Thursday, May 31, 2012

Branson 1st Edition

May 10th , 2012

I pulled into Branson MO on the 10th of May. I realize Branson is known for its’ entertainment but I was more interested in the natural resources and history of the area. I visited the new visitor center at Table Rock Lake. This is a must see for anyone visiting the area. It’s three stories tall and one side of the building is all glass. It is a certified green building. The views of the lake and damn from all three floors are wonderful. There are also educational displays inside the building that teach about the natural history and cultural history of the Ozarks. The gift shop is well stocked with books about the plants and animals of the Ozarks and the people who have called the Ozarks home. I visited some of the camping areas in several of the state and Army Corp of Engineers parks in the area. They were all very well maintained and included some sites with full hookups. Some of the sites may be reserved through

I took several back road trips during my stay and enjoyed the familiar sweet smells of the MO woods. The woods were full of migrating birds and the usual mix of year round tweeters. The trees were so full of foliage I heard many more birds than I saw. I took a duck tour that included a ride on Table Rock Lake in our amphibious vehicle. We shared the lake with the Showboat Branson Bell. What a beautiful site to see a magnificent old paddle wheel showboat out on the lake.
I did attend two entertainment venues while in Branson. I had a wonderful BBQ chicken and brisket dinner at the Sons of the Pioneers show. Yes that is the group that Roy Rogers sang with and they sang all the old songs. I also attended the “Shepherd of the Hills play”. The play is based on the best selling novel The Shepherd of the Hills, Harold Bell Wright's epic story of love, loss, power, hardship, and the true meaning of life. He wrote the book in 1907. This book put the Branson area on the map as many people who read it wanted to travel to the area where the characters in the book lived. The play is performed in an outdoor arena and includes livestock and horse drawn buggies. Horses are ridden at full gallop across the stage. It’s a very moving story and a must see for anyone visiting the area. Here are a few images from my time in the Branson MO area.

Visitor Center at Table Rock Lake Branson MO

Table Rock Lake Branson MO

Table Rock Lake Branson MO

Showboat Branson Bell on Table Rock Lake

Down River from the Table Rock Lake Damn

Old Matt's Cabin - Featured in the book The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright - Branson MO

Stage where The Shepherd of the Hills play is performed - Branson MO

Sons of the Pioneers - Branson MO


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  2. Branson looks so lovely, and I'm excited to vacation there soon. I have a question that may seem a bit silly. My husband and I have been looking at Branson hotels with an indoor pool, but it occurred to me that we could swim in the lake. Being from the East Coat, we have a lot of lakes here, but some of them are not habitable for swimming. Is that the case with any lakes in Branson? Is it something we need to be concerned about? Thanks.