The Home Stretch
KCMO was a a full 14 hours of fun. We were treated to some great BBQ and then went for custard because, duh. We had a few hours of solid family time with some of the Lanier cousins and then slept like bricks. We were back on the road to Arkansas the next morning to start the home stretch of our trip. Side note: The fact that Kansas and Arkansas aren’t pronounced the same REALLY bothers me. Like really, whats the deal?! Anyway…. We arrived in Jasper Arkansas mid afternoon and were determined to make the best of our short time there. With rain looming for Wednesday that was supposed to be our adventure day, we dropped the camper and got in the woods. The first thing we were met with were 3 waterfalls. Say what? We walked a short foot path at the end of a dirt road and BAM, triple falls staring right at ya. Way to deliver Arkansas!
We spent an hour or so just enjoying the view of the waterfall and playing in the creek. There isn’t much that the kids like as much as snow but a creek happens to be up on the short list. Don’t worry, Arkansas is much warmer than Colorado so hypothermia wasn’t in the question. After the waterfall we enjoyed views of the large bluffs that go along the Buffalo River and then hung out with a pack of elk. Just another day at the office, right? When the sun went down we finally enjoyed a grilled dinner and a campfire. Sitting by a campfire is one of my favorite things in the World. Not much relaxes me like sitting outside on a cool night with a fire crackling. Mmmmm, can you smell the burnt wood goodness? We have done so much going going going on this trip all month that we hadn’t taken a down night to just sit and enjoy a fire. When we realized we were at our last destination we weren’t going to let the true camping experience pass us by and we got the fire going.
We got up this morning and made the drive to the Buffalo National River Visitors Center to spend a little more time with some beautiful views and collect the last of our Junior Ranger awards for this trip. Once we finished up it was only 11:00 so we decided to try and beat the rain and hit the road a day early. It’s a long drive today and will make for a long night but we’ll have tomorrow to recover before “normal” life kicks back in on Friday. As we drove away from Arkansas we talked about how surprising it had been for us. The Ozark Mountains aren’t as grand as all the large mountain ranges we have seen in the last few weeks but the rolling hills and fields that accompany the Ozark's with the Buffalo River flowing through makes it so beautiful and unique. We hope to head back one day soon when it warms up and float the buffalo and spend more time hiking in that area. One afternoon simply wasn’t enough.