Transcribed form the little red leather journal in April 2011
May 14th, 2007
While we were in Lincoln I worked during the days and Mo checked out the town. She found Pioneer park where we rode our bikes one evening after work. She found another lovely park with a lake where Abby got to go swimming until Mo later saw the “no swimming” signs. Then at Pioneer Park Abby went swimming again, although for Abby it really is more like wading.
One evening we went to dinner at what used to be the Fireworks Grill and had steaks with Charlie (a fellow teaching soil scientist) but it turned out to be a real disappointment. Evidently the real Fireworks place has moved out of town on the south end somewhere and we never could find it. Bummer. I ended up eating out with the survey people several nights, including a night at the Cajun place, a night with Doug and Jim and Doug’s wife at the Italian place, Mo and I had pizza at Chicago Pizza and that was really great! Mo also got a chance to see the Haymarket park and sculpture downtown and to visit the capitol.
When the weekend came, we decided to leave for Branson on Friday night so that we could get there early enough of Saturday to get settled in before time for our shows. I got off work at 530 and we took off south towards Missouri. We got to go into Iowa as well on the way so we could get another state on that trip! I drove a little bit but got tired and went into the back to rest. Loved that part, although it was pretty bumpy and I finally got up around midnight and Mo said she was looking for a place to pull over. Those roads in southern Missouri don’t have much shoulder so it wasn’t easy to find. We were really surprised when we turned a corner and there was a Wal-Mart just waiting for us! Mo said, hope there are some rv’s there and as we drove around the parking lot we found a lineup and we pulled in and settled in for a good nights sleep! Thank goodness for Wal-Mart. In the morning we had a MacD’s breakfast since it was right there and then decided to take HWY 65 all the way south past Branson to Arkansas so we could get that sticker as well. The gas by the border wasn’t too expensive. Back to Branson to find our campground and we were really glad that we had switched since the other one I had originally wasn’t nearly as nice. In spite of the chain link fence, it was a comfortable place.
We settled in and didn’t have much time to get ready for our 3pm Broadway show. Decided to leave Abby in the motorhome rather than the kennels and I made sure all the windows were closed in the MoHo and we took off. Turns out that I opened the window instead of closing it and when we got back Abby had jumped out of the truck, was running around on the highway until someone found her and brought her back to the park. She was down in the kennel barking like crazy! What a horrible feeling that was. Just too close, too close to losing her. She was pretty contrite after that and we could tell she was a bit depressed and even more worried than usual.
The Broadway show was really good with lots of great costumes and fun singing. We enjoyed it. We came back to the MoHo and settled in after the trauma with Abby and got ready to go for our evening show which was “that 70’s Show”. Well, what a shock that turned out to be. The venue was a crummy old restaurant in a Ramada Inn that had been converted to a dingy bar, exactly like the 70’s. We knew something might be wrong when a tall thin woman in a very bad blond wig and heavy makeup waved us in from the parking lot. There were probably 20 people altogether in the audience. Funny thing, though, with the free cokes and popcorn and the campy entertainment, it actually turned out to be fun, with some good singing and lots of comedy. We ended up really enjoying ourselves.
Our next show wasn’t until 11 pm at the downtown Owens's Theater. We walked around early and watched the fireworks on the River Front but when we got to the theater, the show had been cancelled. We were pretty tired anyway and so it wasn’t too hard to just go home and crawl into bed after that very busy day!
Sunday morning we got up and got ready for my son Johnny and his wife Linda to arrive, cooked a good breakfast and sat out on the covered deck overlooking the Branson trees with our morning coffee. A really lovely moment. The kids got there around 10 or so and we had a great visit. Took them first to the Duck rides. It was great fun and we all enjoyed ourselves. Then Johnny drove us around the different places where he had lived and played as a young boy and we went to the little town of Harrison? For lunch. We ate rather boring food at the Olde English Pub restaurant and then just went back to the campground and visited until they headed back for Joplin.
Mo and I got ready for our big night out at the Mickey Gilley show. This one was interesting, and kind of fun, but the people were really really old who were there. It was country music from the era after the Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Jr time and before the current time so we didn’t know the music that well, but the entertainment was still fun. Sort of campy Branson kind of entertainment I guess. I would imagine that you have to have tickets for the special appearances and special shows, some of them were already sold out when we ordered our tickets so the shows that we saw were more ordinary. After the show we walked down to the riverfront area and really enjoyed seeing how nicely they have upscaled everything there. I could definitely spend some time in that place for sure! We were really lucky because while we were in Branson it wasn’t too hot and didn’t rain or anything unpleasant at all.
Monday morning we got up and had cereal for breakfast, broke camp, and headed north by traveling across HWY 65 through the Ozarks into Oklahoma (another state) and along the eastern border of Kansas on what was called the Military Road. It was interesting to see Fort Scott and the restored buildings where 160 people lived at what was once believed to be the final frontier of the west. Back to Lincoln that evening and off to work the next morning for the field day with the students.
Tuesday evening was our chance to ride our bikes at Pioneer park and it was really lovely. Cool and breezy and very pretty and green, with a truly wonderful paved bike trail. Mo finally figured out that we could put a muzzle on Abby and she does ok in the car waiting for us. The muzzle seems to keep her calmer than when she gets herself all worked up and barking.
Wednesday morning I worked, met with the lab people, and managed to get out of the center at 11:30 when Mo picked me up in the MoHo. We bought a taco on the way out of town and headed west to Edna’s house. The trip was fairly uneventful, with clear skies and some cloudiness as we approached Colorado, but we managed to miss all the big rain storms that Edna was getting.