Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Much Overdue

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'...

Somehow we've managed to neglect recording some of our favorite recent happenings, though it certainly isn't because those happenings weren't fabulous. On that note, I'll take you back in time a few weeks before the leaves began to change and while we were still in Arkansas...

One of the highlights of our two week visit to The Natural State was a weekend trip to Petit Jean State Park. The main reason we were there was to support my brother Brad and his bike team as they rode the MS 150 (that's 150 miles, biking a mountain...plain nuts). His group, Team Caffeine Powered by Energy Circle (translation: coffee and doughnuts) was a team he assembled from friends and other bike enthusiasts around Batesville, AR.
Before leaving for Arkansas, Riley and I even tie-dyed shirts to match the team's and show some spirit! Brad was able to send me the logo, so we looked all official.
While Brad and his buddies "Pedaled the Peak,"

we enjoyed time with the grandparents, cousins and aunt. We hung out at the house they rented when it was raining, to play on their hammock, enjoy gems like this view, and feel closer to nature with this cute little thing (thankfully it was just the skin--the snake was long gone.)
When the weather cooperated, we played at the teepee. That's right, I said teepee! Oh, Yeah. It was so much fun to camp in a teepee--well, sort of, except for the first night when I was squeezed onto a cot with Lucy and slept for perhaps a total of two hours that night. And except for that same first night when it was so danged hot and buggy. But the next day (after the rain) when we could canoe, fish and skip rocks, it was fabulous. Bonus, the second night was much cooler, and I rearranged our sleeping paraphanalia that made everyone more comfortable, and we all slept.

Poor Uncle Brad. After riding the first day's 75 miles,
we implored him to start a fire in our fire pit at the teepee so we could toast marshmallows and have s'mores. Besides, I'd been told by both my husband and brother, that you haven't camped if a campfire wasn't involved. The problem--it had rained quite a bit that morning and all our wood was soaked. Eventually Aunt Amanda kindly took over and we were able to get enough of a fire (granted, we used several sheets of "school paper" as wood) to toast enough marshmallows for each child to have a s'more. WHETHER THEY WANTED ONE OR NOT, BY GOLLY!
We also got to spend some time exploring just a few of the many hiking trails to be found at Petit Jean where we found "turtle rocks," Indian caves, and "bear" caves. We even found a trail that was handicapped accessible so that Grandma could join us on one of our hikes.
The stars at night may be big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but let me tell you that outside our teepee at Petit Jean the stars were spectacular, and the fun we had during the day was just as fantastic. We had an incredible time there.

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