Since school and work pretty much have us grounded at this point in our lives, Austin and I like to do quite a bit of stay-cationing. We typically only get two days at a time where we can do something and especially since I am on a very short hiatus from school, we are taking full advantage. A few days ago we packed up and headed to Arkansas for the day to explore Lincoln Lake. We both love Arkansas and its natural beauty & gorgeous landscape, and Lincoln Lake was a place we had passed multiple times but never stopped. It is a lake turned rock climbing/mountain biking/hiking/kayaking park. We picked up a picnic for food, loaded up Ella and her supplies and started our trek for a day of hiking and exploring. Lincoln Lake has multiple trails to choose from. What first seems like a typical trail soon turned into woods that were filled with killer bouldering and rock climbing cliffs and trails full of butterflies and awesome views. Austin was in bouldering Heaven (minus an abundance of spiders that didn’t appreciate him being on their rocks) and Ella was loving the trails. We decided to let her off leash (for the first time) and she rocked it. She wanted to lead the way the whole time, but would only get so far ahead of us before she would head back our way so we could catch up. At the end of the trail we chose you are rewarded with an awesome view over the lake that I would love to see at sunrise. If you are in the area and want somewhere that offers all kids of options for outdoor activities I would definitely suggest you check it out! We met rock climbers, mountain bikers and a yoga instructor that were all just basking in nature - it was awesome.
Side story: As we were returning and nearing the beginning of our trail we stopped in a cool crevasse so Austin could climb a little more and to give Ella a break. I knew she was getting pretty hot and we had finished our water so I was glad the lake was close, however; she must have had the same idea because all of a sudden Ella took off toward the lake. I start running down after her but she had already submerged herself completely under water when I got there. At this point I’m feeling pretty dumb because we came to a lake and didn’t bring any towels. I meander down to the water to help her up and over the ledge and she then thanks me by diving and rolling in a mud hole. To make things even better I spun to grab her and slip in the mud (full legs flying out from under me movie style) and fall straight back in to a puddle of water (in brand new white shorts… dumb dumb dumb). Austin rounds to corner right as I snatch Ella up and we must have been quite the sight to see because all he can say is, “What the heck happened?”. I partially wanted to cry and partially wanted to laugh but hey I learned a good lesson in how to prepare for treks with Austin and Ella and also to bring extra clothes (and not wear white).
Update: after a major wife/life success I learned to remove mud stains and salvage the shorts. Woo!