construction of his castle (as shown above), in 1906, Mr. Snyder died in an auto accident. About 20 years later, his sons finished the castle but another 20 years later, the castle was left in ruins after the devastating fire that brought the castle to the skeleton it is today. Not only is the castle worth visiting, but there are 14 trails, of all lengths to hike. The most scenic (purely my opinion) is the trail bringing you to the spring at the bottom of the bluff. Caution: there are 316 steps to go down and 316 steps to go up!! You think you're in shape until you reach about step 20 on the way back. Talk about working up a sweat!

There are some 48 million gallons of water that run through this spring DAILY! This absolutely amazes me. I can't even begin to imagine how much that actually is. And not only that, the water comes from as far away as 18 miles just to this spring. This area is home to all different wildlife.

See the turtles basking in the afternoon sun? And there is......


Missouri's glorious dogwood trees are in full bloom and sprinkle throughout the wooded acres. Yesterday was even warm enough for some to get the guts to swim in the lake. Not me though. Still too cold. I barely even had the courage to stick my tootsies in for a dip.

All in all, our trip was great. There was so much to explore yet so little time. Baby Girl didn't do too bad being dragged here, there, and everywhere. Be sure to stay in touch this week for more photos of our trip. Hope you're having a great start to your week! Pan

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