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Big Spring

– photo from National Park Service

Yeah, we’ve all been to Big Spring at one time or another….it’s not what you’d call a “hidden treasure” of the Ozarks. It is probably the best-known natural feature on the Missouri side of the border.

But seriously, the fact that it’s well-visited shouldn’t stop us from pausing to appreciate what an incredible and beautiful place it is. My favorite time to be there is in the early morning, when the mist rising off the spring creates such a sense of mystery that I can easily imagine myself in an era long before recorded history, despite the concrete walkways and the campground just up the hollow. Another place where I got that feeling is Wistman’s Wood in Devon.

And even if your interest in Big Spring is more scientific than poetic, there’s plenty to make you shiver–think about 278 million gallons of water a day, water that has flowed underground for up to two weeks from as far as 45 miles away to emerge at this spot. Under your feet, all kinds of amazing things are happening.