June 14, 2022-Collide Week at Degray Lake

(click for today's pictures) 

What a fun day this was! I think that I said that last night, but this was another great day. We started our morning off by meeting a ranger at the marina so we could go on a geocaching island tour. I signed up the day before because we weren't sure if there would be enough seats; however, it was just us and the Crafts on the boat.

The ranger took us to 3 different islands where we hunted for geocaches. A geocache is a hidden treasure box that has some small treasures inside. The rule is to take something out and leave something. By small treasures I mean things like a golf ball, a pen, a patch. Plus there is usually a log where you sign you name and the date that you found the treasure.

We docked on the first island and had to walk across it to get near the cache. Robby's phone had the app which told how far or close he was to it. We looked and looked until he read the clue. The clue mentioned something about an evergreen and Christmas. Whitman ran right to a nearby evergreen tree and soon shouted, "I found it!"

He indeed did find it. The ranger had a bag of goodies for him to pick something to put in, or she said that he could just take one from her bag. That is what he did, and he has used his Arkansas State Parks coozy around his water bottles all day long!

After he found his, he was determined that Gabriel was going to find the next one. The next one was super tricky. It was at another stop where there is a 4 mile bike trail. I thought that was really cool and kind of want to walk that trail. Unfortunately, we don't have time for the White Zone trail tomorrow-maybe next time.

This one did say that it was an unconventional hiding spot. We were puzzled by this. The ranger knew where everything was, but I was the first to see this one. When I found it, I did say that I saw it, but had to turn right around because there was no way for me to not stop looking at it. 

It was a fake bird in a tree! Eventually the kids did find it. I believe that Sophia found it first, and she also chose a coozy. That one was a lot of fun. After this, we went to a third island-which was really the top of a mountain since the lake was man made. However, at this island the cache had been muggled (stolen or moved). 

We then had a few minutes to spare, so the ranger drove/boated/whatever us around the lake some. She took us to a cove where we looked for otters before heading back to the marina. We did have to pay for this excursion, but it was a whole lot of fun. It was one of those things that the kids will remember forever.

After this we headed back to our campsites. I did pull out the puffy paint that we had done at Camp Geyer. The kids sure enjoyed doing that-it was a good activity to kill some time. The Crafts had a friend coming up for a bit to swim so once they arrived, we all visited before heading to the lake.

Keaton didn't swim that long today. I think that she was just pretty tired. The Craft girls spent the night in our camper last night, and she is actually with them at Ouachita tonight and tomorrow so exhaustion might be more accurate.

Whitman, however, could have stayed all day long in the water. He just loves to bob up and down. He could stay under water forever-and sometimes it seems that he does. Campbell loves the water just as much as he does; those two are my water babies for sure.

We didn't stay as long at the water today. The Crafts had to leave around 6 tonight to take their camper to Ouachita. So once they left and even before, Robby and I started packing up all of our stuff. And by all of our stuff-we had a lot out. Here is a run down of what I can remember: tent, tent weights, lights around tent, 4 hammocks, 2 skateboards, rug, mat, stool, 5 chairs, table cloth, dog bed, water bowl, dog chain, griddle, propane, drying rack, 3 bikes, sink table, cooking table, 3 other tables, plus all the things we took out of the car.

Now, yes it was a lot of work. And yes, we didn't probably have to have all of it, but it made it fun. Bikes and hammocks equal fun for the kids. Sinks and tables pretty necessary. We worked a good while putting it up, but we weren't in any hurry and just mainly piddled as we worked.

Around 7 we took Bentley for a walk. Then we ate our supper-leftovers. We didn't even cook our last meal since we had so many leftovers. And again I have so much food in this camper that we could be gone for another 3 days with all of the kids and be just fine.

Whitman and Robby have had their showers, and I am about to take mine. Then I have a bit of reading I would like to do before bed!

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