I used the word "Majestic" for my title because living in the foothills of The Ozark Mountains is just that! This is one of the areas that we love to hike to. That's The Illinois River in the photograph.
I used Vicki Stegall's Now and Forever Kit,
Most pelicans were fine when they were a quarter of a mile away, but when we'd turn a corner and they suddenly saw us they were up in the air immediately, even when they were competing with heron and gulls at a rich food source shared by all. Sometimes the sky was full of them.aA: Paper, Scenic Temp
On Saturday, others started early like we did, so we felt very lucky to get to stop in the middle of the bridge to watch the sunrise. We went much faster than the day before, and finished the 11-mile loop in exactly an hour. The golden hour. We saw a heron, tundra swans, and cormorants.
Remember those tense minutes at sunrise when we didn't know the locked refuge gate was on a timer. Five hundred miles. We'd always been there early and driven on in. That sunrise brought a beautiful day. Our best first-day surprises were two deer and a pair of sandhill cranes.