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  • Writer's pictureMegan

Petit Jean State Park

A weekend in September we decided to go camping. It was rather last minute, waiting until it got closer to the date before we decided on a location (REALLY hard for me to do!)

I hesitated sharing, because the weekend was not picture perfect. But I also chose to share because not every trip or vacation will be picture perfect. Sure, we made some strides in food prep, and only having to stop at Walmart one time on the way, but the weekend didn't go as planned.

And it still turned out OKAY.

After lots of searching burn bans, weather forecasts, and availability at various parks, it came down to Petit Jean State Park: Arkansas' first state park. I will say, I was impressed with how nice their facilities are, and how family friendly it is! I would not have even thought of going here, but I'm SO glad it worked out!

The first evening was wonderful. We went on an owl prowl, hosted by a park guide. We were able to call an owl to us! We didn't see it, but we heard it! No pictures of that, just some awesome memories.

Day two we hiked the overlook. It was incredible!

We still had some energy left, so we tried Bear Cave. I loved the trees, and the difficulty level was just right for our boys. This sign made me laugh, too. I guess every parent needs some super-vision.

This is where our trip took a turn.

At first, I thought it was just fear of heights, or lack of confidence that led to our oldest not being excited or wanting to participate. When we were almost done, I thought to feel his temperature.

He had a fever.

We soon realized that he was starting heat exhaustion and we quickly had to change our plans.

Instead of more fun-filled hikes, we drove back to town, sat and enjoyed the AC of our truck. We found a movie theatre near by, and went and watched a movie.

Thankfully that helped a lot, and provided a nice long cool down during the hottest part of the day, but we still adjusted the rest of the evening. It was either go home early, or stay the night, with the stipulation that the boys take showers before bed. (Honestly wasn't even planning on showering the whole weekend, but after seeing the park had showers, it would help cool them off. )

And, we stayed the night and I got this awesome sky picture. It probably looked more awesome on the back of my screen, but either way, I was stoked!

And that was it. Packed up the next morning, enjoyed a little park time, then drove home.

I think this trip seemed like more work than normal, but it's just because life hits at it's own time. It was a humbling reminder of what is important. Not everything will be perfect, or as planned. Do what you can, and it will be okay.

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