Friday, April 28, 2006
Samples of Several Shows
Bass Pro also owns Dogwood Canyon Nature Park which offers people the chance to enjoy nature ---- at a cost of course. A self guided walking adventure only sets you back $7.95 per adult. Dogwood Canyon looks really nice but I think I’d rather walk for free at a conservation area.
The RV park offers entertainment most nights at the Rec. Centre, and tonight before the main entertainment they had a “Meet the Rep.” session. Performers from three different shows came and the Activities Co-ordinator interviewed them on stage. Each group then performed a song for us to entice us to see their full show. Many of these performers are trying to “break into” Branson’s show arena, and attend events like this to become known.
The entrance to Big Cedar Lodge
The main lodge at Big Cedar and one of the creeks that cross the roadway.
Face to Face --- Arizona Phod and Sadie
Cowboy Zaph and Sadie.
One of the bands that came to the RV park.
Is that John Wayne? No, but the fella really looks like him and uses the name in his show.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
One of the many the attractions just outside of Branson is the “Shepard of the Hills Homestead” at which only the observation tower was open, and we decided to do the tourist thing and pay the $5 (can you believe it) to take the elevator to the top of the tower. The view was pretty good but I not sure that I got my monies worth.
Outside a cute shop in Branson. This store had some beautiful pottery and some amazing wood carvings.
This fish hatchery at the bottom of Table Rock Dam.
The trout are attacking!!!! Throwing in a few pieces of fish food caused the trout to swarm to the surface.
The observation tower.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Table Rock Lake
Hey that bus is driving into the water! Duck boat tours are popular in Branson.
A view of the river just outside of Branson
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Granddaddy of Outdoor Stores
On the way back to Branson, Bill drove us by an area that had been hit by a tornado on March 12. This had been a severe tornado that had stayed on the ground for about 40 miles. Several houses had been flatten, several other houses had the back half or roofs ripped off, many more were missing roof tiles or pieces of siding and lots of fences were missing. The power and unpredictability of a tornado really hit home when I saw rubble that was once a house beside a house that just lost a couple of roof shingles.
The sign at the Bass Pro Shop.
Help --- he's attacking me!
You can see the path the tornodo took.
The brick work appears OK while the roof is mostly gone.
One piece of the house was left standing.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Why did the Titanic cross the road? ..... It wanted to make a Titanic size traffic jam. The Titanic Museum is a new exhibit in town.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
As Zaph had waited for us in the trailer while we checked out the stores we decided to take him for a drive and look for a nice place for a walk. The local map showed “Beaver Dam” a few miles down the road from us. “Beaver Dam” turned out to be a large dam built by the Corp of Engineers creating a large lake called Beaver Lake and some beautiful parkland.
These paintings are done by local artists. You can bid on your favorite one and buy it.
The garden of the Basin Spring Hotel. Motor bikes are a common site in Eureka Springs. The area roads attract bikers from all over.
Eureka Springs was famous for it's "healing springs" in the late 1800's.
Beware of the "Attack Bunny". Some stores will put everyone to work including the family pet.
Another street view.
The Crescent Hotel. It sits high on a hill overlooking the town --- people say that it is haunted.
A view from the back porch of the Crescent Hotel.
We were standing down the road from the Crescent Hotel and looked across the valley and saw Christ of the Ozarks. It really is tall.
This is one big beaver dam .... The insert is the tower you can see in the middle of the photo.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Home of Wal-Mart
Carol and Darryl had told us we should visit Eureka Springs and we are really glad that we followed their advise. A short distance from our campsite is the Thorncrown Chapel. The chapel was built by a man who had his retirement home here and wanted to share the beauty of the area with others. The chapel is 46 feet high, has 425 windows, over 6,000 sq ft of glass and only seats 100 people. It is open to visitors from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm, allowing time for a morning wedding before it opens and several weddings after it closes. I can’t find the words to describe the feeling I got when I was sitting inside the chapel.
Our next stop was the Eureka Springs Rail Depot. 2 mile of track has been laid and the old train transverses it several times a day. The “conductor” was a character and told you lots of interesting information about trains. Did you know that conductors dressed in black so the soot from the old steam engines wouldn’t show up on their clothes? Before we could leave, the engine was moved to the turntable so it could be reversed, and connected to the now front of the train. At the 2 mile mark the engine uncoupled to turn around at a “Y” and couple back up to the other end of the train for the return trip. The conductor encouraged us to put coins on the train track so the engine could run over them and flatten them — instant souvenirs. He did say that it wasn’t safe to put anything on regular train tracks and you could only do it here as the engine was moving at a slow controlled speed. Ed and I chatted with the conductor for a few minutes after the ride had ended and he told us that the population of Eureka Springs is just over 2,000 but they have over 4,000 rooms for tourists — definite a tourist destination town.
There was a chainsaw carving show and auction today, so we stopped to take a look. The carving was finished when we got there and they were in the process of auctioning off many of the pieces. It really is incredible what some people can do with a chainsaw.
Last stop for the day was the statue of “Christ in the Ozarks”. This statue stands at least 60 feet tall (Ed’s guess) and overlooks Eureka Springs.
This old steam engine is in working order but no longer run due to insurance costs.
Inside the old commuter car.
The engine being "turned around" on the turn table.
If you look closely you can see the coins on the track.
The flattened coins.
Auctioning off the wood carvings.
Christ of the Ozarks
Friday, April 21, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Back to Reality
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
Pretty in pink ... a roseate spoonbill hanging with a couple of scarlet Ibis
This guy is sure tall.
Peek-a-boo I see you Mr. Rhinoceros
"Loving" a goat.
A pair of Macaws.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Is this the real Easter Bunny? (Andy and Zaph.)
Or perhaps this is this the real Easter Bunny?
On the other hand; Sara thinks this might be the real Easter Bunny.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
There were a lot of tractors at the Antique Tractor Show.
The big event is the tractor pull. The tractor is attached to a sled that has a weight that moves forward creating more resistance. The one who can pull it the farthest wins.
The "mini-tractor pull" for kids --- It was hard work.
This reminds me of the cartoons where the characters legs get stretched. Or perhaps the wide track gives better high speed handling... at least that what the car ads indicate.
The Antique Tractor Show was held beside the community airport where this trainer jet was displayed.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge
We stopped at Tyler State Park for a nice picnic lunch and walk around the lake. It reminded me of the Ontario provincial parks where we have camped.
One of the tigers. The steel container is full of water as the tigers enjoy playing in water.
One of the lions.
The two juvenile tigers that were excited to see Sarah and her stuffies.
Which one is the real tiger cub?
The lake at Tyler State Park.
Princess in training, Rule 7; get your servants to carry you and your royal carrage whenever possible to insure comfortable ride.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Kim with Omar and Sarah.
There were many different varities of roses.
We were facinated by the multicoloured roses.
Darryl, Carol, Frances, Sarah and her friends Care Bear and Little Zaphie were enjoying the meditation gazebo at the rose garden.
Caral, Sarah and Darryl on the bridge. Wouldn't that be a great spot for wedding photos?
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Zaph on his private beach.
Some "bird dog"! Well, at least he got the ball before the ducks did.
Monday, April 10, 2006
In the 1920's the rancher who owned the cavern installed a large wooden floor in one of the large chambers, and held dances — this chamber proved to have great acoustics. In the 1930's the land was given to the state for a park. The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) cleared additional tunnels and rooms and installed hundreds of lights allowing it to be safely viewed by the public. Today concerts and special events are held in main room of the cavern.
One of the large rooms in the cavern.
Looking down one of the tunnels.
This section of the cave had a high ceiling in other parts even I had to bend over.
A couple sections of the cave had crystals on the walls. Coloured lights at this spot showed the crystals off.
Our campsite at Inks Lake State Park.
Sunset view from our campsite.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Our next stop was Inks Lake State Park, which is approximately 65 miles north east of Fredericksburg — still in Hill Country. Zaph was impressed as we managed to get a campsite on the lake giving him a private mini beach, and in his mind that would mean hours of swimming. Arriving on a Sunday was a good idea.
The Royal Royces
A closeup view of a couple of Royal Royces
Inks Lake. Ed was facinated by the desert plants growing beside a lake.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Wild flowers and Tractors
Hill Country is know for it’s wild flowers so of course there is a nursery that specializes in wild flowers. They have several fields where they grow the wild flowers for seed (which they sell), a butterfly house where they have local butterflies (of course) as well as a gift shop and garden centre. The butterfly house was different from the ones in Ontario as it is not climate controlled, but simply a screened building with lots of plants, a small pond and lots of butterflies. All of the butterflies in the house can be found in Texas and we have seen several of the varieties in the wild flying around the trees and wild flowers.
Driving back into town, Ed saw Fort Martin Scott so we stopped. There is one original building left — the stockade. I guess they built it a little better than the rest of the buildings! There are several replica buildings and lots of plaques indicating the building that had been located at the spot.
There go the tractors.
Here comes another batch of tractors. We were told that 49 tractors were in the ride.
Field of red corn poppies.
One of the many butterflies in the butterfly house.
A barrel catus in bloom
One of the flowers in the butterfly house.
Ed drove over to the community airport (next door) and found a Royal Royce show.
A 1923 Royal Royce --- the owner was finishing polishing it before it join the other cars in the hanger.
Watch out bad guys --- Sherrif Zaphod is on duty.
Friday, April 07, 2006
LBJ and Ladybird
Part of LBJ’s ranch was donated to the National Park System in the late 1960's with the provision that Ladybird (she’s 93) has full use of the house until her death. The ranch is still worked and raises Polled Hereford cattle. On another piece of the property, a pioneer era farm is setup — this reminded Ed of the family farm when he young.
One of LBJ’s cousin’s founded Johnson City, which is approximately 15 miles east of Stillwell, and not very far from LBJ’s ranch. There is a visitor centre and some restored buildings as they were in the 1880's. The visitor center has two very interesting films; one on LBJ’s presidency and the other on Ladybird life.
A replica of the house Lyndon B. Johnson was born in. It is called a "dog trot" because of the open passageway in the middle of the house.
The main house.
Two of the Lincoln Continentals that LBJ drove around the ranch.
Cattle resting in the shade.
Where's the rest of the food? --- this goat is sitting in one of the cattle food bins.
Checking out the cattle.
The pioneer farm.
The main house, wash house and water tower on the pioneer farm.
A house from the original Johnson City settlement
Texas Longhorn cattle
Watertower in the Johnson City Settlement
Thursday, April 06, 2006
The Enchanted Rock is the hill behind the sign.
A pond at the state park.
Do I have to climb this?
Dad, can I take this rock home?
This is one big rock.
Zaph in one of his favorite places.
A small pool in the top of the rock
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Wine Country in Texas
A lot of care has been taken in renovating and maintaining the buildings in the downtown area. For example, one building that had been a hardware store and is now an antique shop still has the original floor to ceiling shelving down one side of the store, now displaying antiques instead of nuts and bolts.
There’s a type of 5th trailer that is called a “Toy Hauler”. The front section of the trailer has the normal living area while the back section is left mostly empty and the back flips down and acts like a ramp. Most people use toy haulers to carry a golf cart or an ATV. One fellow at this campground uses it to carry his tractor.
These were some of the unique items for sale.
One of the antique buildings on the main street of Fredericksburg
I'm not sure why a building in Fredericksburg would have an elephant on it.
Flowers in the park
A statue in the park depicting the treaty between the locals and the natives
This poster was displayed in one of the wineries.
The toyhauler and tractor.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Admiral Nimitz of World War II Pacific Combat Zone fame was born in Fredericksburg and to honor him the National Museum of the Pacific War was located here. The museum has several exhibits one of which is called the Pacific Combat Zone. This exhibit shows the museum’s large artifacts in unique environments such as an invasion beach with landing craft and artillery, a field hospital in a Quonset hut, etc.
We are staying at the Ladybird Johnson Municipal Park just outside of Fredericksburg. The park is quite large as it not only houses the trailer park but also a golf course, 2 baseball diamonds, tennis courts, swimming pools and large picnic areas. Zaph loves it as there are lots of places to play ball.
A WWII Bomber
A PT boat --- one of only a few in existance
A Japanese tank
One of the display areas in the museum
The super structure off of a ship and an anti-aircraft gun --- displays outside of the museum.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Who Turned the Thermostat Up?
Looking down one of the corridors at Mission Concepcion
The ceiling in the church at Mission Concepcion
At the Mission San Jose, the natives lived in the rooms that ran along the wall. They used the cement and stone object at the left for cooking.
Ruins of Convento --- the missionaries lived on the 2nd floor while the lower floor was various storage rooms. Mission San Jose
Looking through the Ruins of Convento at Mission San Jose
Some of the carving above the main door of the church at Mission San Jose
Mission San Jose had a grist mill. Water was diverted from the San Antonio River to power the mill.
Zaph checking out an old well at Mission San Jose
The bells at Mission San Juan
A lot of restoration work is currently under way at Mission San Juan
The Espada Aqueduct --- Acequias (gravity flow ditches) were dug to irrigate the fields. The aqueduct was built to cross Six Mile Creek.
The church at Mission Espada
The ornate doors on the church at Mission Espada
The bell tower on the church at Mission Espada
Look whose coming out of one of the buildings at Mission Espada
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Remember the Alamo
Later in the afternoon, we visited the River Walk, a mile or so section of the San Antonio river that winds through the old part of the city, which had been developed as a tourist area in the 1950. The result was a beautiful combination of sidewalks, bridges, and old building all combining to form a pleasant relaxing environment. One of the popular things to do is take a boat ride along the river in the River Walk section, during which the boat operator gives a guided tour of the area and relates some of the history. Info: http://thesanantonioriverwalk.com
Invasion!!!! Some ducks at the KOA try to take over Zaph's waterbowl.
A couple of the original cannons
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas maintain the Alamo and have planted some beautiful gardens.
This Live Oak spreads across the grounds.
This was living quarters and was one of the last strong holds for the Texans during the battle.
A view of the River Walk --- it's a great place to walk or stop and have a meal.
One of the entrances to the River Walk as seen from the boat.
This is a theatre and we were told that it was used in the final seen in Miss Congeniality.
Another view from the boat. The red object in the background is the Flame of Friendship, a gift to the city from Mexico.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Happy April Fool’s Day
If you wish you can sign our guest book