Tuesday, August 19, 2008

City Folks Take Arkansas by Storm!

For months my friend, Nathan, has been talking about how we needed to take the kids on a camping trip to Arkansas. He finally took the bull by the horns and organized a four-day outing to the Ouachita River, which is in Sims, Arkansas about 4 hours from Dallas. We stayed at the Ouachita River Haven Resort. I use the term "resort" lightly. When we first got there and I walked into the cabin, I realized it was one very small step above a mobile home. The furnishings were rustic (that's a nice way to say that it had been decorated in 1980's lake decor from Wal-Mart) and the water smelled like rotten eggs from all the sulfur in the water. I almost gagged when I tried to brush my teeth. But, the next morning, when I walked out onto the front porch and saw how beautiful the place was - I figured it was better than camping in a tent and just went with it.

There were 3 families and two houses. This is the Windchimes cabin where the Kauls and all the kids stayed.

This is the Honey Bear cabin, which Cenote kept calling the Honey Hole,
where we stayed with Cenote and Venus.

The first day we were there, we took a 7-mile canoe trip down the river. It took about 4.5 hours.
The kids were great sports and really enjoyed it.

We hadn't been on the river 5 minutes when we discovered a cave.

The boys couldn't wait to paddle their kayaks over there and play Man vs. Wild like they were Bear Grylls.

Cenote discovered a rope swing on the river and the boys had a wonderful time swinging out on it and plunging into the river.

What camp-out is complete without Smores? I love this shot because Jessica's marshmallow is all ablaze and she's shrieking because she didn't know what to do about it.

One morning, we wanted to make pancakes but couldn't find a griddle. The stove in our cabin had a solid range so we figured we could just use some oil and cook up some flapjacks right on the stove top. Didn't work out too well....

Randy gave Little Man a lesson in how to cast a line. Didn't have any luck catching a fish though.

Jessica, ET and Little Man on the water

Cenote and the boys shot the BB Gun at leaves floating down the river

Randy plays teether ball with Jacob and ET

Jacob and ET play horse shoes with the big boys

The third day we were there, we decided to take another canoe trip. This time a shorter, 3-mile ride down to a local swimming hole. Venus got in the water with the kids and they floated the rapids most of the way there.

It was the most relaxing trip I've ever had, that I am completely exhausted from.