It was one of those days that everything just worked out. When we had the idea, weeks ago, we agreed that no one had any expectations whatsoever other than a lazy, fun day on the river. We didn’t care if the kids hated canoeing or if the water was too low, we could park the canoes after half a mile and swim and play the whole day. Eileen and Walter (Scout’s parents) hauled the canoes, we brought enough food and sunscreen to last us awhile and we headed to the Buffalo.
While the guys shuttled our car down to Hasty, Eileen and I fed the kids lunch and did some swimming. Neither Scout nor Colt had been in a canoe before so we were taking a 7.5 mile gamble on their attention spans, but we were up for the adventure.
These two have been known to dabble in photojournalism so when I stopped at Walmart for a few last minute items the night before our trip, I grabbed a few disposable waterproof cameras. But as I put them in my cart I noticed something better. For $10 more I could get them a waterproof digital camera! And it had video! Sold!
Before long, the guys were back and we were ready to shove off.
Y’all. We had A BALL. The kids were great, the weather was perfect, the water level was ideal, and the company was second to none. I am so grateful to have connected with another family like these folks, the kids adore each other and we have so many common interests — not the least of which is spending a lazy First Day of Summer floating the most iconic river in Arkansas. A little sun, a little grit, it was an incredible day.
We had all day and nowhere to go but down river so we stopped several times to relax, snack, and let the kids swim. Walter broke out some MREs and even did some Search and Rescue training! (Walter is a Volunteer Firefighter and Search and Rescue Responder.)
After earning our canoeing merit badge in the Quetico last summer, Jeff and I hadn’t been canoeing again, but we were back in the groove in no time. And it was even more fun – with our little Buddy as a passenger.
This gallery of scenery and water quality brought to you by Colt and Scout, via the underwater camera:
We were back at the car before the fun stopped (our only real goal for the day) and we were all so impressed with the kids. They had fun, they (mostly…) listened, and they both enthusiastically insisted they’re ready to go again. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions or better attitudes for a memorable first float for these munchkins.
To celebrate, we headed to the legendary Ozark Cafe in Jasper, Arkansas (Population 466). We topped off our day with some chicken fried steak, fried catfish, and covers of Waylon, Willie, and Merle.
Sweet Scout even convinced the band to play and sing Happy Birthday for Colt! And they brought ice cream!
After all that, the sugar/energy crash was inevitable and we dragged this tuckered out river rat into the house when we got home.
Truly a fun day. The river, the company, the kiddos. Bring it on, summer!