I think you will find Missouri very interesting. My family moved from Oregon to the Joplin area, it was quite an adventure. I was surprised by the variety of insects, snakes and fish. I learned to SCUBA dive in the old mine pits, lots of fascinating fish to discover. I was also shocked by poisonous snakes in unexpected places.
I wish we had had hammocks back when I lived there, I always worried about my kids getting bit or stung by something nasty and the ticks were all over the place along with Recluse Spiders. Enough to drive this Northern mom to distraction.
I found the people very friendly and lots of history, in fact history at every turn we took. I guess we were in the wrong area to do any hiking, mostly flat farm land around Joplin. We did most of our camping around Springfield and Eureka Springs.
I am sure you will find your new assignment very interesting. So much to learn and new people to meet.