Wednesday June 6th 2018
It was another few degrees warmer today with increased humidity. The sun shined brightly most of the day bringing the high temperature into the mid 90s. There was a brief period late in the afternoon that it clouded up and looked threatening, but within an hour or so the sun was back.
I took the Branson Duck tour of Table Rock Lake today. It’s seventy to ninety minute tour in a modified World War II era amphibious “duck” vehicle. The duck holds about thirty five people with a driver and a captain. The captain is the tour guide for most of the excursion only taking over the drivers seat when the vehicle became a boat. The narration was an advertisement for the local attractions punctuated with bad jokes and puns.
The tour starts on the Branson Strip and makes its way to Table Rock Lake. Once across the dam it climbs to the top of Baird Mountain. This is the location of the quarry used to to excavate the rock for the Table Rock Dam. In the quarry the tour company has setup a display of military vehicles as a way to add value to the tour. For me the view of the quarry and of Table Rock Lake from the high vantage point was value enough. The only thing that would have made it better would have been seeing more interesting wildlife than some Turkey Vultures.
From the top of the mountain the Duck Boat descended to the lake. The captain took over the drivers seat and Duck Boat splashed into the water. Everybody got a little wet. We were told that was the safest way to get into the water without stalling the vehicle. I’m a little skeptical of that claim. On the water we made a loop out around an island and back to shore a few hundred yards from where we entered the lake. While on the water all of the kids on board got a chance to have their picture taken in the drivers seat.
The return trip to the Branson Strip was more lame jokes and puns I could have done without. In between the attempts at humor I did learn a few things about the area and got some ideas about other things I’d like to visit while I’m here. The tour provide a decent overview of the area along with the novelty of riding in the Duck Boat.