Arkansas Day 1

From Here to There

Our trip began on Sunday afternoon. Chris couldn’t get out of teaching class so the rest of us decided to attend early worship and class at Granbury CofC and then we could pretty much leave from there.

So…this was my first Sunday in a “real” church building in 6 months. I guess I’ve already forgotten just how different our church life is these days –  just walking in the building was a strange and surreal experience. 

When Christ Journey recently made the move in our Sunday worship gathering from the coffee shop to the slightly larger room at the Nashville, Texas Antique Shop, it felt like we were inhabiting an empty castle…

I grew up in traditional churches, some pretty large, some not much larger than one of Christ Journey’s gatherings. And yet 6 short months have been enough to make me feel a little out of place in a more “settled” church. (And for those that are wondering, the difference in “worship styles” wasn’t really what made it so strange…though it certainly added to it!)

After worship and class we gathered in the parking lot, began consolidating gear and then headed to the Robey’s to get the other kayaks.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about the trip to Arkansas. We drove…there were roads…

However, I would like to point out that this twitter update from 8pm Sunday night said a lot: “So, we’re in Pickle Gap, AR…which is fairly close to Toad Suck Park…”

We got to the campground pretty late and saw signs of the already infamous “Ice Storm of 09”. Driving into the park there were lots of limbs and even trees scattered around. Even in the middle of the night we could tell that this must have been an unbelievable storm – apparently the ice was so thick and heavy that trees were practically exploding under the weight. We didn’t realize it, but this storm was going to play a pretty big role in our decision to head home Friday morning…

We made camp there at the park. It was a nice facility but the water looked like milk and tasted like…not milk. We boiled some for breakfast and some tea and went to bed. The skies were clear and there was no call for rain so Robert, Ira and I took advantage of being able to know the weather report and left the rain flies off of our tents. A pleasant evening under the stars…

Ahhh…good night Arkansas, see you in the morning.

…”What was that???”

About an hour after I went to sleep – somewhere around 1:30 am – I woke up to the sound of Satan locked in eternal battle with…another Satan. We had already made too many jokes about Deliverance and what strange threats would emerge from the Arkansas wilderness and here it was actually happening. I couldn’t hear anybody so whatever the beast was, it must have already eaten Ira, Robert and Chris…that was the only possible reason that they wouldn’t be making any noise because surely this thing was loud enough to wake them up.

Well, apparently the bag of food didn’t get put in the truck or hung from a tree and the raccoons were killing each other to get into it. I chased them off with my machete (yes, it was in the tent with me…I was going to be prepared if I heard banjo music…). 

The raccoons had eaten some hot chocolate mix and a package of pita bread…not a huge loss considering what they could’ve gotten. Luckily we were all so vigilant and quickly arose from our slumber…

And by “we” I mean me and that stupid machete. My precious brothers-in-law were peacefully getting their beauty sleep and none of them woke up even once!!!

I put the food in the truck and went back to bed…and then woke up about 45 minutes later when they were back trying to get into our backpacks…

I guess some of the guys had some food in their packs (mine was in my kayak). 

I chased the coons off again…and again 30 minutes later – Still not a one of those guys heard the commotion!!! At this point I knew that surviving a hillbilly attack once we got in the wilderness was not going to be much of a team effort. Yeah, Ira, Robert and Chris, I’m calling you out!

I eventually discovered that I could put a pile of rocks in my tent and just throw one towards the table whenever I heard the raccoons. I got a lot of sleep that night. 

But everything looks better in the light of day, right? 

I think that light of day pretty much got to us before the rain started…apparently weather reports in Arkansas aren’t any more dependable than they are in Texas…

Yeah, we put the rain flies on pretty quickly. 

Awesome. Good morning Arkansas…


Posted on April 6, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You get to be “Daddy” wherever you are now days, huh? :)Thanks for sharing, babe. I’m looking forward to the rest…

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