Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Our fall camping trip went around a tree a few times, morphing as usual from insane (Ft. Wilderness) to more doable (boat camping) and finally landed on the banks of the Buffalo River for 4 days sandwiched between family obligations and team obligations during fall break from the public schools because that's what the city teams follow.

This has been a BUSY travel year, we have gone to 22 states since March.  We have one more trip in November and then I think we are home for a while, the house needs some attention and repairs and we want to work on our trails this winter.  We are ready for a break and to just be still.  See some friends.  Join the gym.  :)

We stayed at Buffalo Point campground in Yellville, AR in the Buffalo River National Forest.
The campground is the only one with power and water and it was a holiday weekend, so it was PACKED and the sites are small and close and not private.  We lucked out getting the hill with trees behind our campsites!  Amanda snagged the last 3 together sites back while I was off with Ben and Chan in South Dakota and Katy was in Oregon.  It WAS quiet after 10, especially the night Alabama beat Arkansas.

The hammock camp sprang up right away.  Ben does not like hammocking, and neither does Alex, but the rest of the teens slung their beds.

Matt loves our BioLite stove, it got used 5-6 times a day the whole trip.
It burns twigs and small branches to heat water and can do 6 cups from icy cold to boiling in about 10 minutes and leaves a spoonful of ash afterward.
This time around, the circle at the top of the kettle came off, the heat loosened the glue.  It still works just fine, but we could not figure out why it was designed that way.

Amanda's camp

Katy's camp

We were on the Buffalo River, this spot was 2 minutes from camp

Before anyone thinks we set 2 tinies out on the river of doom, it was 10 inches deep here.

It was cloudy but bright and who never has sunglasses?

The water was warmer than the air, it was hard getting in and getting back out.

We floated and played most of the afternoon, never left camp.

I thought site 69 was the prettiest.

Chandler made a bower for the little girls

As always, I love the ebb and flow and how the 2 18 year olds are playing with the 4 year old

Then get joined by the 16 year olds!

We headed to the swim beach to check it out.

Looks good!

About 30 buzzards circled overhead, many jokes were made about who needed a shower the most.

We had nachos and then a campfire

Fully fed and sugared up, we all staggered off to sleep


Saturday, we headed out to see some sights.  We stopped at Rush, a ghost town, and had a hike and played on the rocky riverside for a few hours.

Then we headed to Yellville and stopped at the Turkey Trot festival to eat all manner of deep fried things.

Alex, Chan and Rho rode back with me, so we stopped for another hike before heading to camp.

 Some of our group were at the river when we reached the overlook!  There's Ben, Owen, Elan, Juke and Oliver.

I had seen 3 HUGE spiders and indeed, Arkansas has a tarantula that is active this time of year.
I spotted this guy and thought he was also a spider-the whole point of the hike was that I had seen the spiders and no one else had.  We had been driving around looking for one!
They were HUGE, the first one I saw was in the middle of the road ans was exactly as wide as the yellow stripe, about 5 inches across.  That's big when you are used to only seeing orb weavers and wolf spiders.
No one else saw a huge spider the whole trip, though I was sort of reassured that it was believed there were indeed big spiders.  LOL

On Sunday, we opted to float from the swim area to the beach by our campsites.
This was about half a mile, maybe less.  It took around 90 minutes because the water is SLOW.

It was cold and Alex was not getting in.

Matt and I floated on our own and at the very end, the rest of the floaters caught up.  They had stayed to swim in the deep part.  I did NOT want that icy water over my head!  :)

I do love that the kids are old enough to abandon near moving water.
Well, that and Katy, Amanda and Sammy were all at the beach and there's a single curve, they were in sight of a parent at all times.
I say 'kids' but Jake was home and Chandler was still at camp.

My nephew once called this stuff that grows in warm water 'hucus' and that's what we've called it ever since.

Back at camp, Chan is joined by several calm and sleepy squirrels and one rabbit.


We drove out with Elan and back with Rho, since she had a car at our house, we were in no hurry to get back, so we drove on up into the Ozarks, watched the elk (who did not bugle) and in general just drove around the twisty curves and looked at creeks and hills.

The drive home was uneventful, Matt got us about an hour away before giving up the wheel and I drove us in.

I wanted to camp 30 nights this year and this trip got me to 28!

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.