I've got a question for you...how many of you are familiar with The Lake Of The Ozarks? While it's pretty well known here in the Midwest, I've got a sneaky suspicion that a good number of you folks outside of the region aren't aware of this gem!
Lake of the Ozarks is a 93 mile long, 55,000 acre, man made lake located in south central Missouri, about 3 hours or so from St. Louis and slightly less from Kansas City. At one point it was the largest man made lake in the United States and one of the largest in the world.
It was formed by damming the Osage river. Three other tributaries of the Osage are also inundated in the process. The result of the flooding was a very large lake that has a stable lake level. The lay of the land that was flooded made for a lake that has thousands of coves and a shoreline of around 1,150 miles.
The reason that I'm writing about the Lake of the Ozarks today is because this past weekend, my girlfriend Kathy took me to "The Lake" for my birthday. We were joined by our buddies Margaret and Chris, as well as our friends Bill and Teri Beasley, who live at the lake and own Clayton Mortgage Associates there.
We stayed at a little resort called Shawnee Bluff Inn, which is located on Bagnell Dam Blvd. The main reason that we stayed there is because it was cheap. Only $49.00 a night!
Our room was set up as part of a cabin like setting. The decor has kind of a flash back to the 1960's feel to it, but the bed was good, the sheets were new and the view from the back balcony was to die for! The fact that it was off season and we were pretty much the only people at the place gave the entire experience a special feel!
After settling in and enjoying a couple of cocktails we headed down to "The Rock" which is usually kind of a biker bar, but on this off season Saturday night more resembled a South St. Louis tavern. The bar tender and the other patrons were extremely friendly and a good time was had by all.
My only complaint about the experience was when we drove away from the bar we were immediately followed by a Lake Ozark township police car. I had limited my consumption to a point where I was definately safe to drive (3 beers in as many hours) and while they didn't pull me over, I had the feeling that the cop was looking for any excuse that he could come up with to do so. I'm all for getting drunk drivers off of the road, but the fact that I was in a bar shouldn't subject me to being followed for 3 miles. It smelled of a money making scam to me and I'll admit, the next time I go to the lake, I'm going to avoid the town of Lake Ozark!
Anyway, we drove down the road to a bar called "Peckers" that featured dueling pianos and had a good crowd. One of the things that I liked about this bar was that it had a varied crowd. It wasn't just a bunch of 22 year olds looking to hook up. It had plenty of 30, 40, as well as 50+ folks looking to hook up!
Actually, the audience consisted of a mixture of locals and tourists that did vary in age. The guys playing piano did a good job of getting everyone to participate including Chris and I, the birthday boys who had to get up to be poked fun at. After enjoying some excellent chicken nachos, Bill and Teri went home while Margaret, Chris, Liquid Kathy and I went back to Shawnee Bluff.
Kathy pretty much passed out, but Margaret, Chris and I stayed up, drank and bullshxtted for a couple of more hours. Needless to say, a good time was had by all! Well, maybe not the cop, but everyone else seemed to have enjoyed themselves!
Oh, one more thing, on the way down we took Hwy. 94 West which has to be one of the most scenic highways in Missouri! A shout out to the St. Louis Sled Dog Club whom we ran into along the Katy Trail!
R.B. "Bob" Mitchell
P.S. As I mentioned, Bill and Teri Beasley own Clayton Mortgage Associates and if you would like to find out more about "The Lake" and/or buying/financing real estate at the lake, give them a call at 573-365-5005. Tell em Bob sent you! ;-)
Bob Mitchell is the president of ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc., St. Louis' largest discount/full-service real estate and mortgage company. To find out more about Bob, ValueList or our flat-fee listing program please feel free to visit our web page, valuelistre.com