The subject of today’s header image is one I haven’t highlighted since February. It’s a familiar sight on US 62 westbound a mile west of Harmon, our view of Boat Mountain, Pilot Mountain and Sulphur Mountain.
We catch our first glimpse of this “island range,” headwaters of Crooked Creek, a couple of miles earlier. All three summits are higher than 2,100 feet AMSL, more than twice as tall as The Mountain 25 miles to the east. Yesterday’s clear conditions treated us to a spectacular scene, the peaks silhouetted against the setting sun.
And it’s a good thing we chose Friday over today for our trip to Yellville — heavy rain last night, inundating the campground and (again) marooning the bus within its very own moat. We’re used to that by now, of course — we need the rain and we prefer it to snow.
We know we won’t be here forever.
Oh, wet weather can complicate things here at the campsite. This morning, for example, I had to fetch supplies we have stowed in the back seat of the Jeep, which meant wading through and standing in the moat. Later, since we’re almost out of dog food upstairs, I’ll crawl and kneel in water to get to where our back-stock lives in Ernie’s basement.
For now, this is the life we choose. We deal with it. Rain should let up this afternoon.
Inclement weather often becomes an excuse for Deb and me to flop in front of the TV. We can get sucked into binging, consuming mindless entertainment. About half the time we’ll look for content that’s actually useful, knowledge that we can apply on The Mountain.
Thursday evening we decided to watch a YouTube video entitled, “Top 10 reasons NOT to move to Arkansas.” We weren’t looking to be dissuaded, mind you — we simply wanted to find out what the knocks might be on the place we’ve come to love.
What we got was a basement-dweller in his 50s, born in the People’s Republic of California and currently living in urban Oregon, a guy who grossly overestimates his cleverness and laughs at his own jokes. His capacity for unimaginative snark, it seems, is boundless.
His eight-minute video is an ignorant, elitist screed against traditional Americans, rural folk and plain livin’, presented by someone who favors commercialism, wokeness and (apparently) unchecked race riots over porch-sittin’ and dirty hands. The visuals he uses are entirely stock (or stolen) images and video — that is, he bought them on the Web instead of traveling to the place he sought to demean.
When it was over, I wasn’t angry. In fact, I’m glad that this arrogant asshole produced his video and I hope that he (and others of his ilk) do more of the same. Discouraging people like him (and who like him) from finding Arkansas appealing — and, perish the thought, moving here — does a great service to The Natural State.
Now if you’re curious enough to Google the title of that video (since I didn’t link to it), you might run across similar titles. Not all of them are negative. I happened to see an article from a click-bait site — “10 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Move To Arkansas” — that takes a playful, tongue-in-cheek approach to warding off some people from coming to our adopted home state. My favorites:
- We expect you to be friendly.
- We know how to hang out and relax with friends here.
- If you can’t appreciate beauty, you’re not worthy of the fine state of Arkansas.
I’m well aware that The Ozarks isn’t for everyone. Not all of you would find here what Deb and I have found. All I can tell you is that this imperfect place is perfect for us.
And that’s enough.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.