Random Road Trip 

Hey Lovelies!

So I’ve been away for awhile. My husband and I decided to go on a road trip with another couple that are close friends of ours, practically family. 

Our automatic destination was Colorado. Three out of the four of us had never seen the moutains.  

The other couple chose the rental home and town we were going to stay in. There was no plan until we got there and us girls did some research on the town. 

So, Cortez Colorado was our destination spot. In a very nice rental home near Canyon of the Ancients. The home we rented was beautiful, inside and out. It had the basics to every home.The surrounding land was breath taking. It was quite and looking behind the house you can see snowy moutains and the rest is all canyon. The owner of the home was very nice. We enjoyed our stay. Also, he has wifi for an additional price. The rental home is definitely worth the price. The owner also has a display wall of attractions in the near by location of cortez and all the surrounding sites.

So I found out that cortez was near the 4 corners and they had a bunch of surrounding national monuments, historic sites, and national forest. 

I was instantly excited, I had an opportunity to cross a couple things off my bucket list and adventure into history for a while. 

The black circles are the sites we drove through and got the chance to tour and hike. 

Destination attraction #1:

Canyon of the Ancients 

This canyon holds 6,000 sites including Pueblos, kivas, dwellings and rock art. It is worth the hike. This is a self-guided free tour.

Destination attraction #2:

Mesa Verde National Park 

This park was my second favorite sites to see. This park is over 700 years old and holds nearly 5,000 sites, 600 are cliff dwellings. This tour is self-guided ans a 6 mile drive through the overlooks of the park and dwellings. The entrance fee is $15 per car. Completely worth it.

Destination attraction #3 :

Hovenweep National Monument 

This park in Utah homed over 3,500 people. There are 6 prehistoric villages and towers. This is a self-guided trail, and be sure to go to the visitors center to find the trail. 

Destination attraction #4:

Aztec Ruins 

This site was on my bucket list and is now crossed off. Aztec Ruins is the home of the Pueblo people nearly 900 years ago. There are over 4oo masonry rooms, a great kiva and smaller kivas. It is an amazing site to walk through. Self-guided trail tour is $5 per person.

Destination attraction #5:

The Four Corners Monument

  The four corners is owned by the Navajo Nation, it’s a $5.00 cash only fee to get in. But, totally worth it. All around the monument is Navajo Benders selling hand made items. They also have a taco stand and a fried bread stand. It was very cool. 

Well everyone, that is my top 5 destination attractions I urge all to see. It was an amazing trip, with so many historical and scenic sites that are just breath taking. 

I marked two destinations off my bucket list with this trip. 

Yay me!

~Gruada Mom~ 


Historical Castle Ruins

The Missouri State Park is a very fun and exciting place to take the whole family, especially children of all ages. There are 36 historical sites through out the Missouri State Park, you can see where Harry S. Truman and Mark Twain were born, The Battle of Lexington, The Dillard Mill site, and Arrow Rock. There is also camping, fishing, hiking, picnic area’s, rivers and springs, and bicycling, swimming and so many treasure shops. There is so much to explore such as natural and wild areas, it’s unreal.

However, today I want to focus on one area in the Lake of the Ozarks that is a very treasured spot here.

HA HA Tonka State Park

Our elders say that HA HA Tonka is a phrase meaning “Laughing Waters” , I am not sure how true that is but it has always sounded cool.


This park features sinkholes, 15 miles of trails, natural bridges, Caves, natural springs and a spring feed lake. Also, the best feature of them all is the “Castle Ruins”. The Castle was built in the 20th century by a Kansas City Businessman Robert McClure Snyder. Snyder bought HA HA Tonka Lake and Spring along with 5,000 acres in Camden County Missouri in 1904. He began constructing roads and making improvements to his new estate right away.


Mr. Snyder once said, “Here I will spend my leisure, secure from worries of business and the excitement of City life. I will fish and loaf and explore the caves of these hills, with no fear of intrusion.”


Long story short, Mr. Snyder died before the construction of the estate was finished, he was in one of the first fatal car accidents in existence. After he died in 1906 his sons took over construction on the England-Style Home, in honor of this wonderful man his dream home was finished. Sadly, all of his hard work was wiped out. In 1942, his castle house and the carriage house went up in flames burning everything down except the rock walls of the exterior. It is now left as a beautiful rock sculpture.

Photos below are the Carriage house where the cars, horses, buggies were kept as well as the sleeping chamber for some servants.

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The water tower was burned by vandals in 1976. The ruins then joined the park system in 1978.


This place is absolutely breath taking, I encourage all my viewers to take your entire family to HA HA Tonka State Park in Camdenton, Missouri. I only took photos of the castle ruins to show today but there is so much more worth photographing.

1383762_528386280563067_244193953_n Camden County’s first post office, it is just miles from the Castle Ruins in the State Park. It shut down shortly after the fire.

You can view everything the park offers at: