The Land Between the Lakes is a large National Park nestled between two long, artificial lakes. The park features 170,000 acres of forest & wetlands, bison, a planetarium, and every 13 years, Brood XXIII cicadas. The park offers virtually any type of boating & outdoor activity imaginable.
Imagine Manhattan if all the buildings were replaced by trees, and the rats were replaced by deer and bison — that is The Land Between the Lakes.
I arrived at the park just in time to hear some chorusing cicadas (they get quiet around 5pm). In the background, weekend warriors raced their fishing boats up the lake — their engines making “bwaaaa bwa bwa bwup bwup” sounds as they struggled to keep pace with their captains’ pride.
There were several hours of light left in the day, so I chose to enter the park before finding a hotel. I drove the speed limit, in an effort to drive slow enough to hear the cicadas I was listening for… much to the chagrin of everyone else driving on the park road. They flashed their lights, and weaved in and out of lanes, all serpentine like, in an attempt to cajole me to drive faster. But I was stedfast in my determination to travel the speed I desired. Eventually, these bullies of the road passed.
The road never seemed to end — mile after mile of forrest-lined road. It was glorious.
Pig Truck Man
I managed to raise the ire of the driver of a giant, matt-black, pig-truck — once again by driving the speed limit. The giant, matt-black, pig-truck was like something out of Mad Max: Fury Road: it was a monster pickup truck, jacked-up about 3 feet higher than normal, pained matt-black, two huge stacks belching black, sooty smoke, with a pig nose for the grill, and lights for the nostrils. Most folks would be terrified by the sight of such a vehicle, two feet away from their bumper, but I was thrilled by it. I’m weaving, trying to get a photo, but failed. It was awesome though. Eventually it passed. It would have been an honor to have been run off the road by the pig truck. All that said, I do look like exactly like Immortan Joe from Mad Max: Fury Road, so the guy probably thought I was his leader. He just wanted to say “Hi”.
Quest for Bison
I made it as far south as the self-guided Elk & Bison prairie tour, paid the $5 entry fee, and was very pleased to see these mighty creatures up close.
When I was a child I spend a lot of time around lakes, rivers, woodlands, and forests. I loved the smell of a country road after a rainstorm; the mirror finish of a lake; the lively communication of birds; the contrast of a red newt on soft green moss; and awe-lispiring views of lush, green valleys from the top of tall hills.
People find solace & peace in the pop culture & toys of their childhood — Star Wars, comic books, Frankenstein, Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles, Donky Kong, a Nirvana record, etc. For just a moment it allows them to go back in time, and escape from their troubles, worries and responsibilities. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
I find solace in nature. A National or State park is my Comicon.