But first let me recap the beginning of our trip.
We'd successfully loaded up the horses and hooked up the trailer. Well, more like Kristen successfully managed this. She makes it all look so easy and I couldn't believe she hauled that huge trailer so well, but she's had lots of practice.
Then we dropped by Walmart to load up on some food real quick before hauling it onto the Interstate, Arkansas-bound. Or so we thought. Not even 30 minutes in, this happened:
Then this happened:
After calling the police and Kristen dealing with the insurance company, Courtesy Patrol showed up ONE HOUR later to change the tire that had blown. They changed it on the side of the highway with both horses still inside the trailer! We were very blessed that both animals remained calm and didn't freak out or tip over the trailer.
So then we headed in search of tires, and the horses had to be walked around in a grassy area between parking lots to give them a break.
Tires weren't to be had until the following day (Saturday), so we called it a night, found some dinner at Aspen Creek (my brother-in-law's yummy restaurant) and settled for a movie at the house. Saturday morning we left the horses in their pasture and took the trailer to the tire place... on the way, another tire started to go! Kristen ended up having to replace five of them, poor girl. We're so glad we decided not to take it in the end.
Once the trailer was dropped off, we switched cars and away we went, this time successfully reaching our destination in Arkansas.
There wasn't much cell service to be had, but that's okay. We were ready to enjoy nature, good company, food, beer and activities - not all in that order.
First we found the tire swing and tried to reenact our younger years...
...until I got stuck and couldn't get out. It really happened just like the picture. I fell out shortly after Medley snapped this photo. Graceful, huh?
Then we posed in nature and took funny pictures. Hey, don't judge. We were having fun and high on the fresh air.
After that, Kristen gave us a Tractor Riding 101 lesson on her old piece of equipment, dubbed Jezebel. That thing has some kick!
We didn't bring a speck of makeup and wore boots and jeans all weekend. The same pair of jeans. And they stood up on their own by the end of the trip, but it didn't matter because we were out in the woods and the country. Boys aren't the only ones allowed to get dirty and drink beer out of a koozie while flipping steaks on the grill after a day mucking around on a four-wheeler.
There was lots of nature and plenty of bugs...
|Can you find the frog?|
The water in the pond was like glass the whole time we were there. It rained and rained and rained both nights we stayed, but the dry ground soaked it all up and the pond absorbed the rest.
Kristen and I didn't last very long when it came to fishing, but Medley's patience paid off. She's really good at it and caught three fish! She also helped us fish our hooks out of a couple bushes we managed to snag when we cast a bit short of the pond. Or maybe off to the side. And occasionally behind us. But the point is that we tried, right?
But I do have proof that I can do it. Here's the video of my cast that landed smackdab in the middle of the water, right where it's supposed to be. (The "Mike" mentioned in the video is my husband, this is so he knows I can cast a reel!)
One night we grilled steak, shrimp and veggies and one night we got cheeseburgers from Charlene's. No, it's not a restaurant. It was a shack-of-a-house in a questionable community and the sweet little lady ran the burger biz out of her grease-stained kitchen. Even though it wouldn't have held up to a lick of health code standards, they were pretty darn good.
Another day, after breakfast tacos, we went to visit one of Kristen's uncles who lived nearby. He resides near a river with lots more pretty scenery. He built his house himself years ago, the wood is gorgeous.
And he's got himself his own hunting lodge down by the water, complete with three sets of bunk beds adorned in full camo sheets. What else did you expect? :)
We went four-wheeling, which was every bit the adventure. Kristen and I rode together quite a bit. Turns out, she's a speed demon when she drives and every time I screamed she just laughed and gunned the motor. During one of my escapades, I nearly threw her off the back so I guess we ended up even. At one point, we had the four-wheeler's two front tires completely up in the air, a total accident while shifting gears, lol. (Scared ourselves.) And during another outing, we were headed down a sloping hill and an armadillo shot past us and hightailed it into the woods on the other side! We both actually shrieked and then slammed the brakes, before I jumped off and went to have a look for it. I had no idea those things could even move that fast, which makes me wonder how you always seen 'em run over on the side of the road? This armadillo was like lightening.
We had a blast careening around on that thing. Her aunt and uncle were sitting outside one evening and said they could hear exactly where we were on all those acres... "Amber would scream, then we'd hear Kristen's evil laugh!" We are so fortunate we came back in one piece.
There was a fire one night, of course, and we dragged our camping cheers around the flames and reminisced about the weekend and listened to the creepy sounds of nature past dark. I shone the spotlight into the woods a couple times, hoping to catch some deer or other wildlife poking around the pond. But no such luck. The only other wild animal I saw was a scraggly raccoon one night from the road.
It was a fantastic weekend, the perfect break from reality. Every once in awhile you just have to turn off your phone, forget about checking your email and laugh until your face hurts and there are tears streaming down your face. Next time you've got a free weekend, a tank of gas and a couple of friends, I highly suggest a lil trip. There's nothing more refreshing than an open road...