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  • Text and Photos by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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Readers of this blog may recall a story about the Pioneer Museum in Ellsinore (see "While in Van Buren Area, Visit Pioneer Museum" on June 11, 2105). The tiny museum's prime attraction is the summer series of visiting artists and performers. Each Saturday, there are demonstrations, performan…

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  • Story and photos by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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A sure cure for spring fever is a trip to Shaw Nature Reserve to see the annual daffodil extravaganza. Thousands of daffodils are already in bloom, and the peak should be coming any day now. The viewing this weekend should be excellent, and will probably be good through next weekend, too, de…

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  • Story and Photos by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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For an up-close look at a traditional German-style Christmas celebration of 1870s Missouri, don't miss the chance to visit the Augusta History Museum during the 33rd annual Christmas Candlelight Walk on Friday nights, Dec. 4 and 11, in historic Augusta.

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  • Story and Photos by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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On Saturday, Aug. 10, 1861, 154 years ago, the woods and corn fields along Wilson's Creek in southwest Missouri were ringing with the sounds of battle. The booms of cannons and rifles, the pitiful screams of the wounded and dying, the terrified neighing of horses -- it was surely a scene str…

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  • Story and Photos by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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“Watch out! There’s a strong current in this curve …” About that time, the canoe flips, dumping the two novice paddlers into the Niangua River.

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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I’ve been floating the Jacks Fork every summer for longer than I care to admit, but only once was I there when the water was high enough to put in at Buck Hollow and float the upper stretch that passes Jam Up Cave. So when the opportunity came recently to float from The Prongs to Buck Hollow…

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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If practice makes perfect, then it’s no wonder the baskets made by Eric Peterson and Barbara (Barb) Sakowicz are so beautiful. They’ve been practicing for years.

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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One of the crown jewels of Franklin County, Meramec State Park is popular throughout the year, but it really buzzes with activity in the summer, when float trips on the Meramec River and camping in the park take priority.

  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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While you're in the Van Buren area for Ozark Heritage Day (see June 8 post) or for any other reason this summer, make time for a stop at the Pioneer Museum in Ellsinore. This might be one of the smallest museums you'll ever visit, but it is packed full of community pride.

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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One of my favorite events each summer is Ozark Heritage Day at Big Spring, near van Buren, in the Ozarks National Scenic Riverways. This year, the event is Saturday, June 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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One of the coolest things you can do this summer is to attend a hummingbird banding demonstration at either Montauk State Park or Onondaga Cave State Park. No matter your age — from tiny tot to senior citizen — the opportunity to have a hummingbird lie on your palm and then take off in a buz…

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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As the weather warms up, the urge to get out and explore grows stronger. We propose a tour of five Franklin County wineries, guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. You can do the entire tour in one big loop (with a designated driver) or you can visit one or two win…

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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Lovers of the Jacks Fork River, rejoice. Bunker Hill Retreat, the resort that has been exclusively for members of the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) and their guests since 1947, has opened its doors to the general public. You now have access to one of the most beautiful stretches…

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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My husband and I were in Branson for an early spring weekend two years ago, and we kept running into Elvis Presley everywhere we went. There were Elvis look-alikes in the restaurants, at the shopping malls, and strolling the sidewalks in the historic downtown area.

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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My husband was born into a mushroom-hunting family, whereas my mom used to be wary of fresh mushrooms from the grocery. But after 39 years of marriage, and that many turkey and mushroom seasons, I have learned a thing or two about morels. Mostly, that I love to eat them, dipped in egg-milk m…

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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The weather forecast for the weekend is springlike, and you and the family have a severe case of cabin fever after the last few weeks of snow and freezing temperatures. Put that together, and it calls for a road trip!

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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After a long cold winter, a spring weekend in the Ozarks is just what the doctor ordered. One way to fill that prescription is by attending the Shannondale Craft Camp, March 19-22, in Shannon County, deep in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks.

Join travel writer Barbara Gibbs Ostmann as she travels across Missouri and around the world in search of food, fun and adventure. Barb has been writing about travel, food, wine and the outdoors for 40 years, and she is as enthusiastic today as when she first started -- possibly more so! Som…

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