Maybe it was all the animal carcasses on the walls, or the remoteness of the resort, or just our imaginations, but the ever so cozy get-away- seemed to spark a very unsettling feeling that neither I or my husband could shake.
We booked two nights at a very popular and touted resort area in Missouri. We were excited for the mountain scenery, trails, and just being away. So the first day, we drove directly to the golf course which was beautiful despite the wind and occasional showers. We then went to the resort to check in. It was a perfectly manicured place. All the décor was wilderness and hunting. No big deal for a few days. We needed to wait for a cabin to become available for check in, so we strolled down to the ever so cute cottage to have soup and sandwiches. We then strolled back to the main lobby to wait. We looked through the brochures to pick our activity for the next day. A wilderness tram sounded wonderful. (More on this disaster later).
We were able to check into our cabin. A nice row of cabins lined the ravine. Again, perfectly clean and neat cabins. Well-appointed with TV, fireplace, Wi-Fi, a deck with a wonderful view…all very nice. We also decided to name the stuffed critters that decorated our cabin: Stuffed raccoon (Rocky) Duck (Sal) 3 deer heads (Bucky, Chucky, and Kevin) 5 fish (Lunch, Dinner, and App,TI, Zer).
We decided to order room service for the cabin which was delivered on time, and it wasn’t great, but not horrible either. Pizza and a Greek Wrap. We often gazed off our deck so we could spot wildlife. Birds and squirrels in the mountain get away. No deer, no mammals, no road kill, nothing…eerie.
The next morning we were up early and to breakfast by 7:10 am. Only like two other couples were there and no critters on our walk, nothing but birds. It was then my husband confessed: “This place is odd. Like a one of us or summer camp massacre atmosphere.” I had to agree. It was whitewashed, as if everyone else was a part of the squeaky-clean club, and we weren’t invited.
Our trip to Nature preserve seemed perfect. A nice a little drive, get on the tram see some woods and animals. No. again, so eerie. Our little tram driver guide was I’m sure a sweet man, but took a good amount of time to go over the need of private land for all to fish and pointed out the multitude of updates, including the tram and the SUV pulling the tram. One story started: “Now, over there in that cave, three bodies were found. Two were adults and one was a child. We don’t know the age of the child, but of course they were all pretty old. Maybe eight thousands years. And over there is Bob on the tractor. Wave to Bob. That’s B-O-B. Bob.”
Okay, a two-hour wildlife safari tour, was like two hours of looking at waterfalls and remade bridges with this guy and the actual wildlife was 5 minutes. The deer section was zero, Texas long hour, check, and Bison, check. All over and done with in a blink. So on our tour, we found out that this nifty little nature reserve is owned by the same dude that owns the resort we were staying at.—Ah-Ha. After a long two-hour very cold tram ride with little wildlife exposure, a drive into the town to find food and shake off the stench of Disney gone bad. The Indian restaurant was a nice break before entering back into the winding curves of resort.
How do we explain to people who have gushed that this is the best of all places that really, it isn’t and if anything is kind of creepy, and we will never go back.
We just say, “It was nice to get away.”