Today’s planned itinerary:
I started the morning checking out some of Branson’s highlights. Ride the Ducks tour wasn’t schedule-friendly so I headed over to Silver Dollar City which was having some kind of school class outing day if the veritable sea of high schoolers was any indication. A ridiculous fee later I was inside trying to get the lay of the land. I ended up taking the Marvel Cave tour and then wandering through some of the pioneer themed exhibits. But really, I was ready to continue on my way, if only the parking trams would cooperate.
I did eventually get back to my car, got to talk to Sis, and headed south into Arkansas.
My hotel was technically not that far from Branson… This is because I was planning to drive out to Bull Shoals (not far from destination Harrison) and Mammoth Springs (considerably farther East).
I knew that Mammoth Springs made a point of saying one shouldn’t rely on GPS in the park. I had a map against that contingency. A little trickier is the fact that GPS doesn’t ever seem to include parks at all. Based on that, I decided to start with Bull Shoals and see how it went. If it proved to be quick, I’d head east.
Yeah. What a nice idea.
Today I saw a lot of pretty country. It was a beautiful day. I saw goats on a sunny hillside and a fluttering yellow butterfly. I saw horses and cows and green fields and colorful leaves. The sky was bright and blue with swirls of clouds.
And a tank of gas later I did eventually get to Bull Shoals and can officially tell you – with no offense to the local area intended – that it’s hard to find because it’s a non-event.
But I saw it, dang it.
Definitely not time enough to go try my hand at the farther destination… I struggle enough without adding darkness to lostless…. But I drove along the historic and ironically sometimes quite lovely Trail of Tears en route back to the hotel. Tomorrow it will be my route into Oklahoma as well.
Dinner tonight was Mexican at Nopalitos Grill. My server, Erik, made good recommendations and the chicken chimichanga (my first) was inexpensive but very tasty. I managed to time my return to the hotel to coincide with the Hampton Inn cookies (first time this trip) so chocolate chip was for dessert.
One last note before I settle in for the night. Steve at the Hampton in St. Louis was nice, if a bit scattered. Judy at the Hampton in Branson was kind, helpful, friendly, and generally above-and-beyond. I don’t know the girl’s name here (and I usually ask) but though she’s helpful to the degree required, I am getting a bit of an “attitude” vibe off her. Like I need that, right?
Well, on the other hand, she’s 20-something and should probably be a model in NY or Milan instead of checking 40-somethings into a hotel in Arkansas. Maybe I’d have an attitude too.
Tomorrow I’m Tulsa bound. I’ll be there for a bit couple of days… any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated! Thanks again and again for the help so far! !