Johnson’s Shut-Ins is a magical place from my childhood… A two-hour drive from home in St. Louis, we only visited a handful of times when I was young. But boy did I remember it. I’ve always loved outings that involved swimming, and of all the places I’ve swam in the world, Johnson’s Shut-Ins takes the cake.
Crystal-clear water flows through, around, and over the rocks at “Nature’s Water Park,” creating tiny pools where tadpoles grow up into frogs… And you can climb right in to experience it firsthand! It’s amazing. It’s also one of few places you can find where it’s fashionably acceptable to wear tennis shoes with a swimsuit. And you need them to climb around the slippery, rocky pools. The Shut-Ins aren’t particularly large, so it was always busy when we’d arrive early morning in my childhood. But mid-afternoon just after Memorial Day weekend, we were pleasantly surprised to have the place almost entirely to ourselves. If you’re looking for a summer day trip from St. Louis or Branson or the Ozarks, go here. You won’t want to miss it.
After crossing the big wide state of Texas in week two, this week started with an epic day of gluttony in the New Orleans French Quarter. We filled our bellies with pralines, boudin and beignets and then turned north so Ian could experience the best baseball in the country and what I think is one of the most unique state parks in the entire U.S.
We’ve hit the one-week marker on our U.S. summer road trip, and I’ve already got ambitious dreams of visiting each of the 49 states we can reach by car. Do you think we can do it? I do! But to start, here’s a photographic overview of our first week on the road. Continue reading →
This past weekend, Ian set out for the chilly darkness of Red Rock Canyon State Park. He captured the stars and the Geminids meteor shower above the rusty red rock formations before moonrise. This shot is a compilation of four separate meteor photos he caught with his camera.
Our first destination on Road Trip USA: Summer 2014 was warm, calm, and colorful when we arrived there in the early evening on June 17th. Of 23 state parks in Nevada, Valley of Fire is the oldest and largest and is just a quick 50-mile drive from Vegas.