Spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party!” ~Robin Williams
It’s that time of year again, the time we all start to look forward to and start planning for those first days and nights of warmer weather. Let’s not kid ourselves, winter weather in Arkansas occasionally gives us warm days. Oftentimes even very warm days are typically followed by ice storms or tornadoes. But we still look forward to the official beginning of Springtime, storms and all. Punxsutawney Phil seemed to misplace his shadow on February 2nd and allegedly Spring is on its way, it’s time to plan.
Those of us with kids may be planning a Spring Break trip or waiting impatiently for that last day of school so we can pack ’em up and head ’em out. Our school breaks have taken many forms over the years as our kids have grown and our careers have sometimes played cruel School Break Triptus Interruptus tricks on us but we’ve tried to spend a few of them playing outside. Why? Because Mork is right, Spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s PARTY!”
I saw an ad from Outside Magazine for a kids camp in San Francisco. Oh to be young again. And living in a city that has the resources to support something like this. Rock Climbing, Paddle Sports (paddleboarding, oh heck yeah), mountain biking, educational hiking, yes I said educational. And to top it off a lesson in Leave No Trace. And then I realized that I can provide all those same adventures. I’m the mom, it’s my job to make them Go Outside and Play. And we have all that stuff right here in Arkansas within a gas tank’s drive.
Our adventures have included backpacking the Eagle Rock Loop with the middle kid while the youngest was off snow skiing. We still think she’s the one who missed out. We have camped in Arkansas State Parks more often than I can count. A couple of Spring Breaks did just that and in the process of one expedition, we were provided an education in both Dutch Oven Cooking and Arkansas History while sleeping in tents and enjoying campfires under a starry sky. Springtime makes us yearn to be out of doors enjoying the trails, and we begin anticipating the summer when we can be in and on the water.
One must do that is still on our Bucket List of family trips: Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. (Update, been there done that.)
If you’re planning your Spring Break or Summer Break trips, here’s a good reference to learn about the different land management areas within the state. Choose your style – tent camping, rent a yurt, or cabins; backcountry hiking (or educational hiking at a state park), rock climbing, mountain biking, or water sports; you can find it all right here, close to home.