Patty, Brooks and I were tossing around ideas for spontaneous trips early last week, when Patty had an epiphany and blurted out, “Let’s go to Table Rock Lake.”
In short order, we found a place to stay, and Friday morning we headed south on I-49, then Missouri 13 to Kimberling City.
To the best of my recollection, we had been to Table Rock Lake twice previously, but we had never stayed close to Kimberling City, the biggest city on the lake, with about 2,500 people. It seems a lot bigger than that during the summer, though, when tens of thousands of people converge on the area and fill the resorts and marinas and launch their boats on the lake, which was constructed by the Corps of Engineers in the mid-1950s.
It’s a beautiful place and, because it is a Corps of Engineers lake, it doesn’t have private houses lining the shores. It’s a much more natural and beautiful setting, in my view, than Lake of the Oarks, which is smothered in private homes. Lake of the Ozarks is a much rougher body of water, too, making it unappealing to people who like to fish in relatively small boats — like me.
The place where we stayed, the Lighthouse Lodge Resort, was just off Missouri 13 and adjacent to the Port of Kimberling, which bills itself as “Table Rock’s largest full-service marina and resort.” Even though we were next door to the busy “port,” our resort was quiet and relatively secluded. The cabins face the water, and it cooled down nicely in the afternoon, when the sun passed over the backs of the cabins.
For the most part, Brooks and Patty swam, took whirlpool baths and relaxed at the resort. Both days I rented a fishing boat from the Port of Kimberling’s “What’s Up Dock” (best name ever for a marina) and fished and gave Brooks and Patty boat rides. The boat had an 80 horsepower motor — the biggest I’ve ever driven — and moved along at a nice clip.
Now, here are a few photos, which, I think, will give you a better flavor of the place…
P.S. I am shocked and appalled at the suggestion (see comment below) that I would tell “fish tales.” I was much too modest to include my photo of the biggest fish I caught, but since my credibility has been challenged, here it is…
That fish was so heavy I couldn’t hoist it high enough to get its tail in the picture…Now, Gayle, I think you owe me an apology…or I’ll be forced to sue you for virtual damages!