June 27, 2023-Petit Jean 2023

 (click for today's pictures)

The Impact kid update: From the pictures it looks like Keaton and Whitman are continuing to stay busy. I saw pictures of both of them outside working. I believe that today was the day that they were taking the 5th graders, Keaton's group, to go get snow cones. However, I also saw pictures of Whitman at Sonic so it looks like everyone had a treat. 

Traci plans the food on this trip so I believe that breakfast this morning was cinnamon rolls and from the pictures it looked like supper was hamburgers, but I could be getting my days confused. I will try to upload a video of those sweet little kids worshiping tonight if it will load as well.

The other kids at home update: Reagan is running a tight ship there. Around 11, she wrote on the text string that they were leaving at 11:40 and were going to stop at Hobby Lobhy. She added "so prepare yourselves." When it was almost time to leave, there was another text from her reading, "we leave in 4 minutes."

They had lunch with the students from church at Lost pizza. We were a bit surprised at the bill (Robby can see what goes through the credit cards). We were surprised at how inexpensive their lunch seemed-Campbell had pasta while the other 3 split a large and small pizza. This must have meant that they had water to drink-again those Dave Ramsey videos are paying off! I actually just rewatched the church's instragram stories to see if I could tell if the kids were in fact drinking water, but I could not.

Tonight Cambpell made orange chicken for everyone. There was a new rice that she heated up with it, and I am trying to get a report right now about how it was.

The Petit Jeaners Update-We were up before 8 so we could meet the park ranger at the Seven Hollows trail at 8:30. This was the same trail that we walked with the Wilsons and all of our kids in November of 2008. Even though this trail was 4.5 miles long, we took off then in the middle of the day with lots of little kids. On that hike, Tony walked with all of the big people at the front of the line, Shannon brought up the middle wtih little Campbell, while Robby and I were in the back with Keaton and baby Whitman. We both had to hold them as they napped during part of the trail.

Today was a little easier than that, but I am 8 years older and probably a little more out of shape. The walk with the ranger was the first mile. We then made it to the natural bridge where he talked some. He was interesting so that was good. He also told us all about the 6 poisonous snakes in the US which 5 of those live in Arkansas.

After we had left the ranger, to start on the rest of the hike, I saw one of those poisonous snakes. Tony, Annie and Robby had already walked by a rock, and I was right behind them. I was about to put my hand on the copperhead crawling around the rock. I got myself out of the way pushing Shannon back as well. She let out a scream so vicious that we were afraid the ranger was going to come running in our direction to help us. 

Shannon and I stood at an impass for a while trying to figure out-turn around and go back to the car or walk past the snake. We did neither-we climbed over a boulder so we could avoid that snake. They say that the snakes are more afraid of us than we are of them, but I am not so sure that is the case for Shannon. 

It took us a little over 3 hours to walk the trail. There were some parts that seemed to be pretty uphill, but for the most part it was just walking on a rocky trail. Of course by the time that we finished the trail, we were all pretty sweaty-that is why we did get an early start.

After the walk, we came back to eat lunch, clean up, and regroup. We then drove the 45ish or so minutes to Mt. Nebo. On the way, we did stop at Sonic for a drink. At Mt. Nebo we stopped at the visitor's center to look around. Then we went out back to take a picture over the beautiful overlook. By this time though there was a storm rolling in-and it was rolling in for real. I stood there waiting on Robby to set up the phone to take our pictures wondering which tree was going to fall on us first. Thankfully, no trees did fall on us, but Robby was never able to set his camera up to take a picture since the wind kept blowing it over.

We drove around that state park for a bit looking at their cabins, before going back down the hill to go back up the hill to Petit Jean. By this time it was raining-more of a steady drizzle so we stayed in the camper for a bit. 

Around 4:30, we loaded up to go and look at the CCC Overlook and to hike the Bear Cave Trail. It was a short trail, but it had a super neat slot canyon to walk through. You would never know that you were in Arkansas walking through that canyon. 

Then Shannon and Tony made supper for us. We sat outside and fought the flies while we ate. Though because of the rain, the weather was super comfortable. It was so pleasant outside, that we decided to walk the CCC Trail which was 1.75 miles each way tonight. On this trail, we did take Bentley. She did great going and didn't really pull on the leash, but on the way back, she must have known that she was going home and pulled like a crazy dog. We barely made it back to the campground before it was dark even with Bentley dragging us along.

Robby took a quick shower, and then we headed to the Wilson's camper to eat some ice cream and play a quick game of Farkle. Tony won on the last roll beating Robby. I was so far behind in the score that it didn't even matter what I rolled. 

We came back to the camper to put a few things away, and while I worked on the blog, Robby worked on tomrorow's grocery lists. I plan to have my shower next...

And hot water heater update: it worked well last night. Robby has decided that maybe he doesn't know exactly how a hot water heater should work, so after the first night when he did push in a loose wire, he thinks that he fixed it. If not, he does have a few parts coming that we will have at the ready.

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