Anyway, it was nearly impossible to find a place to camp that wasn't expecting a lot of rain and that wasn't over 8 hours away. We finally ended up deciding to try out a place in the Arbuckles in Oklahoma called the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. It looked promising with only 60% chance of rain on Friday (early) and only 40% early on Saturday. We would be arriving around 12pm on Friday and heading home on Sunday morning. We decided to chance it and to pray a lot for the rain to hold off.
Our campgrounds were just a little over 2 hours away from Dallas, so Drew, the kids and I decided to head to Dallas early on Thursday morning and visit the Perot Museum, which we can get into for free through our Thinkery (Austin Children's Museum) reciprocal membership. That place was AMAZING!!!! We would love to go back and could easily spend 2 full days checking everything out there. There are 5 floors of science and wonder there!
|There were some really cool minerals and gems there.|
|This was really neat. You could spin this big wheel to open up the rock (a huge geode) and check out the inside.|
|We could have spent all day on their technology floor!|
|We got a killer deal on an awesome hotel there in Dallas. This was Luke and Abbey's favorite part of the hotel--a large picture window. We were on the 17th floor.|
|The next day, we headed to the campground!! (don't worry--we hadn't begun driving yet and don't let Luke lean forward like that in his car seat normally)|
|After we got the tents set up, it was time to gather some firewood. The guys took turns being lumberjacks,-- I mean splitting the wood into firelogs. Here, Ryan is taking a turn.|
|The girls realized that these 4 picnic tables side by side made an excellent runway.|
|My sister, Holly, and niece, Linnea. There was so much to explore. And even though we were there all weekend, we didn't get to see everything. We would love to go back.|
Above is a brief video of part of our short hike the first afternoon we were there.
|Do you spy Drew? I loved this really old bridge.|
|And, of course, Smores are yummy for dessert!|
|Emily and Jason bought these little headlamps for all the cousins to use. This was one of Abbey's favorite things. Our budding photographer pretended it was her "GoPro" and brought it everywhere with her, snapping photos left and right.|
The next morning, we woke up bright and early and hiked to the nature center. It was a gorgeous hike!!
|See Abbey's "camera?"|
|My sister, Holly and her girls. Ryan went on ahead to put our name on a list at the nature center for a "night hike" later that evening.|
The last picture of Abbey above is at a fun swimming hole that the kids enjoyed swimming in on day 2.
The kids also enjoyed a couple of fun ranger programs while there and learned about the purposes of various animals' tails. I enjoyed the programs as well. And, on Saturday night, we even enjoyed a "night hike" at 9pm. Of course, it was completely dark, so we were given dim red flashlights, that wouldn't hurt the eyes of the nocturnal animals. It is amazing that when you can't see very well, how much your other senses become stronger. Everything smelled so good, and I could hear so much along our hike. And, at the end of our hike before turning back around, we got to drink from a natural spring, Antelope Springs, right as it came up from the ground. Let me tell you--that water was AMAZING! It's said to have great healing properties!
It was such a fun little camping trip! Even though there were chances of rain, the weather ended up be absolutely perfect! And, the Lord provided us all safety. I am excited about planning another one for the fall!!