We left Tunica on the morning of the 15th – our wedding anniversary (37 years!). Although we really enjoyed Tunica and met a great couple – Mike and Cheryl we had more than our share of rain. Even though the Sam’s Town park had concrete pads and was well maintained, the amount of rain caused ponding in most of the grassy areas making it hard to walk the dog and a mudding problem which tracked into the trailer. We had to pack up in the rain, but thankfully it was letting up as we departed. We took the back way out of Tunica, going south to cross the Mississippi and into Arkansas instead of going North through Memphis. I wanted to avoid all the local traffic and the lights we would have to deal with through the metropolitan area. It is always a crap shoot because the route is usually longer and the roads may not be so good. We came out 50/50 on the deal I think. Traffic was light and we made good time, but we hit a 10 mile stretch of rough road right before crossing into Arkansas that was teeth rattling. I always cringe at what is going on in the trailer when we encounter these types of conditions. We already had a drain pipe under the sink vibrate loose and a return vent come off the wall plus the benefiber powder is like concrete – LOL. I guess that’s why people say its like putting your house through a hurricane and an earthquake at the same time. In the end all was good this time.
Well, we have been in Branson for a day and a half now and see why this little town of 10,000 people gets 8 million visitors a year. The amount of attractions available to folks is overwhelming. We really didn’t set aside enough time to do much here this trip. I can see a return trip in our future. Last night we drove the “Strip” which is 5 miles long and might be described as eclectic to say the least. Overall, it has a country flair to it, but tries to have something for everyone. We saw everything from Calvary Stampede to big name talent appearances to the National BB Gun Museum. We even found the biggest chicken I have ever seen (check out pic). Its all here – I Guess!! It does look like there are a lot of fun things to do. Plus there is a giant recreation area of lakes and State Parks around Branson that provide additional opportunity for fun. Unfortunately, this trip we have to cut short as we need to be in Illinois on Saturday to meet my sister and nephew before they return to Oregon.
We are staying at the Escapee Park in Hollister, MO (adjacent to Branson) called Turkey Creek. It is similar to the park they run in Bushnell, FL if you have been there. It is a little smaller and, although satisfactory could use just a little TLC. our site was just enough off level that I had to run to Lowes and buy a 2×6 to level us out. The park is drying out now, but they evidently had a lot of rain ere too and when we arrived some parts were a little muddy. We have a 30 amp back in site that has full hookups and we are happy with it. They have free cable tv, but wifi is $3.00 a day and for use on only one device. We don’t have a wifi ranger or similar device yet to use as a router so Liz just got it for her Ipad. We are going to have to address the internet issue soon as we are eating through our data quickly as we travel more and find that the camp wifi either has a weak signal or too little bandwith. This has proved to be one of our biggest issues so far and we aren’t even full timing it yet!
Today we are heading over to the state park to let the dog have some quality time with nature. He is a great traveler, but sometimes I feel like he deserve a little fun too. He does so well in the truck and sometimes insists on waiting for us in the truck instead of going back into the trailer. I think he is afraid he will be left behind. After that, Liz wants to head to some world famous five and dime store in Branson and I’m sure we will be touring more of the town. Will update later today.