We woke up this morning to texts from Denise asking if we had seen Tom Miller. Not so far, but now we could all worry together. Around 9:00 AM, as VROC started to get up, the WiFi slowed way down. I hoped no one was streaming a movie.
We went back up to the Filling Station for another breakfast buffet. When we arrived, we met Zeke and Hang coming out. They turned around and joined us, having another coffee while we ate. Jetson and Renee arrived a bit later and joined us as well.
Zeke and Hang decided to take the bike and visit The Cliff House over on Highway 7.
Sherm, Sandy and I had planned to go to Branson yesterday but Debbie's flat tire had pre-empted that plan. Not to be deterred, we set out for The Live Entertainment Capital Of The World. After taking 21 through Blue Eye and then north through Kimberling City, we entered Branson from the west.
We did a full pass down 76 Country Boulevard to check out the changes since the last time we were here and then looped back on the Red Route.
After our tour, we stopped at the retro Uptown Cafe for "lunch". A bus tour had beaten us there and a lady was singing on stage. Not well, though. They were able to find us a table and we ordered. I had a double deck BLT. The second layer had more BLT, which made it hard to get my mouth around the thing. Sherm opted for a banana split while Sandy just had a root beer float.
After lunch, we drove by the Dutton Theater. Sherm sees them in Arizona regularly and says their show is excellent. In the parking lot out back, we saw a lady walking. Sherm rolled down the window and she came over. It was Sheila Dutton, the matriarch of the clan and she told Sherm it was good to see him again. We decided we would come back tomorrow for the 2:00 PM matinee.
We drove west out of Branson on 76. My plan was to go west, cross the far end of Table Rock Lake and return to Eureka Springs via Arkansas 23. That plan got a little changed, although we didn't know it right away, when I missed where 76 turned in Reeds Spring. After a while, Sandy asked if we were going the right way. A quick look at the GPS told me we were driving due north, heading away from ES.
I consulted the atlas and the Garmin and decided the best way to get back on track was to aim for Cassville, Missouri. The direct route involved one lane roads with words like Hollow and Creek in their names. It was an interesting drive. We got back on a road that had lines, SR 248, which took us to Cassville. On the last stretch, I had to pick up the pace because a semi had caught me on the curvy road. That driver was impressive, but I'd bet he drove this route regularly.
From Cassville, we followed County F through Roaring River State Park and then returned to ES via Missouri 86 (crossing Table Rock lake), County P and Arkansas 23. County F would make a nice motorcycle ride.
When we reached Stonegate, we found that Tom Miller had arrived. He had suffered from what he thought was food poisoning yesterday and had laid low for the night. All was well.
It was suppertime and many had gone next door. The three of us took Brandon and Sheila with us to Mertie May's, located in the Best Western Inn Of The Ozarks. Sherm and I ate here last year with a couple of others while the ladies were out at Susan's bridal bash. The food was still good and reasonably priced. There was another bus tour here but it was just leaving. All of us opted for the soup and salad bar, although the entree would not have been much more.
Back at the hotel, everyone was out in the parking lot so the WiFi in the room was fast. I managed to sort and post some photos. Malachi and Yvette arrived late from Colorado after having the GPS mislead them coming through downtown Eureka Springs.
Again, I didn't stay up too late but Sherm and Sandy beat me anyway. The loud conversations went on for a while outside our window, but that is the nature of the rallies. I fell asleep almost right away.