Missouri's Fifth Wonder - Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park
The park side of the Shut-Ins reopened over the Memorial Day weekend.
Superintendent Kim Burfield said, "The view from within the park is just beautiful, even though there are less trees. When people come to visit the park now, they can see all the mountains all around."
Burfield said workers are still stabilizing the Black Fork River and other areas damaged by the ruptured reservoir's runaway water.
"What people see this summer is basically a park in the very early stages of new development," she explained. "Plants are already starting to grow back, saplings, the acorns have sprouted, the seeds have started to sprout and you see green."
Despite a 30-foot wall of water that pushed debris and sediment through the Shut-Ins, Burfield said, "They stand strong. They were made by water, so they are still as beautiful as they were."
But, Burfield admitted, no one knows when the Shut-Ins will be safe again for swimmers.
"I walk down to the Shut-Ins every day and I still, when I take that walk, I want to stop and listen to that running water," she said. "On a summer day, this running water would normally be filled with people. Most of these rocks would have people laying on them, laughing, jumping in the water."
Burfield is not surprised KOMU viewers named Johnson's Shut-Ins as Missouri's Fifth Wonder.
"Anyone that has ever been here understands that the beauty of this place is something that is so solid and is not really going to go anywhere," she added, "that you can rebuild a park around this feature and put back the services that they know. Hopefully, we have convinced them that we will be back."
Dino Capps will be back, too.
"It's the beauty of it," he explained. "This is something that you see here that you won't see anywhere else."
The Black River formed the park's "Shut-Ins" by carving a narrow channel through the rocks. Speaking of rocks, tune in June 14 to see Josh Deberge's journey to your rock-solid Fourth Wonder of Missouri.