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Published: August 11th 2008
Last Monday I rode the Duck while the wife shopped. I was more interested in the vehicle than seeing the sights. About 21,000 ducks were manufactured during World War Two and a handful have survived to be used to haul tourists around in. The original Army DUKW (as they were originally called) was a very different vehicle. 6 cyl.engine , 5 speed manual, and much shorter. The modern Ducks are lengthened, have a 8 cyl. engine and automatic transmission. Anyway, it was a fun ride and worth the $20. The Duck was driven into a local lake and I was at the helm for a short time.
That afternoon the wife and I rode the “Branson Scenic Railway”. It was about $50 for two and again, worth the money. It was unseasonably hot and somewhat uncomfortable waiting to board the train. It travels 20 miles south into Arkansas, and 20 back. A bit less than 2 hours. I found the train to be more interesting than the trip. The cars were from the 1930’s, 40’s, & 50’s. The engine was built in the 60’s. The two observation cars gave the best view by far.
Branson traffic was heavy but
the town was very easy to get around in. I did not hear one horn honk or see an angry driver. Very courteous people. The major routes are color coded. What a concept. It could work in Houston. 290 could be Burnt Orange, Loop 610 and 59 inside the loop could be red. That would give the map of Houston a big red circle with a red diagonal line through it. I 10 could be blue. 45 could be brown to match the color of the water in the Gulf at Galveston. This would be a typical verbal exchange between a tourist and a Native Houstonian:
Tourist: “Excuse me, kind sir or madam, could you tell me how to get to Galveston from here?”
Native Houstonian: “But of course. Continue on Orange East until you get to Red South. Take Red South to Blue East. Blue East will take you to Brown South. When the road ends, you are in Galveston”.
Tourist: “Much obliged”.
Native Houstonian: “My pleasure”.
I’m contacting Mayor White in the morning.
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