This weekend we went to Petit Jean State Park
I can't believe how close it is to us. I had no idea. I know I should know better. I have failed as an Arkansan I am sure. But I wasn't raised here so cut me some slack k? Arkansas State Parks are pretty cool and several of the parks have new features, like Rent-A-Camp, Rent-A-Tepee and Yurt options.
We chose the Rent-A-Camp and we totally lucked out. The first night, the temps were frostiest, and we found out the next moring from our camping neighbors that the tepee's, while very cool looking have a big gaping hole at the top, so even if you bring a space heater, there is no way to keep all the heat in.
Note to the camping wise: Rent the tepee's in moderate weather only.
The tepee's also do not have bunks, they have bedrolls, which is awesome if you are 7. Not so awesome if you are 37. The Rent-A-Camp comes with 4 bunks, 4 bed rolls, a canoe, life jackets, a gas stove, a propane jug, a broom and a cooler.
I packed two too few blankets. We are used to camping with two beds not four, and so I was a little short. This meant that when the cold nights came I had a bed buddy in Miles, which I didn't really mind as his body heat kept me extra snuggly. When he wasn't elbowing me in the eye and pushing me off the bed that is.
Our tent was right on the water and the view was beautiful. Every morning we were greeted by a flock of Canadian Geese. The rent-a-camp and tepee area is the most secluded of all the Petite Jean camp sites, which we loved, even though it was a little hike to the bathhouse. I am not easily icked out, so in general I don't mind camp bathrooms, but I have to give big props to the Petit Jean staff because their bathrooms - even the mens from what I hear- are SPARKLING clean and not even a little gross.
See that bootie? Cute huh? Mmm hmmm.
Wylie did some growing up on this trip. At one point Sweet Man handed him a pocket knife and turned him towards the wooded area and said "Go have fun." And that is exactly what he did. He always managed to hear us call for dinner or lunch, but it spent most of the trip in the woods exploring.
Bacon and coffee are two camping essentials. I could have eaten this whole pan full of bacon, luckily for my waistline I had to share it with three other hungry boys.
At one point I looked down at my plate and realized that the eggs we were eating were from our chickens and that the jelly was some that I had made. Only the bread and the bacon were store bought. I couldn't help but be a tiny bit proud, and think that perhaps I will be a good farmers wife after all.
Miles is sporting his new glasses. Yes, he picked them out. They are "nerd" glasses as he calls them and he wears them with pride. Surely I should win some sort of mothering prize for letting him fly his freak flag?
Once we did all the hard work of setting up camp I sat down in my chair and pretty much did not get back up except to pee and eat. I read, I stitched, I stared at the water. I dozed, and I daydreamed. I even got a little writing done.
The trip was amazing and wonderful, exhausting and inspiring.
And I am so glad to be home in my nice warm house, with my bathroom just down the hall.
Now if only I can muster up the energy to unpack and do laundry...
cheers & blessings,