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Adventures in the Villa

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River Boat

2022-10-14 Branson, Missouri

This morning we drove to Table Rock Lake…

Table Rock Lake is an artificial lake or reservoir in the Ozarks of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas in the United States. Designed, built and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lake is impounded by Table Rock Dam,  which was constructed from 1954 to 1958 on the White River.

The lake is a popular attraction for the city of Branson, Missouri, and the nearby town of Shell Knob, Missouri. There are several commercial marinas along the lake, and Table Rock State Park is located on the east side, both north and south of Table Rock Dam. Downstream from the dam, the Missouri Department of Conservation operates a fish hatchery, which is used to stock trout in Lake Taneycomo, which begins immediately downstream from the Table Rock Dam. The cold water discharged from the dam creates a trout fishing environment in the lake.

We are here to enjoy a lunch show on the Showboat Branson Bell…

The original plan, of course, was to have a cruise around the lake, whilst enjoying lunch and a show… However, the weather was not encouraging, so the boat never left the dock.

(Apparently river boats do not like 40 mph winds… On December 11, 2010, due to high winds that had come up suddenly, the Showboat Branson Belle ran aground while cruising on Table Rock Lake. The incident stranded 567 passengers and 76 crew members overnight.)

Showboat Branson Belle is a riverboat—more specifically, a showboat—on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. The lake is landlocked by the Table Rock Dam on one side and the Beaver Lake Dam on the other side. Being a showboat, it hosts lunch and dinner shows throughout the year.

The boat was constructed at its port at White River Landing and was launched on August 12, 1994. The boat was launched into Table Rock Lake at a speed of 14 knots (16 mph) on launching rails lubricated with two tons of bananas. The bananas were used for lubrication because they were biodegradable and would not have polluted Table Rock Lake as grease would have. The boat is claimed by its owner to be the largest ship on a landlocked lake in the United States. According to the plaque on the dock, the boat weighs 2,500,000 lbs.

So we waited to board…

Once on board, we walked around and explored the boat…

While the showboat looks like a typical excursion riverboat, it really is a 2,100 seat theater and a large kitchen…

The showboat is powered by a diesel-electric power plant, much like modern train locomotives. It is actually propelled by the twin stern wheels…

One giant smokestack…

Two giant smokestacks…

Now, back to the show…

But first! Our lunch was served – pork, chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans… What is it with these Southerners? The good news is that the food was WAY better than at the Whodunnit Hoedown…

A little light entertainment before the real show…

The show was great – very up-beat and flashy. Dancers were great! It’s fun to watch tap dancers in person…

At intermission a magician performed some rope tricks, with one of our Airstreamers helping out… This was fun!

There must be a law or something that every show must include a tribute to veterans, with patriotic songs…

We enjoyed the show, and we then returned to the Villa. Happy hours ensued…

While I worked on the blog, Lynda went to the clubhouse for fun and games, Airstream style…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-09-06 – 2021-09-11 – Traveling from Puyallup, WA to Redlands, CA

We are heading home…

September 6; Labor Day…

Last day of summer! (Even though school started three weeks ago – it’s still summer!)

Our grandchildren enjoyed a day at the beach!

We left Puyallop and headed south…

The Columbia River never ceases to please…

Remember when I said one barge on the Columbia River holds enough grain to fill 160 railroad cars? Here is where the barges offload the grain, where it is loaded into the railroad cars…

Portland has some great bridges…

And we are set up at a very nice RV Park in Salem, OR.

With a beautiful sky…

Tuesday, September 7:

We left early – we have a long day… The fog was a nice relief from the heat…

Wait! That’s not fog – it’s smoke!

There are four wildfires to the east of us, just over the hills… The whole length of the state…

At a rest stop we couldn’t see the mountains…

We passed through the delightful little town of Jacksonville, OR, located about 20 miles off the 5, west of Medford… We found out camping spot for the night – Valley View Winery, part of the Harvest Host program…

Still a little smoky…

We were the gusts for dinner at old Airstream friends who live a few miles from the winery… They lave 7 acres and a lovely house overlooking the Applegate River…

Fiery sunset over the river…

After a lovely dinner we returned to the Villa…

Wednesday, September 8:

As we left the winey in the morning we found a few wild turkeys…

We soon returned to California! Yay!

We saw lots of evidence of last year’s fires…

And we had some more smoke as well…

But soon the skies cleared as we approached Clear Lake…

After a tortuous drive over Hwy 175 we arrived in Cloverdale in time for a lovely sunset sky…

Thursday, September 9:

We awoke to clear skies and headed down the road…

We crossed over the Richmond bridge and the San Francisco Bay…

Still a little smoggy, but we could see the Golden Gate Bridge…

Still a little smoggy, but we could make out the city skyline…

Oakland is noted for its giant cargo container cranes…

And downtown Oakland is looking good…

BART running past us… We love cities!

We arrived at our RV park in Marina, just outside Monterey…

We drove into Carmel to stroll the town before dinner…

The beach is lovely, but cold!

We had a delightful dinner at a “Contemporary Mexican Restaurant”. First Mexican food since we left California on July 23… (We don’t eat Mexican food outside California – way too many disappointing meals over the past years…)

Friday, September 10

As we headed out of Marina across the Salinas Valley we saw fields and fields of lettuce…

Soon we saw vineyards…

We arrive in Paso Robles and parked just outside downtown. And a lovely town it is…

We stopped in for a wine tasting, hosted by this charming fellow…

But we are on a tight schedule, so we head south again, arriving at Los Olivos at about 4:00 pm…

We enjoyed a little wine tasting on the front patio…

Plenty of parking in Los Olivos, even on a Friday afternoon…

We parked in the Saarloos vineyard for the night, and shared dinner with Airstream friends at Bell’s in Los Alamos…

Saturday, September 11:

We arrived home in Redlands, California…

We shared happy hours drinking beer on the front porch with our son…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

Seven weeks and one day… twelve states… 7,000 miles.

The End

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