Had any solitude lately?
The Ozarks is one of those places that has a reputation, much of it is negative. Some of the reputation is deserved, some not. In a lot of the "important" areas we're ranked last, maybe next to last, if someone else messes up somewhere. We tend to be viewed as being in the dark ages a lot. Jeff Foxworthy's humor fits in the Ozarks and I've grown to be fond of it. I worked for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism for a number of years as head of the interpretive and programming division promoting "the natural state" and have learned that a lot of the Ozark's "values" have little little to do with numbers or ranking. Being last can put you in first on some of the better things in life. I like it here as a float-fishing and hunting guide because the viewpoint, the ranking if you will, tends to swap around in my favor. I've fished and hunted around the continent some and frankly, in my humble opinion, you can't beat what's right here in our back yard. Take Smallmouth for example. You won't fish Missouri or Arkansas and catch the most or the biggest; but you will catch Smallmouth Bass on gorgeous streams and lakes. And, you may very well be fishing alone when you get out there on the water. I've even spent a day or two fishing alone on Current River National Scenic Riverway and on the nation's only National Park on a river, Arkansas' Buffalo River. That's a reputation that I can live with! The fact that I can fish all day, any day of the year, in complete solitude is an absolute blessing to me. It won't always be that way unfortunately; but, as a guide, I see a lot of folks starving for peace and solitude in the out-of-doors.