Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dam Tours Begin Again for First Time Since 9/11

I found this posting on and thought I would share. We toured the Hoover Dam with the kids when they were little, and we all found it fascinating albeit a little disconcerting. I think this tour will be equally as fascinating.

Tours Of Table Rock Dam Begin This Saturday!
Tours of TR Dam have been off-limits since 9/11, but will return this week-end thanks to a partnership between the Corps of Engineers, Ride the Ducks and the new Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation. All tours will be sold by RTD and conducted by RTD drivers. You can buy a combo ticket for a regular Duck tour which ends with a 45-minute tour of TR Dam, or you can buy a Dam tour ticket only. The full Duck/Dam tours start at RTD on Hwy 76 and the Dam-only tours start from the Dewey Short Center on the south side of the dam... from there you'll ride a special trolley to the dam for the tour.

If you've never been inside Table Rock Dam it's something to see! Special security cautions will be strictly adhered to (no cameras, cell phones, purses, etc. inside the dam... not even Wacky-Quackers!) plus you have to be a U.S. citizen with proof of citizenship (drivers license, passport). Very strict, as it should be.

A great new 'attraction' for Branson. Call Ride the Ducks for tickets & pricing.


Here is a TripAdvisor member's review of the tour written when tours were being conducted before 9/11:
If in Branson, take a ride to the Table Rock Dam. You can take a tour inside the power house and inside the dam. It was a great tour and we learned many things about generating electricity and Table Rock Lake. Both of the tour guides were very friendly. Kids will love this tour.

While you are at the dam, be sure to go by the Fish Hatchery. It is a free attraction and is very popular with old and young alike. Here are a couple more reviews from

CTZS 20 contributions
Aug 6, 2009
You get to go down by this on your Duck Ride...but go back to see the rainbow trout. Best time we had and it only cost us $2.00 in fish food. Kids love it! And it's a free tour!

lovetravel2 96 contributions
Apr 10, 2005

We loved table rock dam. One big reason is the fish hatchery. There are lots of tanks with so many fish in all of them. The range from very small to very big. There are food tanks you can buy food and feed them. My children loved this. The fish would jump up out of the water to get the food, and just swarm it. It was very fun. Inside the center is a movie and some snakes, fish etc. you can see. I would suggest you take a few minutes out of your day to go here.

We haven't ridden the Ducks or visited the Fish Hatchery yet. In fact, we haven't really explored The Dewey Short Visitors Center, either. They are now all on my "To Do" list along with a tour of the Table Rock Dam, but I think I'll wait until after the 4th of July weekend when everything should be a little less crowded.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Texas Tenors vs. The Three Redneck Tenors

Ok, I guess I was just kidding when, over a month ago, I said I was back to writing this blog. I started a new post two different times, but I just wasn't feelin' it I suppose, because I didn't finish either one. It's not that I haven't done anything worth writing about, because I have. I have actually been very busy, and I'd love to tell you all about it.

First of all, as I mentioned in a previous post, we sold the house in Oklahoma so we are permanently in Missouri. We got everything moved into storage and are getting back to work on remodeling our house. It is excruciatingly slow, but it is moving forward at last.

Every once in a while I just HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE so I will go see a show that is offering a discount to the locals. There are a lot of shows to see in Branson--most of them good, some of them not so good, and some of them GREAT! I consider The Texas Tenors in the GREAT category. You might know The Texas Tenors from the show America's Got Talent, because they came in fourth in 2009. I don't know who won last year, but they must have been terrific if they beat this group. We invited some friends to go with us, and they didn't have any idea what they were about to see. By intermission we were all hooked. Good looking guys in tight jeans, cowboy hats, boots, and tails singing everything from country ballads to Italian arias, how can you beat that? Unfortunately, The Texas Tenors are not one of the permanent acts here in Branson so they were only here for a few days. Fortunately, they'll be back Sept. 28th through Oct. 23rd. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend that you see them. I plan to go again in October, and I am hoping to take my mother. She'll love them, too.


On the same note (sort of), Branson will play host to The Three Redneck Tenors who were also on America's Got Talent and who also happen to be from Texas. While The Texas Tenors are from Houston and are totally serious about their craft, The Three Redneck Tenors are from Paris, Texas, a little town northeast of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex and combine "Down Home Laughs with Big City Music". Actually, they are also very serious about their music as they are all classically trained. What they aren't serious about is the "three tenors" concept. Their show is a parody of the many "3 tenor" ensembles. In fact, they actually only have 2 tenors, one if which is a high tenor. The 3rd member of the group is a baritone and sometimes they are even accompanied by a 4th performer who sings bass. Being the good rednecks that they are, they perform everything from Elvis' rockabilly to Puccini's opera. They are performing for three weeks at the Oakridge Boys Theater from July 6-Aug.15. The first half of the show will actually be Country Tonight which is the opener for every guest artist and then The Three Redneck Tenors will come out after the intermission. You won't see these guys dressed in tight jeans and cowboy hats, though. Their attire will be even more redneck than that--more like overalls and tails! I love good music and I love a good laugh so you can bet I'll be there to support some fellow Texans, and you can also bet that I am already laughing. I expect this show to go into the "Great" column as well.

Which group will I like best? I'll let you know after I see The Three Redneck Tenors, but I'm betting it'll be a draw.

Next time I'll tell you about a few of the impersonators in town so check back in a couple of days.

Branson Zipline Blog Link

Today I am just providing you with a link to the Branson Zipline Blog so that you can see all of their tour offerings and their prices. They have a large variety of tours, even some in the dark! They have been open for over a month now, and I understand that they are already so popular you have to make reservations if you want to be sure to get on the tour of your choice. It sounds like a great experience--one that I would like to have some day. I'd really like to take the 2 1/2 hour canopy tour, but it is a little pricey so I am going to start saving my nickels and dimes now. Hopefully, I'll have enough money saved for the family to go together when they come to visit next summer.

Take the time to watch the video and explore the different options. If you are coming to the Branson area and want to do something a little more adventurous in addition to going to one of the shows, you might want to consider ziplining.

Click here to go to the Branson Zipline Blog.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm Back

Wow,it took me longer than I thought it would to get back to my blog! After going to Texas to visit my family over Easter, we made 3 more trips to and from Oklahoma to finally finish moving to Missouri. I wasn't sure we were ever going to get it all done, but for better or worse, it's all here. The only thing that didn't make it to Missouri was our precious little dog, a sheltie named Ceilidh (pronounced Kaylee). After six years of doing "Ranch Security" on our 14 acres, she decided to venture out into the road and got run over. I suspect she was looking for her long time nemesis, the dreadful trashcan, which had disappeared since our last visit. My daughter always said that Ceilidh had OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and I know that it was really, really bothering her that she couldn't bark at the trashcan because it wasn't where it belonged. Part of her job as head of ranch security was to give it a piece of her mind every single day, but since the waste management company had picked it up, there was nothing for her to do but go find it. If we had just kept her out of the road for two more hours, Ceilidh would be with us today. She was a great dog and is missed very much.

Since this is supposed to be a blog about Branson, I guess I should say something about Branson. We have been to a couple of shows in the last two weeks, but I'm not going to take the time tonight to write about them. I'll save that for my next post. All I'm going to talk about now is the glorious, glorious weather we are having right now. Yesterday and today could not have been more perfect. The temperature was in the mid-70s, there was no wind, the river was flowing, the sky was blue instead of the perpetual gray we've had the last two weeks, and the birds were singing in celebration. It was a wonderful day to be alive and a wonderful day to be outside. There seemed to be as many people walking along The Strip today as there were cars. The Ducks were out in full force and the miniature golf courses (there are at least five outdoor courses)had plenty of customers. There is a chance of rain the next two days, but then it is back to near perfect weather. I am going to spend as much time outside as possible, because it won't be long until it will be too hot to spend the afternoons outside doing much more than sitting under a tree with a big glass of iced tea. The evenings and the mornings are very comfortable all summer, but it can get a little oppressive in the afternoons.

Be sure to check back in a day or two, because my next blog will be about two very different shows that I saw last week.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Taking a Short Break

As some of you all know, we moved to the Branson area a little over a year ago. We still had our home in Oklahoma, though, and would return to Ok. about every six weeks. Since we had a house that was virtually gutted in Missouri, we have not been in too much of a hurry to move furniture to the new house. We put our OK house up for sale in January and got a contract on it last Friday so-o-o that means we finally have to completely empty the place in three weeks.

Needless to say, I will be a little busy and will not have time to work on my blog plus we no longer have internet access at our place in OK. Please check back the second week in May, though, because I hope to be settled enough by then to start blogging again.
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