Friday, October 9, 2009

A Week in the Ozarks

Our week in Southwest Missouri has passed quickly. In fact, we’ve decided to delay our departure a day to dry out from the drenching rains of the last couple of days.

Our home for the week has been Pine Trails RV Ranch, located three miles east of Monett. With just 20 sites, it’s small and comfortable. The price is so right, Paul was tempted to sign up for a month! This place isn’t listed on yet, but it soon will be.

The week started with leaving Kansas City after our one month stay. Our cats were definitely ready to roll. They got into their crates on their own, with no coaxing from us. Now, that’s a first!

We picked up a very special passenger in Kansas City. “Flat MC” is a full-size paper replica of our third-grade niece. As part of a class assignment, Flat MC will be traveling with us through February. Here in Monett, we introduced her to some of her extended family. They were very glad to see her.

We also paid a visit to Mary’s sister and her family. It was great to see them. And, don’t they photograph well?

Flat MC was invited to a fire pit party at cousin John and Melissa's house. Here she is with Sally, a friend of the family.

Friend Kenny served as the pit master for the evening, tending to dinner with a flashlight. The Kobe beef burgers and Kenny’s homemade sausages were cooked to perfection and mighty tasty!

After dinner, we gathered around the fire pit and relaxed. Of course, we kept the paper version of our niece a safe distance away.

One of the places we’ve explored this week is Monett City Park, a 75-acre oasis that features plenty of picnic spots, sports fields, a playground, swimming pool and a pond where - apparently - you can’t fish for adults.

Also visiting the pond were these too odd-looking birds. We’re not birders, but to us they looked a bit like a cross between a rooster and a duck. We know we have a birder or two that are following our travels. So, please help us. What are these ugly things?

The park is also home to a beautiful rose garden. Though it’s past its peak, there are still a few beauties in full bloom.

This little thing obviously doesn’t know that the first frost of the season
is expected on Sunday!

Monett is also home to a few geocaches. We spent an afternoon with cousin John and introduced him to the game. Here he is displaying his first find at a spot that once housed a school, but today is a busy Lowe’s.

Next, we were back to the park to hunt for three caches. John’s second find took a bit more searching, but he had another taste of success.

These two found the third cache of the day so quickly I could barely catch up.

As they made a beeline across the park for the last catch of the day, I stopped to admire the changing colors of the season, which are just starting to show in this part of the country.

This beautiful afternoon simply could not just be spent on land alone. So, we made a quick trip to nearby Table Rock Lake. With approximately 800 miles of shoreline, this is one big lake!

Cousin Scott was the skipper of our tour on the lake. Does he look relaxed or what?

Do these guys look like they’re related? The lake was very quiet today, so we were able to just float for awhile and soak in the last bits of sunshine before clouds started to fill the sky and signal a big change in the weather.

On the way home, we made a quick stop to feed the fish at the hatchery at Roaring River State Park, where the trees are definitely starting to change.

With nothing more than coordinates, the three cousins headed off in search of a cache near a cave at the hatchery. With no cell service, they couldn’t access any more information about the cache. (This is the downside of “paperless caching”.) With fading light and rain on the way, they quickly decided to take a pass on this one.

Before we returned to Monett, the rain began. And, it didn’t stop for at least 36 hours. Much of the Ozarks received record rainfall,which prompted Flash Flood Warnings across the region.

We hunkered down in the moose and found ways to keep ourselves entertained. We played on the computer, caught up on the blog, read, napped and watched a little TV. Our girl kitty went on the hunt for flies seeking refuge in our rolling home.

Wow! She’s quick. And, yes. She did get it!

After a week filled with family, food, fun and a whole lot of rain, we’ll dry everything off and hit the road for Little Rock tomorrow. Stay tuned.


Jim and Dee said...

Great job on the geocaches, that will be our past time too. I have to add to those I have found already

Debbie and Rod said...

Oh my, don't let flat MC get too close to the fire!!!

Debbie & Rod

Linda and Denny said...

Your ugly ducklings are muscovy ducks. We first ran into them at Abita Springs, LA--the fact that one of them was blinded in one eye didn't add to his attractiveness.