Tuesday June 5th 2018
Today continued a warming trend from yesterday mornings low temperatures. It was a sunny day with low humidity and a high temperature in the low 80s. It was a near perfect weather day.
One of the big recreational attractions in the area is Table Rock Lake. It is one of a series of man made lakes created by dams on the White River. The White River is 733 miles long starting in Northwest Arkansas looping through Missouri and emptying into the Mississippi River 2120 feet lower in altitude. The Army Corp of Engineers have built multiple dams on the river for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. The Table Rock Dam holds back the waters of Table Rock Lake more than 200 feet above the out flow of the White River below the dam.
I visited the Dewey Short visitors center run by the Army Corp of Engineers just across the Table Rock Lake Dam. The dam was completed in late 1958 and this visitors center opened in 2012. There are some nice exhibits on the river, the lake and the fish and wildlife in the area. My timing was all wrong to watch the movie, but I may go back.
There is a trail from the visitors center into Table Rock State Park. I took the hike a little over a half a mile to the pier for the Showboat Branson Belle excursion boat. The replica paddle wheel showboat was out in the lake while I was there, but people were starting to arrive for the next departure. Beside the Showboat pier is the landing site for the Branson Duck boat tours. While I was there I saw two of the duck boats departing the lake. I was intrigued enough that I’ve booked a duck tour for tomorrow.
The lake is a very popular site. Even on a Tuesday in the spring people were fishing and wading in the lake along the trail from the visitors center. Out in the lake there were fishing boats, sailboats and a few fast moving boats. On the other side of the dam one of the Corp of Engineers run beaches had a few swimmers in the water. I didn’t test the water temperature, but I think it must be cool this time of year.