Friday, July 11, 2008

What We Did Last Weekend

some like the thrill; some like to chill

Well, seven of us (Mom, sister, nephew, brother-in-law, Alex, Bella, Myself) headed up to Greers Ferry Lake to spend the day out on the water. And I will just mention, to satisfy this month's "food" theme, that picnic lunches are where the whole locavore thing falls apart, for me. Look, sometimes, I just need some nice fresh bread and stuff to go on it that people will eat, and I don't want to spend 7 hours the day before preparing it all from scratch. We formed an assembly line, and slapped together a bunch of sandwiches, bagging and labeling them for the cooler. That was pretty much what we ate that day. As it turned out, we were way too busy to eat, anyway.

First and foremost, some boating and tubing. Some of us have, shall we say, the hang of this.


Arkansas, in case you don't know, is beautiful.

bluffs along Greers Ferry, middle-fork? South Fork?

Some swimming at the above spot, and then more tubing. Grayson was a good enough sport to allow his much smaller cousin to ride with him. I'm not sure, but I THINK she appreciated it. She MIGHT have had a good time, but really, how can you be sure?


Did I mention that Arkansas is beautiful? I might not have stressed the fact enough.

gratuitous flag shot

We had this spot all to ourselves for most of the afternoon. I can't even describe the peace, pleasure and wonder of just this place. It was like a little miracle. We couldn't bail out of the boat fast enough to all get in that waterfall. Alex was good enough to float in on "Big Mable" and get some nice pictures. Did I play? You know I did.

playing in the waterfall

top of the falls

Well, of COURSE I did

grayson & mom in the falls

andrea & bella

I may not be able to afford BlogHer, but you know what? This, I can have for free, not more than an hour from my front door. This planet of ours, it's something else. This state of mine, I just have to love it, despite oppressive heat and humidity, choking pollen, and legendary biting insects.

So, after the waterfall blissfest, it was time for some adrenalin. Luckily we had the boys for that. With Chip driving the boat, and Alex and Grayson on the tube, it was just a contest of wills--a battle of the hangers-on versus the slinger-off. Alex didn't help matters much with what Andrea called his "barbaric YOP," either. I think I heard phrases like "Is that all you GOT?" and "BRING IT ON!!!"

I think this was a challenge

Chip brought it. At one point, I heard my sister asking her husband to "please remember that our CHILD is also out there." I don't believe, judging by his expression, that said child shared her concerns, however. You'd think, from this shot, that this is a guy about to take a drink, wouldn't you?

point of no return?

Well, YOU'D BE WRONG. Say what you will about Alex, he is nothing if not tenacious. He actually came BACK from that near-sling-off, and got re-seated. That lull didn't last long, though.

here we go again

slingshot part 1

slingshot part 2


This literally went on until they BROKE THE TOW-ROPE. And they were fastening on another one, when...we ran out of gas. Out. Of. Gas. In the middle of the lake, surrounded by, one.

where we ran out of gas

Just to make it clear that we're not a bunch of dopes, I give you Exhibit A: LYING, PUNK FUEL-GAUGE.

LYING fuel gauge

Remember when I told you how beautiful Arkansas is? Well, I should also report that Arkansans are friendly. And helpful. And kind. We were stranded for all of about 29 seconds, before we managed to flag down a boat from across the lake. These lovely people and their miniature dachshunds came to our rescue.

the very nice people who towed us home

I can't even tell you how painless it was--a potentially horrible situation resolved instantly, merely through the kindness of strangers. Here is exactly how it went down: We waved. Boatload of strangers came over immediately. We said, "Our fuel gauge is malfunctioning, and we're out of gas!" Their immediate response: "Need a tow?"


And so it was, that a boat full of generous souls surrendered one of the last hours of daylight on the final day of a holiday weekend in order to tow a stranded boat full of strangers all the way to their home landing.

hitching a ride

If you know these people, thank them for us. The would accept nothing from us in return for their good deed but a promise to pay the favor forward to the next strangers in need we encounter. That, we can do.

Alex and Chip somehow got our boat loaded back up, which is no easy task with no engine power, and we left the water for the day. It was a good day, a good weekend, a good time to be alive and a great place to be living.

Whether you venture afar, or stick close to home, I hope you all have a wonderful summer.

happy independence day from the lake


  1. Dang, sometimes living in a desert SUCKS ASS! I SO miss the water. Looks like you guys had an awesome time. Your kids are SOOO cute!!

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Okay, I hope the chickens don't mind when I kick them out of their coop and make it my guest house... I'm moving in! These pictures are so gorgeous - and what a great time you all had! I can't believe you just stumbled onto a waterfall. Lovely!

  3. oh my gawd that looks like fun. Right now it's oppressively hot at 8am so we are bound for a day where I dream of doing what you have done in these pics.

  4. All that rope and hitching and tying and towing and was like a Marina Rodeo event.

    (I own a Ninja Poodle Purse(picture in my blog sidebar). Well, they're not in Ninja uniforms but that's because they were photographed on their off day when their Ninja outift was at the dry cleaners.)

  5. I love Arkansas, especially the Fayetteville area. That place was very good to my darling Dr. Brilliant when he was a young, poor graduate student and we go back as often as we can.

  6. A friend of mine came to Arkansas from Atlanta for graduate school and now returns every summer because she loves it so. The thing about Arkansas, she says, is that it is totally freaking awesome and no one outside of Arkansas knows it. It's one of the nation's best-kept secrets, she says. I'm certainly glad it's my home.

  7. Looks like you had a great time!!! I know I enjoyed going to the lake with you a few years ago. I seem to remember you on that tube, and your dad going 90 to nothing!!!!

    Last weekend, we went to Mtn. Home to Lake Norfork with my brother, his wife and their son, Ethan. It's hard to get the kids to decide it's time to leave the lake!! (Looks like your hubby might be the same...) : )


  8. wowWowWOW!!! amazing pictures. fabulous waterfall. if I sprout some feathers and promise I am an exotic fowl, can I come live in your chicken coop, too????

  9. love this, especially the pix, especially the one of you in the waterfall. the lake is gorgeous, isn't it? was it high? I've heard there's been a lot of flooding.

  10. What a great day, and what terrific memories the kids will have!

  11. You need to come visit me in Oregon. Seriously. Beauty, it abounds!!

    You know...and then we can make soap together. :)

  12. I'm so jealous I can't even think straight. I've never done anything like that in my life.

    I wish arkansas was closer to Houston...

  13. What beautiful pictures of the lake and all of you having so much fun.I felt as if I was there.

  14. Does the boating come free with the I'm-moving-to-Arkansas-ASAP package?

  15. OMG, Arkansas is BEAUTIFUL!! And that boating looks like a blast. Take ME next time!

  16. Oh - what a fun day! Thank goodness for Good Samaritans. It kinda restores your faith in humanity, doesn't it?

  17. we spent most June weekends down on Norfork, the closest Arkansas lake to St. Louis. There are no lakes to compare to those in the Natural State--banks of green trees, stone bluffs and mountains rising from the cold, clear water. Or at least, none I've seen.

    I haven't been to GF in ages ... don't remember the waterfall. May have to come down again.

  18. Oh, woman, those pictures are HAWSUM. You are an amazing photographer.

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