Springfield is the headquarters of Bass Pro Shops, a fishing and hunting retail chain majority owned by Johnny Morris, who now also owns Cabela’s, another outdoor retail chain.  With a net worth of approximately $7 billion, this guy decided to create the museum of his dreams.  Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield is a nonprofit education-themed attraction in two parts – one part is taxidermied animals in wildlife dioramas, the other half is an enormous aquarium with 35,000 species of fish, reptiles and birds.  At 350,000 square feet, it took us almost four hours to see everything!

From there, we moved down to Branson, MO where Top of the Rock (also created by Johnny Morris) overlooks the Ozark Mountains with the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum, showcasing Native American history, including details of Geronimo’s leadership and more arrowheads than you’ve ever seen in your life.

After that, Dogwood Canyon (ALSO created by Johnny Morris) in Lampe, MO is 10,000 acres of wild and natural beauty with hiking, biking, wildlife tours and fishing.

We met up with our friends from France, Michèle and her son Bob Cohen.  They were anxious to visit the US at the first opportunity when the borders opened on Nov 8th!  We told them we’d be in Springfield, MO, and they figured out how to meet us there.  No easy task!