Saturday, July 14, 2012

Arkansas - part 2

Okay, here we go, Hot Springs round two! Round one is here. So as I mentioned at the end of my last post, our sunny day was interrupted by rain as soon as we set up our tent. And it continued to rain on and off for the majority of our trip. We have awesome luck like that. But I am thankful. Arkansas was experiencing record breaking heat wave and drought before the rain rolled in, so I am glad that it did. And the temperature was great, nice and mellow. I doubt it got above 90 the whole trip, and I sported a sweater quite a bit!

The campground was not at all what we expected. It was in a little valley with a creek running through it. It was very very very small and the camp sites were squished together. Seriously squished. Our neighbors were extra close. Like we could throw roll a stone to them. And what interesting neighbors we had! A few of them were actually living there I think. Very interesting characters, I'm not going to lie, we were a little scared of some of them at first. But regardless of their oddness, everyone was incredibly nice. There was an older lady next to us from Florida that was traveling/camping across the country (I'm assuming) with just her dog. She was so sweet. And a family across from us had a cat, a kitten, and a snake (in a terrarium) traveling with them! Too cool. There was also this terrifying dog next to us who would lunge and bark whenever anyone came near. Not so cool.

Our humble abode:

 Hiding out during one of the frequent rain showers. 

 This creek was right next to our tent. So pretty.

Camping in the rain is interesting. We stayed relatively dry the first night but by the second night all our blankets and pillows were fairly damp just from the constant humidity. We were sticky and pretty stinky by day three. And there were no showers. None.

 Sleepy heads after our first rainy night.

Our second day at Hot Springs we continued exploring. We walked "the promenade" downtown which is a paved path that's kind of on the side of the mountain and was full of hot spring fountains and one pretty legit waterfall. I can't say enough how beautiful it was here. So many trees, and even though they were in a drought everything was so green!

The water coming down this waterfall was so hot there was steam in the air. You could feel the heat radiating off of it just by standing near it!

In a brief lapse of rain, we cooked out for lunch. We had all kinds of plans for grilling all our meals, but unfortunately the rain had other ideas. We did manage a chicken fajita lunch with roasted marshmallows for dessert though!

 Hungry Marie is grumpy.

 Marie with dessert is happy!

Oh, and Brendon brought an axe? And threw it into a tree?

After our grilled lunch we went for a little hike in the drizzle. The creek was so pretty. Nature is amazing.

We also went for a longer hike along the side of a mountain and once again I was blown away by how beautiful everything was. I get why they call Arkansas "the natural state".

 Don't tell the hippies, but we carved our initials into a tree. 'Cause we're corny like that.

Once we got to the end of the trail, it started raining. Big time. We had our camera with us, that we weren't too keen on getting wet, and we still had to turn around and go all the way back. So we ran, on a trail, on the side of a mountain, in the rain. Brendon carried the camera wrapped up in his shirt. It was so fun. I missed running, and running on a trail in the woods is far more interesting than running on the sidewalk in the city. But we were soaked when we got back. I guess we took a natural shower. We were seriously in need of a real one.

This was my hair at the end of the night. I have pretty dang straight hair. It doesn't do much of anything ever, except hang there and get bushy. BUT LOOK AT THOSE WAVES. My hair has never gotten that wavy before. Ever. That's how humid it was.

After sleeping in a seriously damp tent our second night, we were extra ready to head to civilization. We stayed at a hotel our last night and checked in early so we could shower. Because we needed it. Badly.

The Xterra helping our tent, sleeping bags, and tarps dry off. Everything was soggy. Us included.

Next, we return to civilization and do a little more exploring in the town. And man I cannot stress enough to you how good it felt to shower.

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