Prairie Creek, Arkansas
Our first camping trip.
Arkansas- the natural state. The description is in the name. The drive was quick and beautiful. Our first true test in the van had finally arrived. We got a great spot (spot 91) underneath a canopy of green. You could almost see the lake glistening through the trees. There was only one spot next to us but no one was there. What a treat to be alone.
Setting up camp didn’t even take us 30 minutes. You realize how little you actually need when traveling in a small space like this. The fall breeze allowed us to keep our van doors wide open all afternoon.
Our campfire stared easily. We sat down to eat a traditional camping meal of hotdogs and baked beans. Sitting there in our chairs, we realized that this is what we had been waiting for all this time. The moment felt surreal. Looking back in my personal journal, I wrote words like happy, peaceful, fulfilled, content and cozy. S’mores never tasted so sweet.
When I was a child, I would go outside to explore and see what I could find that day. This is the same feeling I woke up with the next morning- a little girl eager to explore her surroundings. Finn and Meeko felt the same way, running in the woods and wagging their tails franticly. They vocalized and whined to get out there, and I felt the same way inside.
We chose a trail right next to our campsite. This is where we saw an abundance of wildlife on our trip. We saw turtles sun bathing, chipmunks scavenging, snakes perched on rocks, prancing and watchful deer. Neon green moss cushioned our feet and the colors of fall surrounded us.
At the end of the trail was a black stoney beach at the edge of Beaver Lake. We were alone again. The word “love” was large on the ground and made with black and white stones. Next to it lay a stuffed animal that a child had left behind. The dogs drank their water while Staford and I sat with our feet in.
Something interesting about Staford and I is that we love media, as in books, movies, and video games. On this trip we began reading The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. We would take turns reading out loud to each other, a romantic past time in my eyes.
Bilbo Baggins character draws me into the story. Living in a small village where no one ever left and with all he could ever want, he sought adventure despite his circumstances. It truly is inspiring to know that authors and fictional characters alike want more out of life than what they are presented.
Our last evening the fire was warm and strong for hours. A good thing too, considering how much the temperature had dropped. So much so that we exposed our bare bottoms to the fire in the dark of night to get them warm- a moment I vowed to never forget.
We chose to pay for a campsite for our first experience so that we could connect to electrical hookups if need be. This is when we discovered that we had problems with our energy system (as mentioned in an early post). We had to go back to Missouri with a list of things to repair which I will talk about in a later post.
Leaving Arkansas was bittersweet. I felt accomplished that we finally got out there, but defeated that we had to return home. I had to remind myself that all is well and life is good. We have more than we could ever want right here in front of us. Come back next week to read about the repairs we had to complete and the beginning of our road trip to Colorado. Be sure to check out new photos uploaded every week! Once again, thanks for visiting Into Nature.
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