Published: October 17th 2008October 16th 2008
Here's DB all nestled in the small site. Sure wish there was more grass around the campground.
Hello from Branson, MO.
Overall it’s been a couple of uneventful days. Wednesday just north of Nashville a truck passed me and threw up a rock. I flinched, heard a ping and saw what I thought was a nice big chip in the windshield. I figured I would need to locate a repair shop and fix the chip before it spread and the windshield had to be replaced. Fortunately a bug just happened to splatter on the windshield at the same time and that’s what I saw (unless it was a REALLY hard shelled bug and sounded like a rock). I discovered all was ok when I washed the windshield at lunch in preparation for afternoon showers which I did encounter just before my evening stop. The bugs were very bad on Wednesday but there were hardly any today after the frontal passage, some rain, and a much cooler day Thursday.
Western Kentucky has some beautiful countryside. Since I didn’t find any pull offs to photograph, you’ll have to visualize with me. Picture rustic barns, fields blowing in the breeze ready for harvest, some with solitary trees standing guard in the middle of the field or pasture, and dust rising up as an old farm truck ambles down dirt roads interlaced throughout the countryside. As I glanced over at one barn, a horseback rider (do they have cowboys in Kentucky?) was heading into the barn after an early morning ride. It did not appear to be a horse farm so I figure he had been out checking fence lines or just enjoying the beautiful fall weather.
Late in the afternoon I was blessed with numerous God Rays as the clouds rolled in with the frontal passage. Fortunately the rain showers were brief.
I was reminded that traveling this time of year some National Park Service historical sites can be closed. I learned about Alley Mill in Alley Spring, along the Jacks Fork River (part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways) and then discovered it was not open for touring. I thought about taking a side trip to photograph the exterior, but the leaves haven’t started to change around here. So I continued on to a campground near Mountain View, MO and filed a note in my memory banks to visit Alley Mill on another adventure.
Thursday was a short drive into Branson. My GPS directed me easily through the narrow and busy streets of Branson.
Have you noticed how much information overload we are bombarded with on a daily basis? Every time I turn on the Weather Channel, news or ESPN, it seems they have AT LEAST 4 different areas of information scrolling across the screen and a picture in picture box(es) in the corner(s). I struggle to focus on one piece of information at a time (and often forget I turned it on to watch a show). Sometimes I think it would be nice to simply have the show on the screen all alone! Why might you ask did I get off on this tangent??? Very simply - driving into Branson has a similar visual overload. Before I arrived in the southeastern edge of Springfield, MO to turn south and drive the 30 miles down to Branson, the highway was littered with billboards.
Once I turned down US 65 there were more signs for shows, restaurants, hotels, etc. in Branson than Carter has pills! If you’ve ever driven along I-95 in the Carolinas and seen the South of the Border billboards every mile (some of which are very humorous - my favorite is the one that is upside down and says This Sign Designed in Washington, Pedro fix later!) that is NOTHING compared to the drive into Branson. Think billboards set up like the old Burma Shave signs along the highway many years ago.
And they don’t stop once you get into town. I must have seen 20 or more when I walked 6 or 8 blocks up the street to visit a couple of wineries this afternoon.
I picked out two shows and two attractions to take in over the next several days. Had I allocated a few more days here, I’d be renting a car and getting out of town to see some of the natural beauty. The overly touristy and commercialized streets of Branson reminded me why this is a side trip, not the main focus of my journey. I am so looking forward to Moab, The Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, and Bosque.
Well I’d better wrap it up for this entry. Here’s a shot of my campsite at the KOA in Branson. They have the sites stacked up like sardines and there is no grass on the sites. There’s almost not enough room to put an awning out. Come to think if it I don’t recall seeing many awnings extended. Most of the time you see awnings out and chairs set up at most RVs. Most folks don’t even have their chairs outside. They have a little bar-b-que style grill (but I didn’t see a rack on mine) but no fire ring to build a fire. You would need one tonight as it is going to be in the upper 30s to around 40.
It was cool this morning and I had to turn on the heat when I got up. Tonight I’ll have the heat on when I go to bed so it can come on during the night.
Thanks for checking in.
Bruce and Chessy