For Christmas, part of our present from John's parents was a weekend away with them in Ponca, AR. It is John's favorite place to go for photography and the girls and I had never been. He usually gets up early and drives out there for a few hours and comes back, so we have never gone with him. We were all excited about our cabin in the woods, no technology, hiking, exploring, etc....We met John's parents there on Friday afternoon and stayed until Sunday morning. There is NOTHING in Ponca, so we packed all the food we needed and made our meals at the cabin.
On Friday afternoon we went to a waterfall that I cannot remember the name of. It was an easy 100 yard hike to these falls. The rain had been plentiful that week, so the falls were going strong. The girls loved throwing rocks in the water. The grownups (besides me) snapped picture after picture! It was beautiful.
Saturday morning we got up and went out to see the Elk, but could not find anything. We came back to pack our stuff up for our big hike at Lost Valley. The girls longest hike was at Devils Den at about 1.5 miles. I believe Lost Valley is about 2.5, so we knew we would be pushing them. They started off weary, but along the way they were able to play in some water and climb some rocks, so it made it more fun for them than just walking a trail. We finally got to Eden Falls where everyone was taking pictures and playing around. The girls named the big rock formation/cave the Cave of Wonder. They spent a good hour just exploring through this open cave and climbing every rock imaginable. It was awesome! We headed back, so we could eat lunch and rest a bit. It was a long morning. The girls did great! Brooklyn only had to be carried about 100 feet. Pretty good for a 3 1/2 year old!
This looks very posed, but it actually was not. I don't know what she was doing, but John caught it.
Brooklyn had wanted a buttefly to land on her all day. At just the right moment (when she was about to decide she was done hiking) the butterfly landed. She perked up and made it all the way back after that!
Nana helping B take a picture!
We all rested that afternoon. The girls went swimming in the outdoor hot tub at our cabin that afternoon, before dinner. We ate some yummy steaks and then got in the car to go hunting for elk. We saw a few, but not any of the big herds that John is used to seeing. The highlight of this outing was seeing these horses running on a nearby farm. The cowboys (yes, they were cowboys) were out there running them and attempting to round one of them up to take back to the barn for some reason. I like horses, but I LOVE seeing horses run. We pulled off the side of the road and probably watched them for 25 minutes. John got some great shots! After that, we headed down to the river and threw rocks and played around before heading to bed.
We got up the next day and packed up. We made one last stop to the Elk Education Center and then headed back to reality. And technology. I do like technology, but it was so nice to have a break from email, blogging, facebook, twitter, etc......