Ozark Mountain Challenge
November 1, 2003

The Ozark Mountain Challenge is a multi-stage geocache placed in the White Rock area. It's a great idea - you find a small hidden container at one location and it gives you GPS coordinates for another container at another location, which of course contains directions for yet another location and so on and so on.
Cliff and I began the day on a nearby cache at Fly Gap that isn't actually part of The Challenge. It took us to an interesting rock formation beside the road that has numerous names and dates carved into it. One of them is from 1888!
From there it was back South to an area with more rock formations known as Bee Rock. The story goes that a swarm of honey bees were placed there in the 1930s by a railroad construction crew, and that even today if you turn off your vehicle you can hear the buzzing of bees. It seems that most people call the big rock next to the road Bee Rock, though I'm wondering if the bees are in one of the other formations.
Anyway, we parked the truck at a neat formation with two rock towers. While I looked around near the road for the first geocache, Cliff scrambled up the hill to check out the rocks. Once he got up there he hollered down at me to come up there, that it was "cool", which he almost never does, but I never did. I guess I'll have to go up there some day.
Then we got back in the truck and headed for a really nice CCC picnic area called Gray's Spring, stopping along the way at some other rock formations. It occurred to me that the last time I had been down this road was over 10 years ago with Stacey. We were on a date of sorts - which started off with squirrel hunting! On the way home we stopped at Turner Bend store for some sandwiches then drove to Grays Spring for a picnic. Now 10 years later I'm back with our son!
Cliff and I had the picnic spot all to ourselves, and it was a wonderful time to be there - the shade, the colors, the temperature were all just right. Cliff wanted to eat his PB&J at one of the tables (he usually just sits in the back of the truck).
Our final stop of the day was White Rock Mountain. We were there to find the final leg of the Ozark Mountain Challenge, which took us to where the Shores Lake/White Rock Loop trail splits off from the Ozark Highlands Trail. I hate to admit it, but we'd never been to any part of White Rock other than the sunset lookout point everyone else goes to. Today we got a small taste of some of the nice scenery that's supposed to continue along the entire White Rock Rim Loop trail. We’ll be back.