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  • Writer's pictureTrail Guide Joe

The MO National Parks Passport Challenge (part 3)! The FINAL Push!

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

The time has come! Time to make the final push to knock out the last park of the MO National Park Passport Challenge!


The mission was a simple one: make it to Ozark National Scenic Riverways and obtain the last of the 6 stamps! The problem? The weather. Things were expected to get more than a bit wild in the late afternoon. Large hail, strong damaging winds, and potential for tornadoes among the usual heavy downpours. With the storms not expected until 8 PM in the evening, it seemed like a pretty safe bet I'd be there and back in plenty of time to avoid the storms.


Given the lack of success in visiting the main park office during the last attempt earlier this year, the goal was to try to hit as many other visitor centers as it would take to get the final stamp! My first choice was Alley Mill & Spring. This particular location saw flooding with the heavy rains at the end of the month of April. News updates throughout May confirmed the site was back open to visitors and seemed most likely to be the place where I could acquire the last stamp. I also wanted to take a look around the mill and the spring which produces 81 million gallons of water per day! It really is a very beautiful location to say the least and very easy to see why this is a federally protected riverway!


The area is full of beautiful springs which all feed into either the Current River or the Jacks Fork River! Pictured right is one of these springs called Round Spring which is near the campground I will be staying at in just over 2 weeks. I am very eager to get back to Round Spring for a weekend campout as it's been about 11 years since my last campout here so it'll be great to get reacquainted! The one thing I won't be too thrilled to experience once again is the chilly spring water. I'll be hoping for a blistering hot weekend for this float trip for sure!


Completing this trip today added 1 more park to my list bringing the final total to 6 of 6!


Span of 1 day; Approximately 386.4 miles; Approximately 25.95 gallons of gas used; Approximate average MPG 14.89 with the highest recorded MPG of 15.1 and lowest MPG of 14.2; Approximately $53.79 spent on gas.


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