Early Friday morning, about 4:30am, we were awakened with the sound of thunder and the presence of sharp lightning and then the pounding rain. After we had gotten up and had breakfast the rain ended but the clouds remained. We went to the Corps of Army Engineers Visitor Center. The Corps built the Table Rock Dam for flood control and a source of electrical power.
There are numerous campgrounds around the lake that were built and are managed by the Corps, unfortunately, they were not open until April or later or we probably would have stayed there. We had lunch at “Shorty Small’s”, a barbeque restaurant, that we thought had good food- brisket, catfish, pulled pork and sausages with sides- and plentiful. We took in a show in the evening, SIX, which featured 6 brothers performing without musical instruments but sounded like musical accompaniment.
This show was named the “Best Entertainment for 2010”. The theater looked to be full- the other shows we had been to had not been full but maybe it was because of being on Friday evening.
About 6:30am this morning we had a repeat of yesterday morning’s thunder and lightning- and we were leaving Branson. What fun to tear down in the rain and it was really pouring. Even with raincoats on Tom and I both ended up getting wet. Nervously and with dry clothing, we left Branson. Our motorhome does not run well in rain as it ingests water and we had some real hills to go up and down from Branson to Springfield. Fortunately, it ran pretty good only missing a couple times. At one point we had pea-size or a little larger hail coming down covering the ground with the pellets. Unlike yesterday, the rain continued with no let up and as we got about 90 miles from St. Louis the rain turned to snow. The snowflakes were so large they looked like snowballs falling and the ground was soon covered.
The roadways had accumulations and drivers not slowing down were ending up in the ditches or flipped over. We believe we saw 2 dozen or more such accidents through our travels today. As we neared the St. Louis area the snow flakes were smaller and snow was not falling as fast. Our plans were to stay at a campground at the Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois and we were more than ready to call it a day when we arrived there but the campground was closed and would not be open until Memorial Day weekend. Our directory had stated the campground was opened March through November. A security guard directed us to an area that we could have dry camped with truckers but we opted to move on. About 10 miles east we found a campground that we were able to stay the night with full hook-ups which should be more comfortable in this wintry environment. It is 7:40pm as I write this it continues to snow. According to the weather forecast it is to stop tonight, we hope so as we need to continue on toward Elkhart, Indiana where we have an appointment on Tuesday for some repair on the motorhome.