Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Killer Muskrat Attack In Branson!!!

Just when you think everything's going fine and it's going to be a nice day, the worst possible happens!!  It started out pretty normal as we drove around the mountains to the dam Southwest of Branson.  We are parked on Turkey Creek, a small finger off the White River shown here, at the head of which is Table Rock Dam, holding back Table Rock Lake, which is huge.  It looks like a dragon on the map.  Somewhere along the way this river turns into Lake Taneycomo (Taney County Missouri), although it looks just like a little wider river to me!!  Apparently some time in the past after monsoon rainstorms, part of Branson flooded ... so they built the dam ... but no one really knew how to use it to avert another flood.  Recently, we hear they are getting some training on how to use the spillways!!
Brunch today was at the Steak & Shake.  This is one I've never heard of before, but was more than willing to give it a try.  Getting a burger and fries for $4.99 was certainly a deal!!  My guacamole burger with pepper jack cheese was excellent, as were the fries.  Then of course, you are obligated to purchase a shake ... because of the name.  For $3.49 it was HUGE and served in an old-time milkshake glass and much more than I could finish!!  As we left, the lights flickered, the cash registers crashed and the place went dark.  I didn't think there were any big storms coming in ... let me check the radar!!  One thing you keep in your back pocket here is your phone to check the radar.  Knowing whether it's time to hit a shelter is a BIG plus in Missouri!!
Guess where we are!!  This is the biggest, most beautiful, fully stocked quilt store I have ever been in ... and that's saying a lot, since Patty Chance and I shopped every single one from California to Alaska and back!!  I wasn't really looking for quilt stuff, since I left my mini sewing machine home.  BIG mistake ... not that I have time to sew on this trip ... but they did have a nice Fourth of July Eagle print that I picked up to make a wall hanging.  We originally came here looking for yarn ... HONEST!!  The only thing they had was that weird stuff to make ruffled scarves, except for some ribbon yarn Barbara found for a vest.  I could have spent a fortune here, but still have lots of diesel to pay for, so I bypassed the beautiful bolts of fabric!!
The rest of the day was spent at various craft and outlet malls, picking up some basics like another shirt, a bigger carabiner for my keys, FUDGE (yummy fudge) and a new end table for my couch.  Now I know this looks weird, but try as I might I couldn't find a small table to hold my soda when I'm watching TV.  Everything was too small or too "tippy".  Actually, it's very cool ... inside it still has the rack including hangars that you wrap your suit on and is in amazing condition.  Anyway, I'm going to use it for blanket storage.  It's steady as a rock, but I can lay it down when we travel!!  
Dinner was at Hook and Ladder Pizza in Hollister, just down the street ... and it was wonderful.  Not only the pizza, but the cute guys waiting on us in their turnout gear!!  I'm always up for a cute guy!! The salad, pizza and calzone were mighty tasty with a bottomless glass for soda and the service excellent.

Back at the rigs, these Canadian geese sit on the grassy beach every night for Barbara and Tom to watch.  They have many babies in their group, so don't get too close.  Close encounters result in Mom biting your head off and everyone making a run for the water.  What looks like a bad sun reflection is actually the brown creek water reflecting the trees.  
THEN the encounter of a lifetime!!!  Attach of the killer Muskrat!!!  Tired after all day in my cowboy boots shopping, I was walking the dogs around a corner beneath some trees when I stopped next to a big log at the site of this guy!!  Thankfully the dogs didn't see him ... that would have been a MAJOR wreck with Jessie!!!  He was snacking away on the lawn as I pulled out my phone, but the telephoto isn't much help.  He's BIG ... at least as big as Jessie, just with shorter legs!
He seems totally oblivious to us until I made some "git up" noises ... at which time he headed my direction.  WAIT!!!  I'm here!!!  Are you SURE you want to come this direction??  I took a couple more pictures .....  YIKES!!  He's coming right at me!!
I'm frantically trying to gather up the dogs on their leases as I drop my phone!!  Uh oh, I'm in trouble NOW!!!  He abruptly stopped in front of the log.  Whew!!  I'm safe ... ok dogs, lets go!!
About that time he turned, looked right at me and came on the run!!!  OH MY GOSH!#$!&!  I started backing up and tripped on Jessie while I snapped one more blurry picture.  I can just see Jessie and this guy gnashing teeth and a BIG Vet bill.  I ran, dragging the dogs with me.  Luckily I escaped with my life ... and the two dogs!!!   I just couldn't believe this guy kept coming, especially when the river is in the other direction!!  He or she must have a den under the log!!  Tonight I'll be out with my "good" camera in the hopes he returns!!
Finally, a little respite from the rain.  It's supposed to be sunny in Branson today, so we'll take the Duck Ride around town and to the lake, then the Titanic exhibit and possibly some last minute shopping, as today is our last day here.  It's time to be moving on!!

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