The sycamores in the roadside park along Five Hwy between Ava and Mansfield are so dramatic in the winter. I can fixate on looking at them. Each time we drive by, I remark that we should get some photos of the shining white branches, especially when the sun is shining on them.
Last week before the ice and snow returned, we had a sunny morning and took advantage of it for a little photo shoot! The creek was gurgling and cold. I know that because my foot slipped while I was crossing the one narrow spot that made an inviting step. The trees were beautiful, but I’m thinking that this was one of those deals where you just had to be there…the photos aren’t doing the bright sycamores justice.
The park has some new picnic tables awaiting the coming season’s visitors, plus paved or graveled spots to park your vehicle. It is an unusual spot, the rock bottom of the seasonal creek (water when there is rain or snow melt) has an amazing number and arrangement of drops to create little water falls. A ‘sorta cave’ ledge offers more interest and drama.
In almost every season, there are good photographic opportunities in the park as the dogwoods and red buds begin with their blossoms, followed by leaves that glow green, turn red and gold, then fall. For the winter months, the sycamores strut in their charming white suits all along the canyon and in the park.
As noted in the post, the commercials on Big Country 99.3 FM radio (KUNQ) The Rooster are also favorites of mine — just makes me giggle.
The interview tells us how Uncle Roosters has been serving up good food and good times with the excellent staff of servers and cooks for eight years. Time has really been flying — it doesn’t seem like that long to me. But, we’ve enjoyed Uncle Roosters since the first location where the hotdogs were the main focus. When we have out-of-town kids coming through, Uncle Roosters is a good place to meet. Sometimes we meet them when they arrive and sometimes we indulge in a group hug in the dining room as some of the kids begin their homeward trips.
The interview doesn’t tell us much about the specialties that Dick and I faithfully order. The superb cheesy/beer soup along with other flavors. Dick especially likes any cheesecake. I’ve found the root beer floats to be nearly bottomless. We like to indulge in a side of mashed potatoes and gravy because the mystery flavors are out of this world and a secret recipe!!! I’ve never been disappointed in the famous Chicago Dog.
Uncle Roosters is a glowing example of Ozarks entrepreneurship. The owners, Wayne and Bobbi Dunning tell us that they had no experience in the restaurant business, but they paid attention and made friends of knowledgeable people. They work hard and treat their staff right. That gets passed along to customers and we enjoy the conversations, the coin tricks and jokes. We were there for our favorites this week and observed the over-the-top service. A to-go customer received prompt and excellent service to get his order ready. Another guest needed a ‘doggy box’ — their server made every effort to make sure they got the best box for their leftovers. All the while with good natured, swift service and banter. And the friendly, prompt service carries through every time we are there.
The restaurant is decorated with attractive crafts from local artisans. These pieces are for sale and make excellent choices as souvenirs.
Uncle Roosters is a business the Ozarks can be proud to call our own. And one we can be proud to share with visitors. Located on Enterprise Drive on the eastern side of Seymour, Uncle Roosters is close to an efficient traffic light and has easy access to Highway 60. If you are reading this from any distance east or west, making your GPS aware of Uncle Roosters will be a decision you will enjoy. You can call ahead for an order or reservation at 417-935-4120. Make a stop at Uncle Roosters part of your travels on Highway 60 in the Ozarks. And remember that Big Country 99.3 FM is available online or on your nearest radio as you travel the Ozarks.
Gentry Road Side Park, along Missouri Hwy 5 between Mansfield, MO and Ava, Mo is a charming place to stop for a break any time of the year. After a rain which brings water from the numerous unnamed drainages down to the beginnings of Bryant Creek, the little stream through the park is bubbling over it’s rocky bed.
During dry times such as we are enduring now, the stream is mostly muddy on the bottom.
This year, MODOT has improved the blacktop drive through the park. Last week when we drove past, the park was closed while MODOT crews cut the grass on the steep rolling hills.
When we were on our return trip, as we passed, the crews were taking their lunch break under some of the shade in the park. There are probably other pretty roadside parks — that is their intent and reason for being. But, this one with its creek, shallow caves, rocks and trees is extremely pretty.
The drive to Ava is on a good road and has inspiring scenery. Next time you get to make the trip, enjoy it. Think about taking a small, meditative break at the Gentry Road Side Park