Adventure in the Ozarks

The FRI field trip is upon us. The climactic event our class has been anticipating for five weeks is finally here. Despite hours of preparation I was still surprised when Emily came up to me in the library last Friday and said, “Do you realize next week is the field trip?” I stood agape for a few seconds, eyes widening, before finally breathing a hesitant, “No.”

This will be my first field reporting experience, as well as my first photo story, and the weight of the occasion hangs heavy upon my every thought as we make the final preparations to embark upon our journey tomorrow at 6:45 a.m. (sharp!). But I am looking forward to the adventure. I’ve never been one to rejoice at the prospect of devoting an entire day of work behind a desk. I prefer to see for myself the stories I hope to document. I want to pick a boll of cotton, feel the cool waters of Big Spring, talk with engineers of the Army Corps, and wander through the oak, hickory, and pine trees of the Ozark Forest.

I’ve always been fascinated by caves, and am looking forward to the opportunity of exploring some of the karst topography in southern Missouri while learning why preservation is so important. I also hope to better understand the events leading up to the Bird Point Levee breach and how the decisions made have affected farmers of the area. Mostly, I’m eager for the chance to put my abilities as a photojournalist to the test, portraying a meaningful story through words as well as compelling, descriptive pictures.

The only thing missing now, is orange juice for the bus ride.
-Katie Alaimo


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