The Ozarks are my favorite place to hike and camp, but it's a lot different than out West, which is truly spectacular. I lived in CA as a teen and young adult but grew up in No IL. The first time I went to camp out by the Colorado River, near Laughin, with friends who grew up out there I compared it to a creek in the mid-west and that didn't go very well. They got really offended by that.
I tried to compare it to the Mississippi River and started by saying they couldn't throw a rock across it and they all thought I was lying. A couple years later one of them, who grew up in Phoenix, took a road trip with me and when we came to a view it from above Davenport, IA I told him "There it is". He called me a liar again, said "That's a lake". He was stunned when we got on the bridge to cross it.
I was no less stunned by the Grand Canyon. Photos and descriptions don't really describe it well. You have to see it to believe it.
"You want to go where?"