Camping is always more fun with friends: the adults can share cooking responsibilities, there’s more people to wash dishes, and the kids aren’t wandering around complaining about being bored. We are lucky enough to have friends that will drive eight hours with whiny, screaming kids just to enjoy our company for a couple more days.
The children had a great time together. Jovani and Audrey really bonded during this trip. They are both outdoorsy, nature loving kids. Judah had fun with everyone, he’s versatile like that. Joaquin and Hayden even had a good time together playing with Joaquin’s butterfly knife (which Hayden totally needs!) and taking night hikes through the woods. Melissa and I decided we could be sister-wives, or at least start a female-led cult together. There really aren’t enough of these.
Arkansas is really beautiful. We should have camped here more while we were living in Texas. Every campground looks amazing. We ended up at Lake Ouachita not because it was high on our list, it wasn’t even on the list, we’re just not very good at planning ahead. Apparently we weren’t the only families that decided to camp on this lovely September weekend, so we had to call around to quite a few places to get reservations. Even though it was one of the last places to fill up, it was a beautiful state park situated on a peninsula that juts out onto Lake Ouachita.
There was a 4 mile ‘strenuous’ hiking trail that encircled the park. The trail rolled up and down with the hills providing gorgeous lake views and ample shade. The children delighted in stopping to play in the lake. Melissa, Steven, Joaquin, and the little ones hiked about half the trail while Israel and I took the big kids the whole way around. Jovani and Audrey led the way the entire time. Those two really are peas in a pod. Judah of course, hitched a ride on Israel’s shoulders most of the way.
I can’t believe this trip is coming to an end. We had a fantastic time touring the eastern part of the country. We loved every part of this trip: seeing family and friends, touring unfamiliar cities, playing on the beaches, and exploring different campgrounds. This was an incredible opportunity for all of us to see more of the country.
We have an enormous amount of things to do in the next two days to prepare for our South America trip. Hopefully my procrastinating skills will come in handy and we’ll get it all done.