Rolling in to Oak Grove, Ark. surrounded by the Ozarks was an experience. Faulty map skills were to blame for our six-hour drive. You’d think all those years mapping to calls on the ambulance would have helped, but I still blew it.
The silver lining is we are at one of the nicest RV parks we’ve stayed at, sitting above a lake at a park with all the amenities you could ask for. While the area is somewhat remote and doesn’t have a lot of amenities nearby, we’re 40 minutes from Branson, Mo., which I have dubbed “Kid City U.S.A.” How clever.
When we rolled into Branson in search of the Branson Mountain Coaster, we drove down a mile-long strip full of mini golf, go-kart tracks, weird museums, crazy attractions, and more. I think Branson may also be the tribute band capital of the world! There are tribute shows available nightly celebrating Jimmy Buffet, the Eagles, the Beatles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others.
Goosey and I loved the mountain coaster, while Melody and Ace cheered us on from below. Goosey was adamant that we not use the brakes at all, and we didn’t, and hopped off demanding to ride again and saying how “thrilled and exhilarated” he was. Thankfully, the impending thunderstorm with lightning in close proximity saved us the $20 another ride would have cost as the coaster shut down to let the storm pass.
We did find the World’s Largest Toy Museum a mile away, two huge buildings full of every kind of toy you could think of. Ace spent an hour perusing the Hot Wheels cars for sale, settling on a trio of supercars. Goosey was enamored by the train room and enjoyed the various track layouts and model train club members running their locomotives. We spent a couple hours there waiting out the storm, before heading down to the water to catch a local trolley around town before cruising back to the RV park.
Yesterday, we headed back to Branson to check out Talking Rocks Cavern to explore their cave that took us down 100 feet underground. The cave was amazing, full of cool rock formations and impressive visuals but our tour guide was horrible. She didn’t know anything about the cave, had a hard time answering basic questions from the group, and tried to talk smack about me! We were stoked to get out of there and away from her, but it poured a little salt on an otherwise amazing experience.
We’re planning to spend most of today in Branson, getting Goosey and I out to play mini-golf, hitting up an old-school five-and-dime, and exploring a bit more. We’ll be back on the road tomorrow, spending one night each in Merriam, Kan. and Nebraska City, Neb. before arriving in Sioux Falls, S.D. for a few.
We’ve had a great time down here but are looking forward to cooler temperatures and less humidity up north!