Communion Of Dreams


Just when you think you know everything . . .
October 3, 2010, 3:41 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Ballistics, SCA, Travel

OK, I don’t actually think I know everything. About anything. Even things I know a lot about.

But every once in a while I find out I don’t know something that I should. Like there’s been a deliberate plot to withhold information about something from me.

Ha Ha Tonka is one such piece of information.

I grew up in Missouri. I was born here, raised here, and have spent most of my life here. And I thought I knew the state reasonably well, even the parts of it that I don’t know. If you know what I mean.

Then, I was in the SCA for a long time. Still have a bunch of friends from that time.

And I have traveled to Europe multiple times, in large part to enjoy the castles and other historic buildings/ruins. All my family, most of my friends know this, and a fair number have even been subjected to slide shows of our trips.

We own property south of Columbia, adjacent to a State Conservation Area, part of which features an interesting geologic area known as a Karst Plain. One of my favorite places on our property is at the edge of a wonderful 300′ cliff, looking down into Three Creeks. There’s an old cabin there, which we use as the backstop for the BBTI tests, and my wife and I would love to build a getaway home there. The whole area has caves, sinkholes, and wonderful exposed rock.

Lastly, I appreciate the eccentric. Particularly people who have slightly mad ideas and dreams.

So, for all these reasons, you’d think I would have heard of a State Park in Missouri with beautiful scenery, 80 acres of Karst formation with caves and sinkholes, stunning views, and the ruins of an honest-to-god stone castle (of the ‘mansion’ variety). But prior to late last week, I had never heard of Ha Ha Tonka.

See, my wife had an AIA thing down at the Lake of the Ozarks this weekend. That was just Friday night, and then Saturday until early afternoon. But since Saturday was also our anniversary, we decided that we’d stay over, find something else in the area to do for a bit of celebration. Now, we’re not the sort to “paint the town red”, so one of the things she suggested to me was a drive a few miles to Ha Ha Tonka.

I had never heard of it. She told me some. I wondered. Racked my brain, trying to think of when I might have heard of it. Nothing. I looked at the websites she sent me. Still didn’t ring any bells at all.

Weird.

But yesterday, after her other obligations were done, we jumped in the car and headed down to Ha Ha Tonka. Here are a couple of images:

As you can see, those are from the ruins. For the full set of images, including some great scenic vistas, check out my Facebook album.

And I still say it’s weird that I never heard about this. It’s like I’ve been abducted by aliens and that part of my memory has been excised.

Uh-oh, now I’ve done it, haven’t I?

Jim Downey

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[…] mentioned my recent trip to the Lake of the Ozarks, and visiting Ha Ha Tonka once my wife’s AIA obligations were over. That experience, of going someplace I really […]

Pingback by Well, dam. « Communion Of Dreams

[…] author meant to say) is a geographic region of Australia. And it shares something in common with our property here in central Missouri: it’s a karst formation. So that’s kinda […]

Pingback by Well, at least I learned something. « Communion Of Dreams




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