Let's not get spoiled. The weather always changes.
Last Saturday my wife and I were planning to take our lunchtime sandwiches to Bollinger Mill at Burfordville, but we got too hungry and went to the River Campus park overlooking the Mississippi River. There is one bench near the old bridge overlook that offers an amazing view.
At straight-up noon there was a cool breeze that made us shiver a couple of times. Just the thought of needing a sweater or jacket at midday during August in Southeast Missouri made us feel good.
Suggestion to the River Campus folks: There are other benches in the park, but they either face away from the river or are located too far from the river for a good view. More benches closer to and facing the river would be a nice touch for a spot that already is so beautiful.
Even though we had eaten, we drove to Burfordville to enjoy one of our favorite spots alongside the old mill and the Whitewater River. There was only a handful of cars in the parking lot.
Several visitors were taking a tour of the old mill. If you haven't done that, or if it's been a long time since you visited Bollinger Mill, go back. It's a great tour, and you'll learn so much about our history.
Plus, Bollinger Mill is one of the most picturesque places in all of Missouri.
On Sunday, we took our sandwiches to the parking area under Cape Rock Park for another fantastic view of the river.
After we ate, we parked on Water Street in downtown Cape Girardeau next to the floodwall murals. There were eight or nine groups--families, teenagers, couples--following the historical murals in sequence from north to south, stopping at every information plaque to learn more about what they were seeing. A few more groups were doing the same thing at the "Missouri Wall of Fame" farther south.
I'd say those murals are having their intended effect.
My wife and I particularly enjoy walking next to the floodwall on the Riverfront Park trail. We were happy to see that work has started on extending the trail north.
Of particular interest during this visit were the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers vessels moored just north of the Broadway floodgate.
There was one large boat, the Potter, with what looked like a brood of smaller boats and barges tied alongside. Even though it was Sunday, the boats were busy with activity that appeared to be mostly upkeep and repairs.
One crew of three men was working to replace the propeller shaft on a small boat that had been hoisted onto the edge of a barge with a derrick.
Another crew of several men was painting the exterior railings along one of the upper decks of the Potter.
Still other crew members were doing what looked like routine housekeeping chores, including vacuuming floor mats.
All in all, being outdoors last weekend was so enjoyable that we could have gone just about anywhere in the area and have had an enjoyable experience. This weekend looks like a repeat. Take advantage.
R. Joe Sullivan is Editorial Page Editor for the Southeast Missourian.