I started the day in Rolla, Missouri, where I was told it wasn't the South or the North, just the Middle. I drove far longer than it looked on the map (5-plus hours) to this small State Park in Arkansas, Petit Jean. The lodge is spectacular! It was built in the 30's by the Civilian Conservation Corps using rock from the local mountains. The beams are at least 12 inches thick and the ceilings are forever high. The view looking west is of a distant valley.
I got here mid-afternoon and hiked to a stunning waterfall. There is no way I will drag my easel and canvas down that rocky trail! I tried to draw the raging water and slammed my sketchbook shut. An eight year old girl asked if I would paint it. "Nope!" There are many more trails and views here to choose from, though I may end up just outside the lodge, painting the quintessential triangle that frames the faraway hills.
I think I am being romantic rather than realistic by using the word "reckless" In my title. Tonight I drove 12 miles to get a burger and a beer (this county is dry) for dinner and then turned around without eating. (Thank you, Vicki, for packing me a substantial snack bag!) The only "Lounge" had 12 pickups and one sedan and I suddenly felt pretty damn careful. A woman alone in a bar in the South just feels a little suspect... And so I may have been "cautious" or even "cowardly" but surely not "reckless". This project needs a new name. Any suggestions?
Tomorrow I take brush to canvas, for sure.