I think Johnson's Shut-Ins has a plain name as part of a conspiracy to keep crowds from flocking there. In Missouri, a shut-in is a place where a river flows through or beside granite cliffs. In this case, the granite also forms the bed of the Black River, and is sculpted into all sorts of natural Jacuzzis, whirlpools, and chutes. At the base of the shut-ins is a wide pool, full of clear water and some fish.
The place was wrecked in 2005 when a reservoir at the top of a nearby mountain gave way and a zillion gallons of water plunged through the park. Miraculously no one was killed, but the shut-ins were filled with boulders and uprooted trees to a considerable depth. However, the electric company responsible for the accident has cleaned up the park now, and the natural water park is restored to its previous state. Except that there aren't as many fish in the lower pool, which isn't as deep as it once was.
It's about 2 1/2 hours southwest of St. Louis, in the Arcadia valley.
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