Gypsy's Travels

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Travels with Ch - Day 8

I have never had a desire to "Ride the Ducks." The thought of appearing on one of those ridiculous looking, noisy vehicles lumbering through the most populated areas, was absolutely abhorrent to me. That was before I rode one. It was on the agenda, so we did it.

Our, overly enthusiastic, driver / guide handed out Quackers as we boarded and the kids loved them! Charlie scored a front row, window seat and was set, Quacker in place, ready to go.

The driver turned out to be very knowledgeable about the area and gave a running commentary, spiced up up with some Oldies music, lame jokes, and challenges to be as noisy on the Quackers as possible.
The name "Duck" should actually be spelled "DUKW." The vehichles are vintage WWII, "put together by women, that's why they have held up so well." "D" = the year 1942, "U = amphibious, "K" & "W" = front and back wheel drive.

We lumbered down the main strip making enough noise to turn the heads of everyone in hearing range. Just off the strip, we had a brief sojourn into the Ozarks. Our Duck passed a number of WWII & Vietnam vehicles lined up for our perusal.
"We try to keep these in running condition," the driver said. His solemn commentary on the vehicles produced an almost reverent quiet amongst our group.
The quiet was short-lived, however, as we approached the lake. Normally, the Duck would head into the lake at full speed, but high water from recent rains required more care. We eased into the lake and the Duck carried us in a large circle around a small island. Each of the kids was given a turn at the wheel for photos. We drove out of the water just as easily as we entered.
"The Duck's land wheels never stop turning, even when we are in the water," the driver explained.

Okay, okay, it was touristy, but it was a great outing!

We did have a learning session , etc., but there was time for swimming in the afternoon.
The evening show was the Hamner - Barber Variety Show, a mix of great illusions and ventriliquism. Jim Barber and Seville appeared on the David Letterman show. Dave Hamner is a minister as well as a magician. His most amazing trick was levitating and then.....well, I won't spoil it for you. On Sunday mornings, they have a church service, on the same stage, open to everyone.

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