Thursday, April 30, 2015

Top of the Rock Big Cedar Golf Resort - 4/14/2015

This is the second post in a series covering our recent driving trip to see the Ozark's blooming trees and visit several other attractions as will be revealed in future posts.

We arrived in Branson a little early to check into our hotel so we had lunch at the Keeter Center on the campus of The College of the Ozarks.  The college has a nice Ozarks museum which we toured on a previous trip.  Our friend, Edel DeMaria, was with us on this trip and we thought it would be fun to stop at the museum just long enough to get a picture of her in the Beverly Hillbillies car.

Sigrid and Edel walked through all the greenhouses on the campus farm and also toured the old grist mill museum on the campus.

After lunch, we headed to the Top of the Rocks Golf Club which is part of the Big Cedar Resort in Hollister, MO.  Hollister is just south of Branson on US 65.  The Top of the Rocks is a Jack Nicklaus designed 9 hole par 3 course.  Johnny Morris developed and owns all the Big Cedar properties as well as the Buffalo Ridge 18 hole golf course a short distance from Big Cedar.  He also owns the Dogwood Canyon Nature Trail which we will visit tomorrow.  Johnny grew up in the Branson area and has become a very successful businessman.  Funding for all these developments was made possible by Johnny's other business....the Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats.  Kudos to Johnny for investing so heavily in the beauty and pleasure of the Ozarks.  

Sigrid and Edel posed with the indian sculpture at the club.  Like our last visit to the club, the weather was not great.

Looking out from Arnie's restaurant towards the wedding chapel.  The views are spectacular even when cloudy.

What a view!

The wine cellar at the Top of the Rocks.

How about a $47,000 bottle of Opus One for dinner?  The wine steward was very nervous about even picking up the bottle.

The golf course is covered in Dogwoods and Redbuds.

The wedding chapel is breathtaking inside.

Spring views of the Ozark forests can be almost as pretty as the fall.  As the trees leaf out, each species has a different color of green.  Couple that with the flowering trees and you have some pretty nice scenery.

The clubhouse with two nice restaurants and a wine room.

Next up is Dogwood Canyon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ozark Dogwood and Redbud Trees - 4/14/2015

We took a driving trip to Branson, MO a couple of weeks ago with two purposes in mind.  First, we hoped to see the dogwoods and redbuds in full bloom...something that has escaped us in the past.  We continually called the Dogwood Canyon office to check on the status of the trees since their blooming time is variable due to weather.  Blooming times here in the Kansas City area are not the same as down south.  The warmer southern climate usually accelerates the spring cycle so we were nervous when we saw our trees blooming before the trip.

The blooms on both trees are not long lasting so we were afraid we would miss the peak or miss the flowers completely.  As it turned out, the Branson blooms were later than ours this year and we did arrive at the peak of the blooming.....scratch another one off the bucket list.

Our second objective was to continue south to Bentonville, Arkansas to tour the Crystal Bridges Art Museum and then on to Little Rock to visit the Clinton Presidential Library.....scratch two more off the list.  The only thing marring the trip was less than perfect weather.  Our trips always include lots of photos and rainy days are not the best for that effort.

This post is the first of several covering the entire trip.  Future posts will be "newer" since posts stack on top of each other.  Check them out as they are posted if interested.

Here are a few of the first flowering photos we took on the trip.

The next post will be of Top of the Rocks golf resort near Branson, MO.