When I first started wandering, I met a number of people who’d given themselves goals in their journeys: to visit all fifty states, or all the national parks, or all the major baseball stadiums. (That last was a nice guy in Maine — I don’t think his wife was quite as enthusiastic about the plan as he was.) I thought about it for a while, but I couldn’t come up with a goal of my own. But I like the idea of visiting each state’s best waterfall. This one is Oklahoma’s. As waterfalls go, it’s not huge, but it was certainly very pretty.
As to why I’m in Oklahoma — that would be a boring story, so I’ll skip the details. Short version, Arkansas has no CostCos. And Eureka Springs had a lot going on this upcoming weekend, which meant the campground — the lovely, lovely, beautiful, wonderful campground — was filling up with pink slip reservations. I decided that was reason enough to wander on. Before I leave it entirely behind, though…
I’ve noticed before that Army Corps of Engineer parks seem to pay attention to views more than most campgrounds. One of the most beautiful sunsets of the past two years was at an ACE campground on a hill, where the campsites were terraced so that everyone had a view. At Dam Site Lake, my view was lovely, but if I ever go back, I want one of the sites that face east-west instead of north-south so that I can watch both sunrise and sunset from inside the van. For my own future reference, site 24 is the one that I want.
That said, if I ever go back, I’ll make sure I’m prepared to be really dirty while I’m there — the showers were my least favorite style, the ones where you push a button, with no control over the water temp, pressure, time, or angle. Plus, I’m pretty sure the shower house was unheated. And since the sites didn’t have water or sewer hook-ups… well, being a permanent camper means embracing the dirt. It’s just easier to do that in summer, I guess.
The other day I was on the phone when a stranger came walking around the side of the van, well into my site. I promptly got up and went to the door to see what he wanted. He, somewhat apologetically, said, “Your dog was stuck.” She’d wrapped her tie-out cord around a post on the other side of the van and couldn’t move, and he was helping her untangle herself. Nice guy. She’d never been tied up before we started camping, and almost two years into it, she still doesn’t get the concept.
I’m at a point in Grace where I have two conflicting desires. I can’t see how to make two scenes fit together: it feels like one or the other can happen, but not both. It’s left me feeling very stuck, because I want both of them. But I had two goals in the last, start-all-over-from-the-very-beginning revision, one of which was to remember that it’s Grace’s story. It’s never going to feel entirely like Grace’s story — the drama is Dillon’s, mostly — but when I look at these two scenes, one belongs to Grace and one belongs to Sophia, and the Grace scene should win. Such a pity that the Sophia scene is better. But now that I’ve thought that out, I should probably get back to it. On my drive today, I kept trying to talk myself into figuring out where I was going with Grace, but instead, my thoughts kept drifting to Fen. I know the first word of Book 2, and I know some of what happens in it, but I’m still trying to figure out what exactly a magic competition would look like for the Sia Mara. It’s fun to think about, but it sure doesn’t help me solve my Grace issues. Still, I’m getting closer every day, I think.
I am so looking forward to reading Grace.
Probably almost as much as you’re looking forward to calling it done.
I am pretty sure that the years I’ve spent on it are not justified. But I hope it’ll be fun!
Oh! I completely forgot about Fen!! How cool that you’re writing about her again. I do hope you’re close to finishing Grace. Is there another book after Grace?? Love your sunset. I was telling our friends about your travels just last night. Hugs to you!
Another book in Tassamara? Yes — probably at least two, but definitely one where Noah’s twin brother comes to town. But I’d really like to spend some time with Fen first. I’ll see how it goes, I guess! And hugs to you, too!
Kyla Bendt said:
Ah, Natural Falls!! The day I went there it was hot, humid and very crowded. I hope that it’s none of those things for you. I do have some gorgeous pictures of it where you can’t tell any of those things.
Turner Falls is another place in OK that is very cool, but also the sort of place where you’ll probably just end up imagining how much more fun it would be if you had kids along. There is swimming under the falls, but as a single traveler, I probably wouldn’t actually go swimming. I don’t know that I would recommend it as a specific destination, but I’d definitely recommend stopping for a look if you were close by.
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
Happy that you are enjoying your travels and writing.