Last week Gummerfan wrote about Land Between the Lakes. It reminded me that’s a place my husband and I have not yet checked out, but one that was on my list.
I mentioned reading Gummerfan’s post to my husband. Wayne promptly suggested, “Let’s do it this weekend!” So, inspired from a fellow blogger in the blogosphere, we struck out for a day trip to Land Between the Lakes Sunday. Here’s what we saw…
WOLVES AND BATS AT THE NATURE STATION
If you didn’t read Gummerfan’s post about Land Between the Lakes and it’s monster legend history, I highly recommend it. Good quickie crash course into the area’s myths.
At any rate, two things he talked about were the area’s werewolves (in the form of a beast known as the Dogman) and the “Vampire Hotel.” We saw neither.
However, we did stop at the nature center and saw coyotes, red wolves, alligator snapping turtles, and bats. (Or at least bat houses.) I didn’t get any pics of the wolves or the coyote, but I did get a few of some of the other creatures we encountered.
THE MEMORIAL CROSS
Something disturbing we came across was at one of the picnic/campsites at the Sugar Bay lake access area. (There are a bunch of such areas. I just happened to photograph the sign from this one, which is the lead photo for this post. Easy documentation reminder about where it was we saw the cross I’m about to describe.)
I had a hard time fitting in the picnic table/fire pit with the cross, and it didn’t help the lighting wasn’t ideal. There wasn’t any written marker, so I don’t know who died there, when, how, if it was male or female, or how old they were. I just saw the cross and thought, “Creepy! I bet that makes a lot of potential picnickers uneasy. Bet not many pick this spot.”
(But to be fair, this is one of the first sites when you drive in and it doesn’t have a lake view like many of the others so…it might be more than a cross that deters people from this spot!)
ELK & BISON PRAIRIE
This was kind of an adventure. It reminded me of Jurassic Park…where you go through a gate to see the dinosaurs. (Except, there were no dinos of course.)
We paid at an automated booth, then pulled forward and let these big gates swing open to allow us access to the prairie. The sign above was posted at this point.
Then sprinkled along the three-mile loop through the park were the above signs. As Autumnforest pointed out in one of her recent posts about huge angry things, apparently not everyone has a healthy fear of beasts bigger than themselves. That’s why I’m assuming they included the graphic of the bison head-butting the man. (I guess an image of getting trampled was too graphic?)
We never did see any elk or bison, but the drive through the prairie was enjoyable. (However, they post peak viewing times and we entered during an off-time, so…We figured we might not have any luck.)
After all our exploring we worked up a pretty good appetite. When we were at the Golden Pond Visitor Center we picked up a brochure for a place called Patti’s 1880’s Settlement. The food pictured on the front looked good even when we weren’t hungry, but once our bellies started rumbling? Oh man, bring on the flower pot bread and the mile-high meringue pie!
The trouble was, Patti’s was up in Grand Rivers. We were about 20 miles away, because we went to check out Lake Barkley State Park, which isn’t on the actual strip of the Land Between the Lakes area, it’s just to the east. Also, if we went to eat there we’d be heading farther away from home rather than closer. Dilemmas, dilemmas! What to do?
Well, Wayne’s motto is, “You only live once!” so we went for it.
Patti’s is a neat place. It has more than just the restaurant, which is good because apparently there’s always a wait. (We went at 4 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon and still had an hour and fifteen minute wait!)
We didn’t stick around the restaurant’s property though. Wayne’s a nut for boats and there was a marina just down the street. We headed there first.
Then we went back up to the town proper and checked things out.
And then, exhausted and ravenous, we made it back to Patti’s to check stuff out until our name was called.
(Can you tell I liked the spinners?)
There are also shops on property, but not all of them were open. And mini golf, and animals…aw heck. This blurp from their website sums up what makes Patti’s and it’s surrounding property so neat and unique:
Our three restaurants serve over 350,000 people in our little town of 350 people. They come from all over for our great food, beautiful gardens and Patti’s great Southern hospitality. With our log cabin gift shops, animal park for viewing, streams, fountains, Arielle’s miniature golf, rock climbing wall and remote controlled boats we needed a meaningful name that would describe it all.
Finally we were seated and could indulge in Patti’s for the first time. I thought the flower pot bread was so cute, I had to get a picture of that. Same with the meringue pie behind the glass…my kind of desert!
It’s a shame there’s no way to let you experience the butter that was served with the bread. Two kinds: regular and strawberry. I don’t normally like sweets in my butter, but Holy Crumb! That strawberry butter was amazing!
Our main courses were impressive too, but I was done taking pictures right then. I needed nourishment! (After I devoured my food I had enough energy to get a pic of that pie. Barely had room for dessert, but we did share a mud pie and somehow managed to get that down.)
BUT WERE THERE GHOSTS?
Nope. Now Land Between the Lakes has a lot of myths and legends associated with it, but I coudn’t find anything on Patti’s or Grand River.
I’m sorry. I might have suckered you a little. This is Haunt Jaunts, after all. A travel blog about restless spirits. You’d be right in anticipating I’d go through all of this and offer something ghostly.
I came up empty handed this time. But I figured why waste a good day trip?
Yet, it wasn’t a total loss. There were some odd sites along the way: crosses at campsites, an image of a man getting head butted by a bison… (I don’t know about you, but those are things I don’t see everyday.) There was even a funny looking girl on a pink tractor… (Who is that wacko anyway?)