As I have stated here probably about a hundred times, I go absolutely stir crazy if I can't get out of the city and into the wilderness. Depending on the stress of my job, I can go several weeks without going hiking or camping. But it's now been almost two months since I've been able to escape to the wilds and I'm very definitely feeling the pressure.
Generally, I can focus that frustration into my fiction and turn all of that angst into something other than sheer panic. But sometimes even the prose vent doesn't work. Or sometimes that stress will shut down my ability to write effectively.
Fortunately, we're only days away from heading off into uncharted territory. Well, uncharted for us. We picked a very strange location for our extended summer vacation. Initially, our plan had been to head to a western National Park--something along the lines of Yellowstone or Rocky Mountain or Crater Lake. But that would have taken in excess of two weeks to do up right (I don't like feeling pressured to pack on the miles when we're on vacation), and Carole couldn't get the necessary time off.
So we looked at some other spots we'd thought about and settled on one of the least obvious:
One of our very favorite things to do has been to hit the first and second magnitude springs in Florida. We love snorkeling and canoeing those amazing karst springs. But we didn't feel like heading down to Florida quite yet. And we'd read about the similar springs located in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas. In fact, the largest fresh water springs in North America are located in Missouri. In addition, I've always wanted to see the Ozarks. They're the little mountains of the USA. Somewhat like the country around my stomping grounds growing up in the southern section of Gilmer County in my home state of Georgia.
So that's where we'll be for two weeks--canoeing the Current River and Jacks Fork River, hiking some trails, and climbing a few Ozark Mountain peaks.
I hope to get recharged and rid myself of this city-spawned angst.