Warren & Emily SwanTrips → 2002 Ozarks

This was only a 1 week vacation, and we did not have Olive and Heidi with us, because they were going to a youth convention in Michigan.  But we did bring along a friend of Daniel’s named Joshua Disch.  We had passed through the Ozarks on I-44 or US-66 as kids, and in 1987 and 1996.  When considering where we could go when we only had a week, we both agreed on the Ozarks. 

After camping a night at Springfield, IL we made a bee-line for Bull Shoals Lake, which was extremely high.  We camped at Bull Shoals Dam Site for the entire time we were in the Ozarks, and just went from there to see a lot.

We went up the Top of the Ozarks Tower to take in the scenery.  At the Bull Shoals Lake Recreation Area we could see canopies sticking out of the water.  Turns out that a foot or so below the water were the picnic tables over which these canopies spread.

We had a fun time at the Ozark Folk Center State Park near Mountain View.  The kids doing crafts and Warren enjoying the music.  There was (and is) plenty of other interesting things in Mountain View, including the Dulcimer Shoppe, gift shops and, when the weather is good enough, music jams at the town square, usually on the weekend.

American Plunge at Silver Dollar City ← Although not cheap, Silver Dollar City, near Branson, MO, is a real treat.  It’s a whole day outing of fun in an amusement park atmosphere, but with lots of shade.  This is the American Plunge.  Prepare to get wet! 

Buffalo River Caņon In the Jasper area we took some time to find the Parker-Hickman Farmstead, the oldest farmstead in Arkansas.  The kids swam in the Buffalo River, and as soon as they got out a snake swam right across the surface where they’d just been.  Here we are at a look-out over the Buffalo River Caņon: Amy, Daniel, and Josh.  →

We also visited Mystic Caverns, which has lots of interesting cave formations.  However, it has been visited for over 100 years, and early visitors didn’t know or care how to preserve it.  So there is much smoke and vandal damage.

We went back down to Mountain View where the kids went go-carting, then Warren got out the hammered dulcimer and jammed with folks at Mountain View Music.  The kids also enjoyed ice cream and horse-and-buggy rides in the evening.

That night returning from the fun time at Mountain View, Warren said aloud, “Now if I could just fine a job down here that would pay enough.” We had no idea that God was going to move us to the Missouri Ozarks in less than a year.


visited 3 states (6%)
Create your own visited map of The United States