Interstates can be both a blessing and a curse. While they can typically get travelers to and from destinations quickly, they also become monotonous and predictable.
Every exit seems to have the same fast food chains and convenience stores. From cheap souvenirs to bland burgers, it downright takes the adventure out of the journey.
Perhaps that is why when I have free time, I like to take the slower-paced and more scenic routes.
After a recent visit with my favorite 90-year-old (Howdy, Grandma!), I decided to head home at a more leisurely pace.
By doing so, I found two great spots that I hadn’t visited before.
Highway 19 in Missouri has some awesome towns along it. I have enjoyed Hermann, Cuba, Eminence, and more.
Yet, beyond the typical tourist hotspots, there is a lot more to this stretch of pavement than some folks may realize. The two spots on Highway 19 I recently discovered are between Steelville and Salem.
As I was leisurely driving north of Salem, I noticed a sign for Short Bend Access about 9 miles out of town. This was a great spot to pull over for a stroll along the Meramec River.
The rock bluffs, gravel bars, and surrounding forest are prime examples of what makes Missouri so beautiful.
My personal experiences with the Meramec River have taken place in spots where the river is wide, swift, and unpredictable. This section reminded me of a gentle stream.
Upon more research, I realized this is approximately the 1-mile marker for the Meramec River. It’s only natural that the river is calmer in this section.
According to several sources, it also makes for a great access point for canoes and kayaks.
After exploring Short Bend Access, I realized I piddled around long enough that it was well past my typical lunch time.
Since my idea was to avoid all the trappings of the interstate, I found myself in a bit of a pickle. I didn’t pack any snacks for my leisurely drive towards home.
As my luck would have it, an amazing sandwich was in my future!
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