Wisconsin to Missouri

Sent on August 21, 2015

I’m thinking about it now, and we’re about to leave a week long stop in Branson, Missouri, and I’ll not be emailing much until we get to Texas in a week or so. So here’s the next chapter, so to speak.

In Wisconsin we stayed at the Westward Ho RV Resort for a week while DH stayed with the rest of the team nearer to the track. Youngest and I did laundry and other household stuff, ate up leftovers, watched TV and surfed the internet, and Youngest caught up on some Xbox gaming. The place was pretty – and it had tons of stuff to do – a pool, miniature golf, a clubhouse, a bar, a “snack shop”, an arcade, and of course, a fenced in dog park (with GRASS, which Milo LOVED). It was surrounded by forest, but we didn’t see any wildlife beyond the small petting zoo at the site with an alpaca, a sheep and a goat.

We made sure to stop, when we got into Wisconsin, for cheese. Schultz’s Cheese Haus, which is but one cheese shop of many, we picked because it was just there, and we remembered we wanted cheese, and hey, WISCONSIN and cheese, right? Or something like that. DH was a bit disappointed there were no English cheeses. What they had, and what we really wanted, was 15 year old cheddar. But at 70 dollars a pound, we settled for a free sample, and instead, bought the 8 year old cheddar. They had cheddar with onion, cheddar with bacon, cheddar with everything you could imagine. They had colby, jack, and oh, more cheddar. The people in Wisconsin were quite friendly, as well – and in all the parks we’ve stayed, with all the amenities, I was struck by how frequently the people were out enjoying the amenities at the Westward Ho! Volleyball games, the pool was full of swimmers, kids and parents playing catch on the grassy field, the arcade was used, and I even witnessed a full on horseshoe tournament. With crowds. I left Wisconsin thinking, “Man, when those people go out to play, they really go play hard!”

The events we’d planned for in Virginia were cancelled, so after Wisconsin we realized we had a lot of time on our hands before we had to be in Texas. So we decided to take a route that would take us through some new states.

We boondocked our way out of Wisconsin, through Illinois, to Clarksville, Missouri. We’ve learned that if we’re planning to camp out in a Walmart for free for the night, it’s always better to find a Lowes Home Improvement – they will let you park overnight, and they have fantastic wireless signal. We spent a few days in a resort in Clarksville that, on paper, looked great. A pool! Wireless! Trails! But in reality, the pool was a good half a mile walk, and the wireless only available on the other side of a small lake, with no cell signal to speak of. We hiked over to the wireless one night (and spotted otters swimming in the lake, which was fantastic), and it was tortuously slow. How were we to plan the rest of our trip without any network? So we left and moved on to Branson, Missouri, to where we are now, at the Branson Stagecoach RV Resort. It has a restaurant that does a good breakfast, a pool, and is surrounded by Table Rock State Park, which boasts wildlife from foxes to black bears (so far, none seen, though I heard what sounded like wolves in the woods late last night through the window). There are fireflies at night, and tons of grass for Milo, and up til today we had some friendly (but not annoyingly friendly) neighbors to chat with in the next site. The bread in the restaurant is fresh baked, so when we ran low, I went to get a loaf, and the woman cooking offered to bake me up a fresh loaf. So of course I asked for two (“It freezes well,” she told me).

What we’ve seen between Wisconsin and here? Well. In Illinois we saw a house with a gold plated pyramid (the largest gold plated object in North America, a dubious honor), a moat, and a 50 ft tall statue in the front yard. You can read more about that here:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/onans-gold-pyramid-house

But suffice to say – it was weird. Just a wee bit out of place, surrounded by trees and normal bungalows and ranch style homes.

In Missouri, we passed through a city called, “Uranus.” Which brought up a lot of giggling over, “We just drove through Uranus, Missouri!” And so on. We’re not the most mature, I suppose. We neglected to stop at the Uranus Fudge Factory (yes, it really exists), and we noticed a lot of the cities in Missouri are named after other places or things. Bourbon, Mexico, Louisiana – all Missouri cities. There is one called, “Huzzah” as well, which made me smile.

After this, we’ll be moving on to Oklahoma, to the National Falls State Park, which has a 70 ft tall waterfall. We’ll go through the upper left corner of Arkansas in the process. The National Falls State Park was where the movie “Where the Red Fern Grows” was filmed. Most of you have probably not heard of it, but I read that book to tatters as a kid, and I’m quite thrilled to see the Ozark mountains (more than we’ve seen from Branson, Missouri, anyway), where the book was set. It’s a book about a young kid, living in poverty, who saves pennies until he can afford his very own hunting hounds. It has a hike (barefoot) through the Ozarks, a battle with a mountain lion, several raccoon hunts, the boy grows up quite a lot and starts selling pelts, and of course…as most of these dog stories do, it has a sad ending. During this trip, it came up, and when I tried to tell DH the plot, I teared up, which he teased me about. But really – it’s quite a book. And yes, it’s fictional, but I’m still excited about the Ozarks. From Oklahoma we’ll head into Texas, and probably revisit some of the route we took before.

xo

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