This past Friday we cut work early grabbed the little one and one of her friends and headed yet again to the Hot Springs area. Lisa had skipped work altogether so she loaded the car. I helped with the kayaks when I got home and off we went to Lake Ouachita State Park. We’ve stayed here a couple of times in the past but never in the new walk-in tent sites. Time to give it a try.
Friday night we worked to set up camp and get situated. Once everything was up we got a little rain but then in calmed down into a beautiful sunset. I kept an eye on my crackberry for news of Hurricane Gustov. Two reasons for me to be concerned, first my brother lives down there and second, the Arkansas State Parks has a history of taking in evacuees from Louisiana and I need to be prepared on the communications standpoint. Anyway, things seemed to work out, my brother went to my parents house in Alabama and although we did take in a few evacuees in the parks it was nothing like Katrina.
So on with the three dayer. First thing Saturday morning we went for a hike and geocaching on the Caddo Bend trail. This turned into a bit longer hike than anticipated but we found several caches and made it out to point 50 which is the western most point of the hike. It’s all a beautiful area and prestty rugged. Lots of pretty mushrooms and cool rocks. We had a quick lunch when we got back and headed out to Magic Springs and Crystal Falls amusment park. We have season passes. The passes also got us into a concert that night. So we got to see a 90’s band the Spin Doctors play. By the time we got back to camp it was after 10:00.
Day two had us start out with a little swim to test our open water technique. We set up a route and had the girls keep up with us in the kayak. It was an interesting swim. A little more kayaking and then a trip over to the Mid-America Science Museum to see the Human Body exhibit. The girls liked it more than I did. I found it a little creepy. So then it was back to camp for some more kayaking, dinner and then an owl prowl. After trying for a while to call the owl, the park interpreter took us on a night hike. Hiking down a trail at night without using lights is a bit unnerving but we all servived. We got back to the ampetheater and the interpreter tried again to call the owl. This time we got lucky and a large Barred Owl came into the clearing and perched above us. He stayed even after we spotlighted him with the flashlights. He just watched us and hooted. Pretty cool. Then it was back to camp again for another night.
Monday morning we had a really good breakfast that Lisa made and then took down our camp and packed up. But we weren’t done. Back to Magic Springs to hit a few rides that we had missed on our earlier trip. We had some more park food (ugh!) and then headed for home.
I now need to take some time to rest from my vacation. I’m beat!