I’m a little delayed on Episode 39, Lake of the Ozarks, because, well, we were at Lake of the Ozarks.
The interior of our unit at the Alhonna Resort leaves a little to be desired, but as they say, location, location, location, is what really matters. Our unit is literally right on the lake. Our deck is at the lake’s edge and the dock is right in front of us. This is our third year staying at Alhonna. The first year the room location was just a fluke. The second and third years were by design. There is just no beating listening to the waves crash against the shore. And waves there are. The resort s right off the main channel of the Lake and sometimes it looks like a highway out there. Unfortunately, sometimes its as dangerous as a highway. There was a late-night boat accident a couple miles from our location that cost a Pevely woman her life and seriously injured her husband and daughter.
Since we’ve gone down to “The Lake” a number of times over the last twenty-something years, we’ve done most of the things to do that don’t involve water sports. Why would we go to a “The Lake” if we don’t participate in water sports? Mainly because I like water…I don’t necessarily like being on it or in it; I just like watching it. And Earl likes fishing in it. And, Lake of the Ozarks is my childhood vacation spot. We never had the opportunity to travel when I was young; the Lake was the place we could afford…on occasion.
The Lake of the Ozarks was built in 1931 by damming the Osage River and its tributaries,, Little Niangua, Grand Glaize, Grand and Pomme de Terre rivers. The Lake encompasses 92 square miles, or 54,000 acres of which 30,000 acres required clearing. after the land was purchased from land owners.
Over the years we have visited Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Bridal Cave, the Bagnell Dam strip and the Camendton Outlet Mall. This year we decided to visit the Bagnell Dam museum a the Wilmore Lodge where we learned more about the building of the dam and the towns which were decimated by it being built. We followed the paved trail to the flowered waterfront.
The only other excursion we did was to visit Stark Caverns. According to lakeexpo.com:
The first humans known to occupy the cave were Native Americans. An ancient fire-pit is located at the furthest point back in the cave where natural light can still be seen, the clay surface turned into terra cotta after thousands of years of use. Pottery and other artifacts have been found as well. Perhaps the most attentive-getting evidence are the human skeletal bones found in the cave. The bones have been verified by the University of Missouri and they date back to early native Americans from the Hopewell Culture, who lived during the Woodland Period (2,000 to 1,000 B.C.) The remains of a Hopewell baby, a 14-year old girl/mother, and an Indian Chief (with a dark reputation) have conjured up many a tall tale as to how the cave became their final resting place.
Adding to the cave’s colorful history, during American Prohibition in the early 1900s, the cave became popular as a moonshine distillery and speakeasy, complete with a dance floor.
Other uses over the years have included a roller and ice-skating rink, a merry-go-round carousel, and a trout farm, created by three pristine creeks that flow into the property. A stream was dammed in the mid 1970s to form a lake outside of the cave.
As as we had the two previous years, we celebrated our anniversary at the lake. The first time it was spur of the moment and I made a sign on a napkin. This year, I got fancy and made a sign out of a paper plate and included stars! This year, it was 23.