Driving Through Hillbilly Country

LOCATION:  Table Rock Lake, near Branson, Missouri in SW part of state
CAMPGROUND:  Mill’s Creek Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) inside the park.  Flat, level, cement pads with excellent grills and picnic tables.  Clean showers/bathrooms.  Electricity.  Water and dump  station. Beach, marina, and volleyball court.  $10.50 with senior pass.  5 stars out of 5
WEATHER:  Very windy during the day.  Warmer – high 73
DRIVE:  8 hours

We left the Harvest Host brewery fairly early as we had read that high winds were on their way.  I drove the first part – on an Interstate.  We have been spoiled by driving the backroads, and it was very tense on the Interstate – lots of semi-trucks.  Not only were the trucks annoying, we were overwhelmed by billboards.  There are a lot of tacky tourist attractions in this part of the state, and they were advertised a lot.  The most amazing/unusual one was billboard ads for “Homemade Fudge from Uranus”.  Think about it…..

After an hour, we were able to get off onto a nice secondary highway.  The winds were indeed strong, gusting to 40 mph at times. 

Our destination was a campground in the Mark Twain National Forest.  We got off the nice secondary road and took a scenic byway to get there.  The views from the rolling hills in the Ozark Mountains were indeed scenic, but a lot of the scenery was marred by political signs,  Confederate flags, and hillbilly trailers and houses with junk spilling out of their open front doors into the yards.  Amazing!

It seems that every day our Garmin tells how many hours to the next destination, and it is always wrong.  It was supposed to take 3.5 hours to get to the Mark Twain Campground.  It was more like 6.  Could it possibly  be due to my pokey driving? …… šŸ™‚

The campground was full.  Every site was packed full of RVs, ATVs, and people.  It turns out that this is an ATV mecca due to the trails around this area.  So, we kept going.  Another issue was that we did not have cell service.  We were just too remote for any.  Finally, we came to a town and picked up service.  I called a few campgrounds from my ACOE campground guide.  Most were full.  One had 3 slots open, so we reserved it.  We drove another hour and arrived. 

Boy….we are glad that the Mark Twain campground was full and we ended here instead.  It is a beautiful campground.  Our site is right on the water.  Here is the view…

Table Rock Lake is huge – more than 43,000 acres.  There are 10 ACOE campgrounds here, a state park, commercial RV parks, and lots of resorts.  We are near touristy Branson with its shows and other tourist attractions.  We won’t be going there. 

DINNER:  It was too windy to grill, so I cooked inside.  I added some leftover chicken parmesan meatballs to a garlic/onion/mushroom/white wine sauce and poured it over some penne pasta. I baked it with some buttered bread crumbs on top.   Side was mixed steamed vegetables.  Sadly, we have even more leftovers! 

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