Mel is mentally gearing up to start a new job and wanted to take one more little short getaway before she goes into a situation where she has no time off for the foreseeable future.  So we went to Branson.
If you can’t think of anything to do, you can always go to Branson or (if you’re addicted to losing your money) Las Vegas.  I wasn’t terribly enthused about it but that’s because I have no vision.  We actually had a very good time.
Mel found a nice place called “Still Waters” resort where we could have spent all our time without ever leaving the property.  But the package came with tickets to both Dixie Stampede and Silver Dollar City so we actually spent very little time at the resort.
I have been to Silver Dollar City many times; mostly as a kid.  My enthusiasm for it was at a low ebb since all my memories were of running from one scary ride to another (both when I was a kid and with my own kids).  I’m done with rides – I just don’t care any more.  They don’t interest me at all.  But a coworker mentioned that there is a lot to do there that doesn’t involved riding anything.  I had forgotten about all the craftsmen.  And, as it turned out, it was the “Harvest Festival” during which they bring in even more craftspeople for you to watch.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I got to watch and talk to three blacksmiths, three woodcarvers, and a guy who took trees and made them into square beams for building houses.  Not sure what that guy’s description is.  There was also a guy there with a strange little sugar-cane-squeezing mill turned by a mule walking in a circle which was good for a few minutes of entertainment.  The day passed very quickly.
We also went to the Titanic Museum which was pretty fun as well.
When it came time to return home we decided to go home another way.  I had read a couple of years ago about the Ozark Medieval Fortress, a castle under construction using medieval-period techniques but I should have done my homework: they are closed – probably forever due to lack of funds.  We drove up to the entrance but two trees were barricading the road.
I quickly reset the GPS to take me to Eureka Springs.  We made it there in time for lunch and then strolled around a bit until our parking meter ran out of time.  Then I called the number for Old Street Tool; two guys who make wooden handplanes for use in making moldings the old fashioned way.  They don’t really have a storefront; just a shop in the basement of Larry’s home.  They apparently feel that if anybody is interested enough to seek them out, then they probably will enjoy talking to them so he invited me over.  He even volunteered to come downtown and lead me over to his house.  I managed to find it by myself but not without calling him a second time to make sure I was headed down the right track.
It was really fun chatting with a master on the subject of his mastery and I would have paid money for the time I spent with them but they gave me their time freely.  I even got a bit of tutoring on proper technique.
So after littering their floor with shavings, we then headed out – back towards highway 412 which leads homeward.  We got back at 6:30 and Erin arrived soon afterwards for her fall break.  It was a pleasant way to spend a few days.

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