Elephant Rock and Taum Sauk State Parks

Ever since summer ended, I’ve been in a camping mood. I’m about to spend 6 months indoors (due to winter), and I just want to live outside for a little while. As we were choosing which park to go camp at, the weather channel was saying that pretty much all of Missouri was going to be experiencing thunderstorms all weekend. Awesome. I decided we would go anyways.

We decided to go to Taum Sauk Mountain State Park since it has a pretty rugged hiking trail, the highest point in Missouri, and the tallest waterfall in Missouri.
It was about a two hour drive from Saint Louis, and on the way David wanted to stop at Elephant Rock State Park for some awesome boulder jumping. Elephant rock is made up of enormous rounded boulders of pink and red granite. Over the years, the strata covering the boulders has eroded, exposing the amazing rock formations. It was beautiful and really fun:

By the time we arrived at Taum Sauk, we were just in time to grab the last camping site. The park’s 12 basic sites are first come first serve, so we were pretty lucky. We were planning to hike the park’s mountain trail the next day, but I was a genius and ended up melting the soles off of my shoes trying to warm my feet by the fire…
So sad.
I ended up hiking it anyways. Wearing shoes with no bottoms. 
Kind of like wearing moccasins, which I dig anyways.
This was no stroll in the woods either. The entire mountain path was constructed with jagged stone, and the hike consisted of climbing up and down mountainside rocks, sliding down wooded paths, and climbing down waterfalls. (Well, the waterfall was just for the fun of it…)
Really incredible natural beauty.

Oh, by the way.,. it didn’t thunderstorm at all. Eighty degrees and sunny 🙂
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