Lake of the Ozarks has never been high on our visit list since we always pictured it as sort of a Redneck Riviera.
We always try to find things along our routes when we do cross-country trips, and since we’ve been watching the Netflix series Ozark and it wasn’t too far of a detour – here we are.
We were definitely surprised by how many high-dollar places there are here, but it makes sense that this could be your "up north" if you live and work in Kansas City or St Louis. Easy enough to get to for the weekend.
Lake of the Ozarks has more shoreline than the state of California, varying from the well-to-do areas that we saw to some assumedly redneck areas further up and down the lake.
The lake was created by damming the Osage River in 1931 to create hydroelectric power from the Bagnell Dam, however it became quite a tourist destination with 5 million tourists annually.
Most Army Corps of Engineer-controlled lakes are used for flood control, and their levels can vary greatly. Since Lake of the Ozarks was created for hydroelectric power, it’s level varies by only a few feet and the terrain surrounding the lake is stable enough to build on, as evidenced by the 70,000 private homes along its edges.
We had planned on overnighting along the way from Danny’s to the lake, but since we were making good time and feeling fresh we pushed along and got a bonus night at the Pittsburg Army Corp of Engineers campground on Pomme de Terre Lake. Only one other group of campers there, we essentially had the entire place and all of the waterfront to ourselves. Except for the deer, fox, rabbits, and blue heron. Pretty nice change when we had originally planned to overnight at a Cracker Barrel along the highway!
Our second night was at a private campground closer to the tourist attractions – so we checked them off. Blue Cat Lodge (from the Netflix Ozark series) – check. Bagnell Dam – check. Willmore Lodge – check. Ha Ha Tonka Castle – check.
We had thought there might be enough here for a future stop, however after being here and seeing that this is really more of a watersports and "up north" destination, we don’t feel the need to return again.

Road Ends In Water

Road Ends In Water
I wonder how many tow truck calls there are on drunken Friday nights…


Angles

Angles
Lots of stone angles in the Ha Ha Tonka Castle


Blue Spring

Blue Spring
The spring below the castle sure is blue


Windows

Windows
See in, see out, see through.


The Tower

The Tower
Every rich guy needs a phallic symbol on their property.


Willmore Lodge

Willmore Lodge on Lake Of The Ozarks
Looking out at Lake of the Ozarks from inside the historic Willmore Lodge


Blue Cat Lodge

Blue Cat Lodge at Lake Of The Ozarks
The Alhonna Resort bought the Blue Cat Lodge sign from the Ozark Netflix series, since they are the motel depicted in the show. The series was actually filmed on Lake Altoona in Georgia, but plenty of people like us come here looking for the lodge.



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