Being the redneck city girl that I am, much of my pre-conceived notions of this part of the country conjure up images of that crazy family on an airplane with bright yellow t-shirts that say Branson Bound from the movie "She's Out of My League". Words like Ozarks and Arkansas bring to mind the movie "Deliverance" (Da Da Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Dinnnng), I'm a bit worried about heading to Branson, Missori. But come to find out, "Deliverance" was set in Georgia, a long ways aways from here. No, no, no the "Beverly Hillbillies" were from the Ozarks. Oh Good Lord.
We use my Garmin GPS constantly for navigation for everything from Wal-Mart locations to the nearest RV Park. The voice guiding the way is female with an English accent so Grandpa said we should name "her". He said she sounded rather cheery and I wanted her to have an English sounding name, so we combined the two to create Rosie Beth. Navigating through the backwoods of Highway 125 she seemed to get a little confused, and Grandpa asked if I thought she had been drinking. I said, "Oh for sure. She has to be on something to be so calm when we take a wrong turn, and she says, ""recalculating"".
Letting Grandpa drive is just a liiitle bit scary. He is hell bent on using his cruise control even as we are bearing down on the back of a semi truck, and his new motor home has so much power he is not afraid to use it. He never puts on his seat belt until after we are already on the road, while he one-hands it and wrestles to get it clicked. He spends about 25% of his time driving on the rumble strip. Today, driving through a small town, I gripped the grab bar tightly as I calmly said, "Grandpa the speed limit is 35." (He was going 65.) He responded "Oh, I was going at least 35."
All kidding aside, the drive to Branson on Highway 125 through the backwoods of the Ozark mountains was stunning. The foliage is just starting to turn fall colors of yellow,orange, red and green. The Ozarks aren't really mountains as much as they are rolling hills of trees, and farmlands with a church on every corner. There are so many churches, in fact, that I am not sure the population of these small towns is enough to fill the pews on Sunday morning. Farms throughout this area are well maintained with fresh paint and mowed lawns. The hills are speckled with huge rolls of hay randomly placed in open fields, like game pieces on a checker board. This is surprisingly a really lovely area of the country, and I am glad Rosie Beth took us on this route.
Tomorrow we get to see what Branson Missouri has to offer, and with great headliner shows as The Osmands, Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, Mickey Gilley, Mo Bandy, and Ray Stevens how can we go wrong? Yipee!