Saturday, August 8, 2015

July 8, 2015 - Saint Robert, MO to Branson, MO

Oh serious? It is raining… Definitely not a great day for sightseeing in Springfield, MO. We may have to do something different. Since we will be staying at a timeshare resort in Branson, MO for 6 nights we can make a day trip to Springfield when the weather cooperates.

There were more semi trucks and RVs on Walmart parking lot. The parking lot is big (unlike the one in Bellingham, WA) and has plenty of room for at least 20-30 RVs or semi trucks.

It is really nice to have an inverter in the Lil’ Home (LH).  We turn it on to run small appliances while we dry camp/boondock.  We can use the microwave, coffeepot, hand mixer and slow cooker, camera battery charger and laptop.  When we had 2013 Roadtrek camper van there was an inverter; however, it was not powerful enough to run more than a coffeepot plus a slow cooker.  Last year Edith wanted to use the slow cooker and the power was out.  The batteries were badly damaged and had to be replaced for $500 something.  LH’s 6 batteries are much bigger and powerful, so it is safe to use the inverter once in a while.

A very small disadvantage of dry camping or boondocking is not being able to use wifi to post travel blogs and upload pictures.  We have Verizon MiFi and pay $90 a month for 10 GB.  In the past Edith was able to use it for a month without running out of data.  This time she had to refill data for another $90, so she had to be careful with how many pictures she uploads for the blog.

We had been reading newsfeed on Facebook about flash floods in MO and one campground at a state park was flooded that the campers had to be evacuated.  We really need to keep track of the weather wherever we go.  Also, we have friends who keep in touch with us with weather reports.  

We left Walmart at 9 am, got back on I-44 West going to Springfield, MO.  The rain had subsided a bit, but we still had to leave wipers on.

The fog was very thick all around.  A couple water towers were hidden behind the thin veil of fog.  

A bald eagle, with its prized catch in its talons, flew across I-44.  It was a beautiful sight and Edith did not have a chance to take a picture of it.

The rain stopped by the time we entered Lebanon, MO.  The road condition on I-44 was better.  There was an electronic construction sign warning not to use cruise control during wet conditions.  

There are billboards advertising the world’s largest candy store.  As bad as seeing the billboards of Wall Drug in South Dakota orj South of the Border in South Carolina.

Finally, the weather cleared up and the road condition is dry.  Less stressful for us now.  There are still rain clouds hovering around. 

Crossing some bridges we could see how high the water was.  This means flooding in low lying areas.  We need to be careful about where we want to go.

We got off I-44 to get on B then right to OO (it is also part of Historic Route 66) to check out Wild Animal Safari in Strafford, MO. Erwin took his family to visit this place back in early 70’s, said it was wonderful and he enjoyed the drive throughout the safari park.

While slowly driving by the Safari Park we both decided not to visit it. Why? The appearance threw us off. Too narrow to go in the safari park, so we kept on driving until we found a place to make an U-turn. A BIG mistake… There is an entrance to Paradise Woods gated subdivision and we thought it was wide enough for the LH to go around, but NOT!  We were blocking the entrance and exit. We did not have the right sockets/tools to unlock the bars.  Finally after about 20 minutes of trying Erwin was able to free the bar and unhooked the Jeep, so LH can make an U-turn without the car.  We will have to be careful next time we want to make U-turns.

It started to rain again.  This makes it miserable for sightseeing, but we tried our best to visit whatever we could.

We got fuel fill-up at Signal Food Store #112 in Ozark, MO ($2.44 g for diesel).

After arriving Branson, MO we checked into Branson View Campground. The campground is right by the main road.  They assigned us site #11 that is close to the office.  We decided not to unhook the Jeep and drive around in Branson. Erwin said he was tired and Edith wanted to edit pictures. Another thing that “stopped” us from going out was the rain that came on again.  

Erwin fell into a nap while reading a book.  Edith was busy checking out information to see/do in Branson.

After supper we strolled around the campground.  There are two decks overlooking Branson town.  

It was a very peaceful night.

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