I saw a picture of the Sandy Creek Tunnel and wanted to go there. I tracked down its owner, Edith, and called her. She said, "I put this under the control of the Missouri Department of Conservation, because when I die someone will buy the land and turn it into a subdivision."
Stream piracy created Sandy Creek Tunnel. Sandy Creek slipped into an underground cave, and diverted the creek, that, with erosion, became Sandy Creek Tunnel.
Edith and I spent a lovely morning together waiting the remnant of Sandy Creek before it slipped into the tunnel. She pointed out Picnic Rock, where she took her children on summer's days for picnic. We scrambled down the keyhold of the tunnel and walked across its roof, where I made a photographs of the glade that covers the roof. Then she handed me over to her son, John.
John loaded me, Imogen, her tripod, and suitcase into his pick-up, drove me down to the creek floodplain and crashed through a stand of corn, knocking down the stalks, to the bank of the creek. I made several photographs and asked to come back. John said, "Sure."
I soon learned the earlier I got there the better the light under the fall sun lit up the tunnel. I continued until mid-October, and the leaves began to fade.
To see more images of the Missouri Ozarks, to go missouriozarkphotographs.com.