Trippin’ through the Ouachitas

Jackalope

For awhile now we have been considering another kayak. Going into this past weekend our stable of boats included a sweet tandem canoe (Old Town Discovery 158), an Old Town Loon 111 kayak and a beat up old kayak that is cracked and dying. We have really enjoyed the Loon which we bought for the 12 year old and had been thinking about a tandem to go with it. As luck would have it, a Wilderness Systems Pamlico 14T (That’s a tandem kayak in green to the rest of us) was listed on the Arkansas Canoe Club Message Board. L and I talked about it awhile and the decision was made that we would need to sell the canoe to pay for it. So taking a chance I went ahead and contacted the seller and made a deal to take 50 bucks off the price and I would go get it. Then I posted the canoe on the message board. It sold that night (shoulda’ asked for more). This gave us $50 more than we needed for the kayak and would be spent on gas money.

Now comes the trippin’ part. We would need to go to Walron, Arkansas to get the new kayak. Waldron is in Western Arkansas between Ft. Smith and Mena. So after a quick softball practice for the little one during which the big ones went for a short run (on which my wife buried me, make note to self, run more!) we headed west. In Russelleville we stopped for a quick lunch. Then we got to take a beautiful ride to Danville and then Hwy 80 to Waldron. It was all so beautiful but no stopping for photos, there was a kayak waiting.

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We got to Waldron and purchased the new toy and then headed south for Daisy State Park near Kirby, Arkansas. The drive down Hwy 71 was spectacular. Y city, Pencil Bluff, Mt. Ida, Norman, Glenwood are all wonderful little towns and I kept finding myself looking for property for sale signs.

About 4:00 in the afternoon we got checked in and headed down to the campsite to unload. This area had recently been flooded but was in good condition now. It looked like we would be the only people taking advantage of this part of the park. We got all set up and then put the kayaks in the water. Nothing like floating around just before sunset on a beautiful spring day. The youngest seemed to like just paddling out into the middle of our little cove and floatin’. L worked on a fire with some green firewood and got it going finally while we played board games.

Mullet Run - Northwoods Trails - Hot Springs

We packed it in a little after 10pm and slept like rocks. It is good to have a campground to ourselves. The next morning L got up and made pancakes, mmmmmmm….. while M went for a morning kayak run. Their was a little fog on the water and I had to get some photography in. We all tooled around in the kayaks some and then decided to go hike the parks nature trail. Then after a brief stop at the visitor center we went to the playground where L and I were reduced to kindergarteners. Then it was back to the campsite for lunch. We packed up the car with just about everything except the kayaks and accompanying paraphernalia. I was time for our final kayak trip of the weekend. We paddled from the park to Self Creek Marina to get ice cream. I’m proud to say that of all the nice boats there, ours got the best gas mileage. The trip gave all of us a good dose of sun.

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Once we were back at the campsite we loaded up the kayaks (the right way this time) and drove the 1 1/2 hours back through the Ouachitas, Hot Springs and home. The new kayak is great and is going to be a lot of fun this summer. I’ll miss the canoe but new memories await. Here are some more photos from the weekend.

Air guitar on the water!

Campsite

Artsy Fartsy

The End!

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