Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock

After leaving Texarkana, we drove to yet another COE park outside of Little Rock, Maumelle Park, located along the rather impressive Arkansas River.  This is another nice park with clean, hot showers!  The sites are nice and spacious, though we totally could have done without Mr. Camp Host coming to supervise/assist Steve get the rig parked.  Yeah, thanks to him, an easy parking job turned difficult and took way too long.  As soon as he left, we got the rig parked in short order.  Whew!  One fascinating thing about this park is the number of "Medical Extended Stay," full hook-up sites, which Steve was sure would all be empty.  Au contraire, they were full!  We actually met a guy at one that is a retired rice farmer, staying here for cancer treatment in Little Rock. His sage advice was to enjoy your kids while they are young and avoid being a workaholic.  He was speaking from experience.  Think we've got that one under control, for the most part! ;) 

This was just before she completed the hike of her life.
We went up the harder East side and down the West side.

Maumelle Park is the perfect place to stay if you want to visit Pinnacle Mountain State Park, since it is just two miles down the road.  We decided to do the Pinnacle hike as a family, toughest not-quite-three-mile hike we have ever done, I think!  We went on a Saturday, and while the weather was beautiful, it was also super duper crowded.  Per Steve's research, we took the steeper East Summit hike up and the less steep (though still steep) West Summit hike down, and then, Steve hiked the mile and a half along the base trail back to the truck to come pick us up.  Genna had her most impressive hiking day ever and hiked/climbed the entire way up all those rocks/boulders to the summit!  Sure, there was some serious complaining by the end, but she did it!!  Definitely a challenging but rewarding hike!  The view at the top was awesome!  I had Jake on my back the whole way up, and then I wore him on my front (because he was exhausted and sleeps much better on my front) on the way down.  I will admit that my legs felt like jello!  At the West Summit parking lot, there were plenty of picnic tables and an impressive playground, but unfortunately, nowhere near enough parking for a busy day, unless you happen to have a handicapped sticker, of course!  Seriously, there were a lot of handicap spots, and almost every single one was open.  The place was teeming with people!

I just loved the speckled sunlight through the trees
It is starting to get steep, but she was determined that she could do it!
Dogwoods in bloom
Now it is really steep.  Steve spotted her from behind, and we took one rock at a time.
Looking down at where we just climbed up
She did it!   We are so proud of her!
Little Rock in the distance
Arkansas River
Lake Maumelle

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