• Gear Review

    Review of Flip Critts -Adventure Shoes for Two Legged Critters

    Finding a good pair of sandals that feels soft yet supportive while also allowing your feet to breathe is always a challenge. In fact, an 11 year old boy named Carter was having just that problem while on a family vacation. He was trying to explore but either his flip flops were not durable enough or his foam clogs would make his feet sweat and cause blisters. This creative and inventive young man wondered if he could make a shoe that combined the best features…

  • Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Walk Route 66 Over the Mississippi on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

    One of the most unique and longest pedestrian bridges in the world can be found just north of downtown St. Louis. This bridge allows you to get your kicks on Route 66 in two different states. The old Chain of Rocks Bridge was completed in 1929 and spans the Mississippi River between Missouri and Illinois. The main feature that sets this bridge apart is that there is 22-degree bend midway across the mile long span. When construction began on the Missouri side, a suitable bedrock…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Follow the Tracks at Al Foster Memorial Trail

    One of the more scenic and easily accessible trails of the Meramec River Valley can be found by following the Al Foster Trail in Wildwood, Missouri. The trail was developed through a partnership between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation, Great Rivers Greenway and the City of Wildwood. Named in honor of Al Foster, a 20th-century journalist and nature photographer, the 8′ wide crushed stone is very popular with both walkers and cyclists. The Missouri Pacific Railroad…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis,  Trips

    Pere Marquette -Illinois’s Largest State Park

    Pere Marquette is one of the very best parks in the state of Illinois. Over 8,000 acres of lush forests and rugged hills are waiting to be explored just an hour north of St. Louis along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. Fall brings a spectacular display of colorful foliage while winter is prime time for eagle watching. The expansive views and overlooks of the Illinois River and its backwaters can be viewed any time of year. Horseback riding, camping, boating, and…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri,  Popular,  St. Louis

    Explore Pink Rocks and Waterfalls at Castor River Shut-Ins

    Stunning pink granite boulders and rushing clear cascades create one of the most beautiful views in all of Missouri. The Castor River Shut-Ins area is part of the Amidon Memorial Conservation Area near Fredericktown, Missouri. This spot is one of our absolute favorite places in Missouri and well worth the almost two hour drive. Water from the Castor River rushes over and through Missouri’s only pink granite shut-ins. The massive stones and gushing waterfalls present a scene of dramatic beauty no matter the season. Shut-ins…

  • Glamping,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Glamping in a Blue Bus-Review of Lost Hill Lake Events

    Do you like the idea of staying out in nature but don’t have a tent and other camping gear? Or maybe you are looking for a fun outdoor getaway but want a real mattress and air conditioning? Well glamping or “glamorous camping” may be just the thing to satisfy all those requirements. Our family personally loves being outdoors and away from crowds but we aren’t as crazy about as sleeping in a tent for the reasons above and more. (I didn’t even get into bears,…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Illinois,  Kids,  St. Louis

    Exploring Caverns and Rock Art at Piney Creek Ravine in Illinois

    Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve is a bit of a secret hike. Visit this spot even on a summer weekend and you may still have the whole trail to yourself. So many don’t realize this dramatic and historic spot exists tucked deep in the farm fields of southern Illinois. Not only does the preserve feature dramatic canyons and trickling creeks, but the main claim to fame here is the biggest display of prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs in Illinois. You can view these impressive vistas in…

  • Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

    Wildflower Wonder at Valley View Glades Natural Area in Missouri

    Less than an hour south of St. Louis lies one of our favorite and uncrowded spots to hike. Tucked away off the highway near Hillsboro, Valley View Glades is a 225 acre site with a mix of dolomite glades, woodlands, and trickling streams. This mostly undisturbed area looks very much like what would have greeted early French settlers to the area. Native wildflowers flourish in the open glades and put on an impressive display in spring and summer. In the fall, the forest comes alive…