Monday, June 27, 2011

Welch Springs Hospital & Eminence Missouri

One of my faithful readers questioned me on one of my photos recently and it had reminded me that I had never shared the details of this place and I must! First let me tell you a little about my trip to Eminence Missouri! Last fall my in-laws made a surprise visit from Las Vegas, Nevada to here and I decided to lessen the chaos by planning a get-away trip for the whole family! My sister-in-law and I spent hours planning food, transportation, where to visit, and where to stay. We had the perfect trip planned, except as I have told you all before I am hunting ignorant and little did I know that I had planned this perfect weekend retreat on opening weekend of deer season. Two days before we were scheduled to leave on our trip I called the little resort we were staying at and the nice lady at the desk asked me if I would like to upgrade to the “hunters special” me a little on naive side said “what’s the hunter special do I get a hunter with my room” I quickly learned that resort had almost been booked up with deer hunters coming into town for opening day deer season. Wow, what a twist in my plans, so I asked the lady what I should do, would we be able to hike or do anything or would we be stuck at the resort. She kindly assured me that most of the places were safe as long as we dressed in ORANGE; I didn’t own a piece of orange clothing nor did I desire to…I’m not a camouflage or and an orange kind of girl! I found myself standing in the middle of the hunting section at Wal-mart surrounded by real hunters all staring at me, I’m pretty sure they knew I was not going hunting considering I had to ask the clerk at Wal-mart where the hunting section was! I managed to stock up on lots of orange clothing that I may never wear again and I learned a few good tips for surviving in the woods!
Our trip went off without a hitch and Eminence was full of “real deer hunters” and too my surprise this little town literally shuts down for deer season even the sign on the local elementary said closed for deer season! I met some really fun and friendly folks on my visit and my survival skills came into play when yes me the “city girl” dressed in bright orange rescued a poor fellow that had been trapped in an outhouse by a friendly little black bear. No worries folks the bear was not harmed; we simply offered the poor fellow a ride back to town to find the rest of his hunting party that he had been separated from. He was more than appreciative to get out of the woods and away from the area he had been hunting in and I can’t blame him; I never saw the bear, but can only imagine his fear.
Eminence Missouri is absolutely beautiful place to visit it is surrounded by all kinds of landmarks and natural beauty! Eminence is part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and is located where Current River and Jacks Fork River connects. We stayed right off of Jacks Fork River in a little cabin that was just lovely. I will say despite all the action in town after dark the area was very peaceful; I believe all the hunters went to bed early to prepare for the big hunt!
On our visit we stopped at several different attractions and discovered that when you make a wrong turn you might even find something even better than where you were headed! A few of the places we visited are: Alley Springs & Alley Mill, Rocky Falls, and Welch Spring & Hospital.
Welch Spring & Welch Spring Hospital is the one I was questioned on and this little place as a story about it. Ryan thought it was just creepy for me I was just amused by the fact he was creeped out. Welch Hospital is a now abandoned building that was once used as a hospital to treat people that suffered with asthma and tuberculosis. The doctor C.H. Diehl believed the cool air off the spring would be helpful to them. Now, for the creepy part the hospital building was built adjacent to a cave and it appears that possibly the patients may have spent time or stayed inside the cave. The cave is now closed due to some endangered bats that have taken up residency inside the cave….I think that was what sent Ryan over the top of creepiness!
There is a trail that leads straight to the spring and the hospital is a very easy trail I am not sure I would call it wheelchair accessible, but I would call it jogger stroller accessible. However, it only leads to where the spring is the hospital sits across the spring so to actually get a good look you have to hop across the spring and do some climbing, and oh yes I did do some climbing. I have lost all my fears of looking disgraceful I just jump right in now! You cannot enter the hospital any longer, but no need to considering it no longer has roof, so you can get a good view of everything around it.
Check out Eminence’s website for more information and other places to visit in the area and I promise I will highlight the other places I visited while out there soon!

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