11th Anniversary Trip

11th Anniversary Trip

We set off a little early on a Friday (thanks to Tyler working some overtime earlier in the week) to celebrate our 11th anniversary. We headed south to a cabin in Hatfield (which fun fact…we booked and then found out the cabin owners were friends of my good friends!), and planned on doing some hiking and sightseeing.

Originally, our plan was to check in and settle in….but since they were calling for rain on Sunday, we decided to do some exploring on Friday before checking in.

We stopped on the way at Queen Wilhelmina State Park to hike Lover’s Leap trail. It had been raining, but the rain cleared out and we had a nice cool (but a bit muggy) hike.

The trail hugs the mountain, and there were lots of rock steps which thankfully weren’t too slick. It wasn’t too muddy, either.

There were some GORGEOUS vistas along the trail, and near the end you came to a big wooden platform at the highest point. So pretty!

The Natural State never disappoints!

After our hike, we decided to have dinner in Mena and head to the cabin. That evening, we enjoyed the hot tub and relaxed watching TV. We slept in on Saturday morning and did a little fishing at the pond on the cabin property….then we headed to Cossatot State Park.

The park is unique. It’s a vistor’s center and then it spans 12 miles along the river, with different access points. You can hike or float the entire 12 miles….or fish/camp along the different access points.

We decided to visit Cossatot Falls to see the cascades. While this river is known for it’s kayaking and floating, we didn’t see anyone on the river all day.

We did hit the trail along the river for a bit (I didn’t start my watch, so I’m not sure how far), but we got some great views from above.

And we saw a salamander (I think?).

We took a shortcut from the trail above down to the river and started hopping rocks to get to the actual falls. I’m not surefooted or adventurous, but Tyler helps me and makes me feel brave.

The rocks are GORGEOUS. They are jagged and have lines of quartz running through them.

We made it all the way to the falls and sat and watched the water for a while. There was a park ranger there who commented that he couldn’t believe we made it all the way- but that’s what we came for!

We went back to the truck, had a picnic lunch and then grabbed fishing poles. Tyler led me back out to the water, and we had to GET IN to get to the spot he wanted to fish. It was COLD!

But it was fun casting out there…..until my shoes were wet and we tried coming back, and I slipped. For a minute, I thought I broke my hand! I hit my palm on a rock and it HURT. I didn’t have much grip strength for a day or so…

And the lack of grip strength meant that when I got the camp chair out of the truck (to sit and read after falling while Tyler fished some more), I dropped it and hit my face with it. Thankfully, no shiner!

After that adventurous stop….we ventured to Shady Lake Recreation Area to see another water fall. The initial fall was barely a trickle, but we got to see another cascade. Tyler got up close with it (I was a bit shaken from my fall and didn’t feel so adventurous).

I stayed on solid ground while he went rock jumping in the water.

He ended up at the trickle of the falls.

After this stop, we saw some signs for other recreation areas and went down gravel roads exploring. There are MANY ATV trails around the area, but thankfully in his truck, we could drive those roads, too.

We tried going up to Tall Peak Tower, but the road was closed and we didn’t have service to look up how to hike to it. Maybe next time!

On the way back down near Caney Creek Rec Area, we saw another small falls along the mountain. So pretty!

Then driving back, we saw ANOTHER recreation area- Big Brushey- and stopped. There was a pedestrian bridge over the Cossatot River that was beautiful, then we spotted a hiking trail that we followed through the woods to the river bank.

On this mile or so hike, you could really see how deep and clear the water was. And how much it turned. This S curve was intense. I can’t imagine it on a day with high water.

When we got to the bank, we did a little more venturing around the area.

And then back over the Cossatot at sunset. So pretty!

We stopped at the Lighthouse Drive-In for dinner. Burgers and shakes were SO good after all that hiking!

The next morning, we took it slow- having coffee in the hot tub before packing up. Then we had Mexican food in Mena on our way home.

It was a fantastic trip together. I love exploring with Tyler and seeing the beautiful sights of our state.


Exploring Robber’s Cave

Exploring Robber’s Cave

I’ve been to Robber’s Cave State Park in Oklahoma several times when Nancy was camping there (it’s only about an hour away, so we would often drive over and hang out), but I had never seen the actual main attraction.

It’s a HUGE set of rocks and caves just off the parking lot. We spent a couple hours here climbing up and over and just exploring. I wasn’t wearing great shoes for the slick sandstone, so there were a few times I let Tyler and Remi explore while I watched…but it was so fun!

Tyler look this from up above one rock formation. It’s just HUGE rocks all over that you can climb and scramble over (some made more climbable stairs…but if you know our family, you know they didn’t always prefer that route).

There were some gorgeous views from above!

Tyler helped Remi down into the actual cave. She loved that. He makes her so brave! Always proud of her for trying new things and doing things that are hard.

There were some narrow passageways through the formations which were fun to go through!

It was a neat place to visit!


First Camping Trip

First Camping Trip

Tyler fixed up his cargo trailer into a very primitive “camper.” I use that quotes because it’s a little more than a tent, but totally not a camper in the true sense of the word. But it’s a metal enclosed shelter, and he can run a power cord inside for power. He’s got a pretty good set up.

So one of our family goals for 2021 was to take it camping. Nancy and Uncle Dwight were going to be nearby at horse camp…so Tyler said it would be a good introductory trip.

I was hesitant because I was going to be at church for a women’s conference (which I was helping with) on Friday and Saturday until like 3-4 pm. But I told him if he wanted to go, he had to get everything together (except for our clothes) and we could leave when I got home….so he did.

We got to Robber’s Cave around 5 and set up. Remi jumped in to the playground and was loving riding her bike around.

She’s been CRAVING some independence, so we gave her a little route she could ride alone. She loved that.

We made hot dogs around the fire for dinner, which is always good. And of course, s’mores!

Remi actually slept in with Nancy, but Tyler had I had a good set up.

He has some foam mattresses that he can make bunk beds with when he’s at deer camp…but we put them side by side on the floor to make a king mattress. (And yes, he has a floral rug in his deer camp camper….he got a good deal on it and didn’t care what it looked like!)

And we had a nice area to set out our bags and stand up to change (a pro you don’t get with a tent!).

On Sunday, we made breakfast and then we headed to the actual Robber’s Cave area. My first time there (more on that next post!), and then when we returned, we did more bikes and playground. I also spent lots of time sitting by the fire reading.

She had lots of laughs with Uncle Dwight. He’s always funny.

She also got to ride Rex- and we let her do some riding where she took the reigns alone.

Around 4, we started packing up to head home (Remi’s least favorite part).

It was a fun thing and I’m glad we are doing this together!


Soccer Star

Soccer Star

I was a women’s conference at our church, so I missed Remi’s second game….but she was a ROCKSTAR, so I wanted to post about it.

She scored FIVE goals. FIVE! I’m not sure if it was the reward at stake (she gets $1 for every goal!) or what…but something clicked and she went to town!

Tyler took a few pics for me of her in action….

And then a team mom sent me these two of her at the goal (Tyler said the kick into the goal was very gentle- we’re gonna have to work on slamming it inside the goal. ha!)

And I love this one she got of Remi high fiving Tyler on the sidelines after a goal!

Her little team is so sweet. I love that they have fun together and cheer each other on!