Today we went out to a national park not far (2 hours, so it felt fucking far by European standards, but from a US perspective, a quick jaunt) from my parents house. The five of us wedged into my rental car (it's actually a rather spiffy VW Passat) and took off, after a leisurely breakfast and my having to chase everyone down to get them into the car to get going. The park is called Elephant Rocks, and it's a former granite quarry that has become a park. It is reminiscent of Enchanted Rock in Texas, but not quite so big, high, or as arduous a hike. But it had great views and that same elemental quality of earth meets sky that Enchanted Rock has.
I think you can see why it's called Elephant Rocks, yes? Cute, isn't it? For a 20 ton rock, it's adorable. Apparently there are lots of views and rocks around that are very elephant-esque. (Is that a word? Pachyderm-y?)
Me overlooking the old quarry. I know, glamorous outfit. We don't dress up in the Ozarks. My shorts are held on by a paper clip as I had forgotten how much weight I have lost since I last wore them and they wouldn't stay up. Me? So classy. Also, it was like, 96 degrees. You people are lucky I have pants on at all.
View from the top.
View from the top in the other direction, parents included.
One of the best things about the US, but it seems, especially Missouri, is the quality of the roads. They have the BEST roads here. Smooth as silk, banked just when you need them on the curves, and when you have a car that is semi-decent, and, like me, you really enjoy driving...ah, heaven. When I was driving out to my folks, after my arrival, and I was working through the gears on the curves (the rental car has a tiptronic transmission) and using the engine to brake as I leaned into the swerve...I actually let out a yahoo or two of glee. Throw some good tunes on the iPod, (current favorite being She Wants Revenge) give me some good road and the freedom to put the engine through its paces....I am a happy girl.
On the way to the park I saw a shop that sells guns and offers taxidermy services. I thought that was very efficient. You buy the gun there, kill whatever it is you want to kill, then bring it back to get it stuffed. Talk about a good way to keep your business going...create a constant cycle of death and display.