TGO Challenge Videos

You can find the two TGO Challenge 2015 Videos in the 
May 2015 folder on your right

RV Weekend-- 4th July Branson Missouri 2015

Last minute plans of what to do for 4th of July. I know after all else fails let's go to what is probably the busiest place in the entire state on a major holiday- Branson Missouri. Haha. Well we did get a reservation at Branson View Campground, so keeping our streak of every weekend in the RV so far this summer going, we headed off in that direction on Friday around noon.

Another streak has been that every weekend it rains. This weekend was no exception it rained cats and dogs on us just before Springfield, having to come to a full stop on the highway a couple of times.
 The Branson View RV park was a small park on the very top of the hill up from the city of Branson. We picked this location because it was also close to Silver Dollar City.
 We got all set up in our spot. We really couldn't be picky about where we got in because we were so last minute but the owners here were really nice and moved us to a site that was reserved but they knew they party would not be in this weekend.
We had actually thought about seeing a show or two, but the ones we wanted to see ( Celtic Tenors, Celtic Women, Chinese Acrobats, Six, Neil Diamond Tribute, etc,) all only showed during the week and not on the weekends- strange but there you go.
So, once we got settled we headed over to Silver Dollar City. We have a yearly pass thanks to Vicky's need for "redneck" entertainment, but it is actually a fun amusement park. I can't ride any of the roller coasters, but I do like the water rides and other attractions.

Once we got into the park we hit a couple of the rides and then went on the train. The train just takes you on a 13 mile loop of the park through the woods and around the other rides.     

 Part of the train ride is to be held up by the local "good ole boys" moonshiners in the woods. Only this time it was really a hold up as the breaks on the train did break and we had to wait for about 20 minutes while they sent out some engineers to fix them and let them cool off.
After our harrowing train ride, what was required was funnel cake and a good game of checkers.
Funnel cake solves all of life's problems

Our day at Silver Dollar City was also a success in finding some accessories for the RV to customize it with our personality. Below is the new black bear that now holds the toilet paper for us. 
Back at the campsite it turned out to be a lovely sunset and evening. The Park was not nearly as crowed as we had thought and the temperature had remained pleasant. 

We woke up on the 4th of July to sunshine and a nice day. We got our best patriotic decorations for the RV. 

We were joined this morning by a really unusual bug that hung around our campsite most of the morning. He didn't seem afraid and was very mobile- he could even fly. The picture doesn't give a good scale but he was the size of about a half dollar! 
Vicky wanted to head down to the Branson Landing. This is the old downtown shopping district on Lake Taneycomo. 

The crowds even for July 4th at noon time were not really that large. 
 The river front had dancing fountains and played music. They had a concert down here with fireworks- last night

The transportation around Branson is unique. The trolley's run in town (above) and you can take a Duck  ride (click on the link to see the Duck's in action) 
In the evening we joined the majority of the campsite for a concert overlooking the bluff  and then some campground karaoke

Actually we missed the actual concert part and just arrived for the Karaoke.
I would say that half the RV are full time in this campground, so I think a lot of residents know each other on a regular basis.

Shoot me now :-)

After the karaoke we sat along the edge of the bluff in one of the pavilions and watched the fireworks go off all over town. From the bluff we could see dozens of displays all at once. It was a beautiful cool evening. 

Sunday morning we woke up to really dense fog on the bluff. 
 We hung around the campground till the fog lifted and it was a nice day, so we went to sight see to some of the places that we thought would have been too crowded yesterday.
The spill way of the dam (above) 

The giant hydro-electric dam separates Table Rock Lake above the Dam to Lake Taneycomo below the Dam

Lake Taneycomo from eye level (above) 
The Visitors Center (below) 

Table Rock side of the Dam.

There about 10 miles of trails in Table Rock State Park. Also a big RV park which we will try to stay in next time.

This was a great weekend to get away and the crowds were not a big problem. We would like to do some more wilderness camping with the RV. It is not that we don't like to have neighbors, and actually RV people are really nice but to get off the grid with our RV we really need a generator that can put out 30 amps to run the air conditioner in the summer!

RV weekend June 26-28 KC- Birthday Party and Christening

Well as we get ready to head off on our 4th of July RV weekend, I thought it would be good to catch up on last weekends trip to Kansas City Missouri for Vicky's niece's (Rebecca) daughter Isabella 5th Birthday party and her newest daughter Lilian's christening. We used the occasion to take the RV as there is a very good RV park literally across the street from their home in Lee's Summit.
This weekend we took Vicky's mother (Joyce) with us, so she could also stay in the RV. She had wanted to try it out and also Rebecca and her husband Ben's home was very full with other guests.

 We got in kind of later in the day (around 7:30 pm) there is always lots of construction on Hwy 70 across the state of Missouri and that also means several accidents as well held us up.

We just set up the RV quickly and then went for Mexican food. It is hard to stop Vicky from craving Mexican food on a Friday night. the place we ate at was really close by, within 3 miles, and had really good food for just an average looking family style Mexican Restaurant. Casa Mexico

This RV park (Blue Springs RV campground) was really nice. the lots are very big and the park has full gated security. Everything was very clean and tidy. We were at site 14 which I think is the best site, but site 20 was also nice and we might try that one next time.
 I always go out for my early morning walk and check out the whole park, Vicky slept in this weekend! It was full by Saturday afternoon, but Saturday morning there were still some spaces open. 
A storm had come through on Friday and pushed all the hot and humid air out and Friday night- Sunday we actually slept with the windows open and it was chilly. 

 Saturday was the birthday party for Isabella (it was a custom party, so Vicky went as a nurse in her scrubs from the hospital and I went as a patient (pretty appropriate!) When we were not over at Rebecca's house we just relaxed at the RV site

Joyce(Vicky's mom) and Vicky (above)

Rachel (below) who is another of Vicky's nieces, holding Liliana (Great niece) at the Christening

Family Tree's are so confusing to me, but everyone was there and we had a really good time.

Father's Day RV weekend Lake of the Ozarks State Park- June 19-21 2015

Vicky and I took the RV out again this weekend. Continuing our every weekend in June theme to get out with the RV. This weekend Emily and Anthony brought the girls down for the weekend as well.
We stayed by the water at Lake of the Ozark State Park and they stayed in a hotel up in town next to with the shopping malls, swimming pools, and amusement parks.

All pictures this weekend taken with iPhone
 We didn't get away until late on Friday after work so by the time we arrived down at Lake of the Ozarks it was getting dusk and the deer were out in the park
We got the RV in and set up on the first try and just hung out for the evening by ourselves
The kids came down even later on Friday, but on Saturday we all went to Miner Mike's and indoor amusement park where they had a great time

Cali and Alyssa riding the roller coaster

On the Ferris Wheel. There was also a giant Maze they spent almost an hour inside.

Cali (above) and Emily, Vicky, Alyssa (Below) 
 After word there was some shopping (there is a huge outlet mall in Lake Ozark). We left the kids at Miner Mike's and we went back to the RV. Eventually everyone showed up and we went swimming in the Lake, watched movies, played around the Park and made a fire

 The park was completely full with RV and campers all weekend.

We made a great picnic dinner and ate outside- despite it being in the 90's all day on Saturday.

 I got my favorite Dark Chocolate Seafoam for Father's day.

We slept in on Father's day (Sunday) and packed up and got home just before more big rain back home. - It was a great weekend.

Bass River Resort- RV weekend Steelville, MO. June 12-14

Vicky was going to be in Nashville TN for most of the week at the CMT (Country Music Television) awards and then was going to be attending concerts all week from the various Country stars. This has become an annual event for her, her sister Donna, Donna's daughter Rachel, and Vicky childhood friend Sharon. So while the girls went to drool over the country stars I decided that I would take the RV to somewhere equally "redneck" and go down to Bass Resort. Bass Resort sits between the Huzzah and the Courtois Rivers, two of the excellent canoeing, rafting, tubing rivers in Missouri. I know of the resort as it sits at the 11 mile marker of the Ozark Trail and I have hiked through it and even stealth camped in the resort once on an Ozark Trail hike.
This time however I would be mixing with the "locals" and on a popular weekend as well.

Bass Resort is a huge facility and can have many thousands of people spread over hundreds of acres and 4 distinct camping area. The registration is also the general store and the restaurant where you can get BBQ on Friday and Saturday night as well as Breakfast in the mornings.

Crossing over the Courtois (pronounced Code-a-way) river on the small concrete spillway

 Looking back on the spillway. you need to have your truck and RV straight when you cross this.

My campground I picked the furthest campsite in the park and in one of the family friendly zones. (Quiet time from 11 pm to 6 am) 
 Set up and ready to party- alone!  LOL

A common practice is to take a camping chair and just go sit in the river. you can sit with just your feet in the water or you can wade out and a position the chair so you are sitting waist deep in the water. Of course it helps if alcohol is involved in this practice as well.

I didn't have that much alcohol so I just went and sat in the river for awhile. Eventually the afternoon thunderstorms showed up and I went back to the RV to put my feet up and watch a movie. We need a bigger TV.

Once the storms passed over the temperature dropped and the sky was blue

 After I made hot dogs on the grille and had a hard cider or two I went for an evening walk. I walked all the other campgrounds. the other sites are the "Loud Section" quiet time is not until 2;30 am. The twenty somethings party here until the wee hours of the morning having drunk all day on the river and then drinking all night to get back in the river in the morning. SAFETY FIRST!

It turned into a very pleasant evening
The next morning dawned sunny and hot. I didn't move my truck at all for the weekend. If I needed anything I walked the mile each way to the main building. The main building had wi-fi and with no cell service here it was the only way to check in with the kids and Vicky in Nashville- besides they also had ice cream.

 I found a path so I didn't have to walk on the road and could walk in the woods going to and from the main lodge and my campsite

By after noon it clouded up again for just an hour more of heavy rain

Tonight I had brought Filet Mignon. I had thought that one or maybe both my children might drive down to have dinner, play in the water, or maybe even spend the night, but no one showed up. I cooked both up anyway thinking I would have steak and eggs for breakfast Sunday morning.
Tonight selections a very good white wine from Missouri's Adam Puchta winery. A Vignoles. The great thing about drinking an entire bottle of wine by yourself is that it makes you focus. I temporarily forget about any issues at work or old friends lost, and just concentrate on the moment I am in- until the next morning when the headache reminds me why I don't drink a whole bottle by myself!  LOL

 The perfect steak, with some cheesy pasta salad and a garden salad. yummy....

 After dinner, finishing up the last of the wine, there was lots of cloud watching and sitting out as the light fading into evening and then night. Finally the mosquitos chased me inside.
The next morning I woke to heaving rain. I slept later and when I looked outside everyone was hurrying to breakdown and get packed up. I knew if they just waited for a short time the rain would stop. I made breakfast and lounged around watching a movie and ready a book. After about an hour the rain stopped and the sun came out, so I started to pack everything up.
The heady rain was to be expected since I did hand wash the truck and the RV yesterday afternoon.

On of the best features of this new RV is that the awning will detect when it has too much weight on it (collecting water) and will automatically tilt down to let the water run off. Very clever! 

 All packed up and ready to go. I like to keep the RV like my backpack, just the essentials, not too much extra weight, this makes it quick and easy to set up and break down. 
Next time I will sign up for spending the day doing on of the various float trips on the river. you can do a 6 mile, 13 mile or 20 mile float trip. Don't tell Vicky but they have a country music festival down here later this summer.
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