The Ozarks are a summer wonderland with a fair share of outstanding c-stores, and not quite like the Netflix show after which it is named.

Even though lots of students are going back to school this week, summer remains in full swing. So before the travel season really ends, let’s schedule one last road trip. It’s been kind of a theme around here.

This time we’re going to focus on a road trip destination. It was a tough decision—there are so many good ones to choose from! We narrowed the list by focusing exclusively on outdoor locales, those with a good combination of vacationy-type things like mountains, water, greenery . . . maybe a c-store or two . . .

We considered Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada, the Poconos in Eastern Pennsylvania, Colorado Springs, and numerous others. But in the end, we selected the Ozark Mountains and its recreational hub square in the middle of Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks.

Now we know some of you may have watched that Netflix show, Ozark, and if it’s all you know about the area you might have gotten the wrong idea, with the crime and all. (Although at least one business appears to have embraced the notoriety: Marty Byrde’s is a restaurant with the name of the series’ not-so-heroic lead played by Jason Bateman.) Additionally, the Byrdes’ fictional ragtag resort and money-laundering front, the Blue Cat Lodge, was influenced by the real-life Alhonna Resort that thrived from the 50’s through the 80’s.

So consider this blog to be a counterpoint of sorts. Truth, in this case, is much better than fiction. The reality is that the Ozarks and its almost infinite network of waterways are a great hunting, fishing, and hiking destination. The man-made lake at the center of recreational activity with 1,150 miles of shoreline is prime for boating (as local event AquaPalooza would indicate), swimming, and sunbathing. There are all kinds of family activities, like an escape-room type adventure on top of a dam that helped create Lake of the Ozarks.

Also a highlight: when you travel in the Ozarks, you’re never too far away from a friendly, helpful c-store:

  • Let’s start with an SSCS customer. 4 Seasons Convenience and Cafe could be mistaken as a fine dining destination, but make no mistake, it is a convenience store with a loyal local following. They’re a general store for the community with unwavering focus on high-end food service. It’s a good combination!
  • In the most rural of rural markets, Kinfolk Market adds more than a little elegance to the Cedar County area.
  • After spending a full day at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, pick up a strip steak for grilling or famous twice baked potatoes at the Y Road General Store not far outside the park, itself.
  • Eagle Stop is a modern Missouri chain of 50 stores, with more than a handful serving the Ozarks and surrounding area.

These are all examples of how local regional stores, established in their markets, are expert at providing merchandise that appeals to locals and tourists alike. Perhaps more importantly, they also show that you that you don’t have to put your well-being at risk for a little food and drink in the Ozarks.

So let others provide technology to the Blue Cat Lounge. In the meantime, SSCS will keep doing what it does best, providing software and support to reputable, successful c-stores everywhere.