MY HISTORY IN THE LAND OF THE MAGIC DRAGON
The land of the Magic Dragon – Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri…my home! It is no coincidence that an aerial view of the lake resembles a dragon, the lake is in fact like a dragon, an ancient magical place!
These hills are filled with mystery and amazement. Our region is far from the concrete jungle and well hidden from the norms of society, a journey through the Ozark Backwoods is truly a “one of a kind” experience. Where you can disconnect from the world and reconnect with the magic of nature.
The Ozarks are often associated with “backwoods” type people. Hillbillies and rednecks, so be it. Many of us do in fact live far from the concrete jungle way out in the backwoods, on the side of a hill, and our necks Are red from spending our summers out in the sun!
These associations of the uneducated, barefoot, and toothless hillbilly have stuck with me throughout my life, and often leave me giggling to myself as I actually despise shoes 9 months out of the year! I am however very educated and have all of my teeth! Old time stories indicate that these associations have much truth to them. Original settlers and natives to the area did not have access to modern amenities, doctors, teachers, and things of the new world. They were very much reliant on nature & their faith!
My grandparents were lifelong visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks. They worked countless hours in the city to purchase their dream home. In the mid-1900's that dream became a reality for them when they relocated their family to the heart of Osage Beach, Missouri. Back in that time, the lake was still very backwoods. We had an old highway running through town, zero stoplights, and a small variety of convenience type types. The closest city, Jefferson City, is just over an hour drive in good traffic. In the winter it was a ghost town, with very few year-round residents. Things didn't change much from that time until recent years.
"It is no coincidence that an aerial view of the lake resembles a dragon, the lake is in fact, like a dragon, an ancient magical place!"
Growing up here as a kid was amazing! We had an endless playground out the door, swimming, fishing, hiking, boating, and discovering nature was an everyday thing all summer long. As a teenager, I’ll be honest – it down right sucked! This was the beginning of the electronic era, when MTV was awesome, the world was getting technical and cell phones were starting to become a thing. In the Ozarks, we had none of that! We had nature which was cool and all. But let’s be real, how many teenagers are more into nature than finding their self and way in life via friends and trends? At the age of 17, I decided it was time for me to leave the Ozarks and explore the rest of the world. I was determined that this “backwoods life” was not for me.
I relocated to Des Moines, Iowa with my aunt and uncle to begin my new life, far far away from the backwoods. The stories of my life's adventures are diverse and filled with excitement, traveling, discovery and magic. I joined the military, traveled to many states, and explored the concrete jungles. I went to the biggest and best parties, got me one of those cell phones, but my life was just missing something. Sure, I visited home a few times over the years, but each time was anxious to get away and never stayed long.
When I was 21, I was blessed with my first daughter. It was shortly after this that I remember bringing her to mom's house to visit for a couple of weeks. I was having trouble sleeping. It had been quite some time since I had heard the silence of nature or seen the darkness of the night. So, I got up and went outside and the moon was high with a warm glow.
It was at this moment that I felt a feeling I had forgotten, one from when I was a child, a feeling you can only describe as magic. The magic of the Dragon!
Everyone who visits will tell you there is no place like it! No matter the reason for the visit, you will find what you’re looking for. The Lake of the Ozarks has everything in its own little world. We have the backwoods with endless miles of hiking, waterfalls, creeks, rivers, cliffs, and sunsets. Even a castle! And the lake…the lake…the lake – it’s that big! We have lake life, perfect for spending your hot summer days boating the waterways! We have the towns, crazy enough, in recent years they’ve grown to actual “town” sizes! Then We have the Party! If you’re looking for a party, Lake of the Ozarks is the place to be and our parties are epic!
Everything about this place is magical and the magic is strong! It quickly draws you in and presents itself as a true paradise for anyone looking to escape the societal norms of the world. I realized that my home is here in these magical woods.
Fast forward 20 years or so and we’ve settled in a hidden valley off grid, near the lake and river, far out in the middle of the Ozark Backwoods! Well within the magic of the Dragon and I love It! This is a place where magic is real! There are giant rocks in the middle of the woods, hidden caves, cliffs, trees & plants, lightning bugs, glowing fungus, swinging bridges, ruins of a castle, coyotes howling in the night, and a whole vast network of life completely self-sufficient in their own worlds! Not dependent on jobs or taxes, not dependent on rent or mortgage, grocery stores, finances, or things of material value. A magical world of balance. One which most have forgotten and left to fairy tales.
So, I invite you to explore the Lake of the Ozarks and see for yourself why it has long been referred to as the “Land of the Magic Dragon”. See why it is my home and the home to so many. Experience the backwoods, the lake life, the night life, the magic, and everything the lake has to offer!
I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.