Mondays with Morie–Episode 50–Branson. Oh What Fun!

Everybody needs a break. I’ve known for a while that I needed a break; a break from constantly being barraged by political ads that trash the opponent and make promises they don’t explain how they can keep. I need a break from the constant pounding of the Covid 19 gavel, beating down on our heads about the dire predictions of the coming months.  I need a break from the violent protests and danger to our law enforcement personnel, that although has somewhat eased, has reared its ugly head again this week.

Some of my lady friends from our Blue Knights (a law enforcement motorcycle club) decided to take advantage of one of the lady’s timeshares and visit Branson, Missouri. We started out with a group of six ladies, but ended up  with only four; one haven fallen victim to a Covid quarantine.

For those of you unfamiliar with Branson, it’s a major tourist destination in the Ozark Mountains in southwest Missouri. According to Wikipedia

The collection of entertainment theaters along 76 Country Boulevard (and to a lesser extent along Shepherd of the Hills Expressway), including Dolly Parton’s Stampede, has increased Branson’s popularity as a tourist destination.

Geese gathering on the banks of Lake Taneycomo
Beautiful sunsets abound
Sight and Sound Theater
Dancing Lights on Branson Landing
View of the Landing from the top of the Balloon

Created by the damming of the White River which created Lake Taneycomo, on which Branson actually sits, and its sister arm to the west, Tablerock Lake it’s located in the southwest corner of Missouri. There is no shortage of things to do and being there, you could almost forget for brief snippets, that we are in the midst of a pandemic.

The Branson Ferris Wheel was formerly Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, ridden by nearly 17 million people from 1995 to 2015. Standing 150 feet tall, its 40 gondolas hold 240 riders, and it lights up the night with 16,000 LED lights. The Branson Ferris Wheel boasts spectacular views of the famed entertainment corridor and the picturesque Ozark Mountains.  (

And you got to take a selfie when you’re at the top of the wheel

Another great place to visit is Johnny Morris’ Top of the Rock at Big Cedar Lodge. “Inspired by a commitment to conservation, Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, created Big Cedar Lodge to encourage visitors and their families to connect with the great outdoors.”

Top of the Rock is just that. It sits at the highest elevation in Taney County near Branson. The site offers golf, nature trails (either on foot or on golf cart), magnificent views, and a 35,000 square foot Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum.

End of the Trail Sculpture

According to Wikipedia, “The End of the Trail” is a sculpture by James Earle Fraser, the original of which is located in Waupun, Wisconsin. It depicts a weary Native American Man hanging limp as his weary horse comes to the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The statue is a commentary on the damage Euro-American settlement inflicted upon Native Americans. The main figure embodies the suffering and exhaustion of people driven from their native lands.


Church at Top of the Rock Branson Missouri
Chapel of the Ozarks

Resting at the highest point in Taney County, Missouri, this enchanting, three-story chapel boasts incredible floor-to-ceiling views of Table Rock Lake through a glass backdrop. As you enter through antique pine wood doors, the chapel opens to soaring 23-foot vaulting ceilings with seating for up to 180 guests. Say “I do” in one of the most breathtaking venues in the Ozark Mountains only at Chapel of the Ozarks.

Three women standing in front of a window

We spent four days in Branson and we only scratched the surface of things to do; there’s shopping, and shows, and restaurants, miniature golf, Silver Dollar City, museums and water sports, just to name a few other things. Branson is often thought to be a “silver-hair” attraction because a great many of their shows along the strip are geared more for the baby-boomer generation. But there’s enough to do that the whole family will enjoy. And there’s my plug for Branson.


  1. Fun article! However, 1 flaw …. promoted by the marketing people at Big Cedar Lodge. Top of the Rock is not the highest point in Taney County. It is actually about 30 miles NE along the Glade Top Trail scenic drive. There are in fact at least 5 points higher than Top of the Rock.

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