After all the Oklahoma City, Claremore and Tahlequah visits, we felt we had to step back from sightseeing a little bit and catch up on daily living. Our first stop was the Bear’s Den RV Park at Grove, Oklahoma, on the shore of the Grand Lake of the Cherokees. In truth, part of the Grand Lake of the Cherokees had encroached on the RV Park, and one roadway was under water. The Canada geese were happy, though, honking, hissing, and taking care of their young.
Weather threatened on our first night at Bear’s Den, with a tornado watch in effect. We were close to the storm shelter, and kept an eye on The Weather Channel and local news.
We wanted to go out for Mothers’ Day brunch at a nearby restaurant, but were told they were booked solid for Sunday morning. Instead, we enjoyed a fine steak dinner Saturday night at the same restaurant.
When we are in a new town on a weekend, we use the Internet to find a church to attend. There is a website called www.MassTimes.com, that lists the names, addresses and phone numbers of all the Catholic churches within 25 miles, and includes the time of masses. Most even have a MapQuest map of the area. We looked up St. Elizabeth’s Church. The address was listed on 113th Street, but the map clearly showed the location on 13th Street. Since Grove is a fairly small town, I decided there probably wasn’t a 113th street, and followed the map to 13th Street. Sure enough, we were on the wrong end of town. A local family gave us good directions to get back to the church and in just ten minutes we arrived at St. Elizabeth’s as the entrance ceremony was about to begin.
Driving from Grove to Branson, we passed Neosha, Missouri, and observed the terrible damage done by a tornado the same night we had been under a tornado watch in Grove. The two towns aren’t very far apart, and as we watched crews working to remove the debris, we thanked God for our safety. Houses were blown down, trees uprooted, sheets of metal (Roofs? Siding? Sheds?) were hung up in trees, and household goods were scattered everywhere.
This is only the second time we’ve driven through an area after a tornado. The first time was a few years ago in Tennessee. My lasting image from that event was an old brick church with parts of walls and the steeple lying on the ground, and the stained glass windows blown out and shattered.
Now we are settled into an RV Park in Branson, where we’ll stay three nights before moving on to another park where our rally will be based. This is a six-day rally sponsored by the Winnebago-Itasca Travelers Club, to which we belong by virtue of owning our Itasca Motorhome, Rosie. The rally will include some of the great shows here in Branson, a cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle, and a tour to Silver Dollar City.
We expect to be busy for the next week, so you may be reading only short, quick postings on our blog about … Our Life on Wheels.