Monday, November 12, 2018

Family Time in Arkansas

We are now on the road and it feels great! We left the ranch on November 2nd as planned. It is a rainy and cold day, so I have decided that today is a good day to get writing in this blog. We are now in southern Arkansas on a beautiful lake, but before I write about this place, I need to go back a couple of weeks.

Before we left Missouri, we needed some time with our grand kids. Jake, Isabella, William and Amelia were available to come out to the ranch for the weekend before we left. It was a beautiful weekend with sunny skies and the fall colors at their peak. We just enjoyed our time riding around the ranch in the mule and exploring by foot.

Kim, Amelia, Isabella and Will in the mule.
The kids checking out the little cabin

My favorite time in the Ozarks
We have a very interesting feature at the ranch that we call the "Lava Rocks". This is a solid sheet of rock that goes on for a few hundred yards in the bed of wet weather creek. In these pictures, the kids are hunting tadpoles in the pools of water left by recent rain.

Jake does not do pictures, so this is the best we got. We will miss these guys.
On November 2nd, we drove about 260 miles to get to Russellville, Arkansas. Yes, we did take the long way. We stayed at a park we have stayed at many times before. We normally like to go to new places, but Old Post Park is a great COE park that is just a short distance from our son, Michael and DIL Audrey's house. We were able to get Connor and Cameron to spend one night with us. We then watched a soccer game and went for walks around the park. It was a great time.

Connor chasing geese in the park
Cameron got in on the fun also.
I did not take any good pictures of Michael and his family, but there are some recent shots in my last blog entry, when we went to their house about a month prior to this visit. 

We were in luck on this trip. Our good friends, Dick and Cathy were in Russellville while we were there. We always have a blast when we get together with these two. This time was special because we had them play tour guide for us to their home town area. We spent much of the time looking at RV parks. I wanted to see all of our options for future trips to this area. 

We did make one stop that turned into a very cool experience. Dick does some web site development and did some work with Subiaco Abbey, which is not far from Russellville. We pulled in to have a quick look around. While we were doing that, a man came up and asked if we had any questions. He turned out to be a key management person for the Abbey and school. He was on his way home, but he stopped and took us on a private tour of the buildings and met some of the Benedictine Monks. It was an awesome experience. 

The Abbey sits up on a high hill. It was established in 1878 and at one time was totally self sufficient including power and water. It is a cattle ranch and has an amazing wood working facility.

The Church and School

Kim and I in front of the rose bushes. The grounds are beautiful. 
One of our favorite things while we are at Old Post Park is the barges that come by on the Arkansas River. They stop just up the river to go through the locks on their way up to Tulsa.

Look how long that barge is.

Almost all of the way in the lock. He actually has to split the barge in two to make it through. 
We had a blast in Russellville, but after 4 days it was time to move further south. We had two significant birthdays to celebrate in the coming days. I will write all about the party in my next entry.


  1. I have two friends that are barge captains in that area, I wonder if one of them was captaining the barges you saw! The lava rocks are a unique feature and look like they are fun to explore for both young and old.

    1. Those barges are very cool. I wondered what it would be like driving one on the river.