In researching locations to experience what we're learning in Missouri History, I came across the village of Arrow Rock, MO. This village was established in 1829, but for many years prior was a location on the bluffs of the Missouri River used by Native Americans and explorers. It sits just across the river from Boone's Lick, an area scoured for its natural resource, salt. The village is now a National Historic Landmark and there is also an area designated as the Arrow Rock State Park for camping and fishing.
This past weekend the village hosted their annual Heritage Festival, so it seemed like a good time to explore this new-to-us area. Just like our journey to Fort Osage, we drove through beautiful country roads once off the highway. For an easy $2 per person entrance fee we were able to enjoy the festival complete with a wild west shoot out, pulled pork and bratwurst lunches, ice cream, kettle corn, wandering through the village, and hiking through the woods down to the Missouri River. This view of the Missouri was nice because we were so close to the edge. The bank was simply sand, so we didn't get close, but it was nice and peaceful so we lingered a while enjoying the temperate, autumn afternoon. Since this festival was about an hour and a half outside Kansas City it wasn't as populated as the city festivals, which to me can be stifling with so many people. There seemed to be room to enjoy the day.
The visitor center coupled as a museum and provided a timeline of significant events in the area as well as artifacts from the region. We are always impressed by the quality of the information provided at our Missouri State Park sites.
The idea with these adventures is to allow the children to experience what we read in books; to stand where Lewis and Clark stood, to see where the Native Americans lived. From experience I know that it can be the memories, years later, of these adventures in education that become meaningful. Education, too, is about making connections and I hope that is what we're able to do by taking the time to explore these areas around Missouri.