Wednesday, May 10, 2006
It’s approximately a 10 hour drive from Monroe Connecticut to Milton Ontario so we decided to split it over 2 days. That allowed us to take it easy in the morning and leave mid afternoon.
After 11 months 2 weeks we are back in Ontario. It will be very nice to visit with family and friends, but part of us will long for the road.
It's hard to believe that our trip is over --- must be time to start planning the next one.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
We spent the week visiting our friends Carol and John in Monroe Connecticut. When we were planning the visit we discovered that there are very few campgrounds in Connecticut and none of them are near Monroe. Our friends driveway is very steep with some sharp bends so parking the trailer there was out of the question. Luckily, Gail (Carol’s sister) lives nearby and has a nice level driveway perfect for parking a trailer. Ed, Zaph and I decided to move into John and Carol’s house for the week. It was kinda of weird having all that space, but Zaph loved it and ran around the house squeaking some of his favourite toys.
Over the course of the week, we went for some great pizza in New Haven, visited a dog park in Westport, took Zaph for a long walk alone a river, went from a drive to look at the Dogwood trees in bloom and went into New York City. Ed was having “good camera store” withdrawal so he and John headed to their favourite camera stores, while Carol and I headed to the Metropolitan Museum. The four of us met up to attend a matinee performance of ‘The Producers”. If you haven’t had a chance to see this play, it really is hilarious. Before heading back to Connecticut, we went to an Asian restaurant that specialized in Sushi and Vegetarian cuisine (John and Carol are vegetarians). It was good to visit New York City one more time.
Another view of the Dogwood trees.
A wild turkey on the side of the road.
A red fox just outside of John and Carol's back door.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Now That Was a Long Drive
Our last stop before heading home is Monroe Connecticut. The computer program said it is a 20 hour drive but we ended up spending 26 hours on the road. The time difference is due to rest breaks, stop lights, traffic and driving slower than the posted speed limit — 75 mph seems a bit fast when you’re pulling a trailer on mountains roads. We decided to drive straight there stopping for the night in Wal-Mart parking lots. On the trip we drove through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut and I decided that at least on the route we followed Pennsylvania had the best scenery.
The St. Louis Arch seen from the highway in the rain.
The Welcome to Ohio Arch --- again from the highway in the rain.
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?