Saturday, May 22, 2010

Running on empty

For at least a month, or more, I have been running on empty. Sure I get up each morning and follow the routine - work, workout, more work, dinner, sleep. Boy is that boring. I need a break. My spiritual and mental gas tank is empty. I am, at this point, going through the motions, finding that everywhere I turn is a dead end. I am - as an old friend once described it - driving on fumes.

I packed my bags, put my bike in the car, loaded up CD's of John Cheever's short stories and Sue Grafton's A is for Alibi, grabbed Sammy my over agressive German Shephard, and headed out. My destination was the Roaring River State Park in southwest Missouri. There was now real reason for my decision. Someone had mentioned it to me in passing.The tour guide at the Missouri  Visitor's Bureau had said that she and her husband were headed there in two weeks. And, it is close to the Lake of the Ozarks.

What I didn't know was that Roaring River is one of five Missouri trout hatcheries. I am not a trout fisherman, I don't even fish. I don't have the patience. But, there are a lot of avid fishermen and women in Missouri and one fifth of them or more were here at Roaring River to take advantage of the thousands of state spawned trout.

 I am not one to waste a trip. So, Sammy and I waded in the Roaring River amongst the fishermen and women who stood along the shore casting their lines like so many synchronized swimmers. The water is cold and it felt invigorating for my legs after a short run through the Mark Twain National Forrest. Like I say, why waste a trip.

The other reason for getting away, other than the physical beauty of a new location, is the opportunity that it give us to think outside the box. Life has become a routine. And, only by gettign away can we see a little more clearly who and what we are. I am staying this eveninbg at the Oakcrest Cabin and RV Park. Just a mile outside Roaring River park on Highway 112. The couple who own the park like my dog, I have had all sorts of compliments on Sammy and so, I conclude, people from Missouri are polite and friendly. The owners of the park have a small girl who can be no older than six. After asking me about the dog, they ask me about my two children, and then relate that they too have two older children, and the daughter who now keeps them company was a surprise, a pleasant one. I stopped at their park because I saw that their sign said free internet. It also said dish TV and pool, but I didn't have kids with me, just the dog.

The cabin is clean. As promised there is internet and dish TV. There are two double beds, one for Sammy and one for me. There is a kitchen with stove and frig, if I were to stay longer.But, the best thing about the cabin is the fresh air and quiet. Thank God, this is not a Super 8, where they always leave the lights on. No, this simple cabin is a throw back to simpler times, good people, and good living. And, in the process of rediscovering the past, I have refilled my gas tank.

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