Saturday, March 31, 2012

Petit Jean State Park - Perfect Ending to a Perfect Visit

We ended our time here at Petit Jean with another stellar day!  We decided to check out the Petit Jean gravesite overlook and Cedar Falls Overlook, followed by more playing in the creek, as that was clearly what the kids were lobbying for.  We started out at the Petit Jean gravesite and spent awhile enjoying the view.  This is such a beautiful area, and we are clearly here at the absolute perfect time!  

The "gravesite" of Petit Jean.   They never dug it up to verify the legend.
View from the overlook
It drops off quick! Just below this rock, you can see the top of a large tree.
While driving back from the gravesite, I spotted a sign for a Farmer's Market, and told Steve we should go check it out.  He had low expectations, but he humored me.  Wow...this turned out to be so much fun!  The Farmer's Market is at the Red Barn (see the picture below) on the left hand side of the road.  A chalkboard on the wall lists the names of the people who grow and sell the stuff in the barn, so you know where it comes from.  The people were oh-so-friendly.  They had a trampoline that was buried in the ground (just the legs/frame, of course), and the kids had a blast jumping on it.  A chiropractor from the Hot Springs area came & was giving free consultations/massages.  Steve went to check him out, in spite of his skepticism, and Dr. Ryan Johnston worked on his elbow that's been bothering him for the last couple months!  After that, he worked on my neck and shoulders.  Wow...super nice guy! If you're in the Hot Springs area and looking for a chiropractor, check him out!  His wife and two kids were there, and Genna had a blast playing on the trampoline with his older boy!  

Linda getting a free examination by Dr. Johnston. Jake decided it was a family affair.
We also ate lunch here, a yummy smoked turkey meal, and obtained lots of homemade goodies!  We met a pastor and his wife from Dardanelle that gave Steve lots of good info on the places we're headed to next.  And...we heard they were making homemade ice cream and felt compelled to stick around for it.  Not just any homemade ice cream, by the way!  They were making sheep's milk ice cream!  I will admit to being a bit hesitant.  I've had goat's milk, and even the best of it has a bit of 'twang' to it.  The lady assured me that sheep's milk has no aftertaste at all and is sweeter than cow's milk; I was definitely intrigued!  I have to say, it was fabulous, so good!  In fact, they were making a batch with cow's milk and another batch with sheep's milk.  The cow's milk batch didn't set up, so it was more like a milkshake, and while it was good, it just didn't taste that great after trying the sheep's milk ice cream!  It was a hit with all of us!  We spent plenty of money here, but it was nice to support locals---like the sign on the place says, "Real Food from Real People."  

The Red Barn, open just on Saturdays I believe.  Website doesn't work.
The trampoline was a big hit.   Genna calls them 'jumpolines'

After the Farmer's Market, we drove to check out the Cedar Falls Overlook, but honestly, it was pretty crowded since it was the weekend, and the view wasn't really that great.  If you want to see the Falls, you should definitely just hike the trail!  We just had one thing left to accomplish...finding a spot for playing in the creek.  We scoped out the beginning of the Cedar Creek Trail and settled for a spot. I stripped Jake down as he was eager to go in, and I don't care for exploding diapers   I carefully wrapped it up and set it with our stuff.  We later moved upstream a short ways, so with Jake and Genna in tow, I stuffed the diaper down the front of my suit, so I wouldn't lose it...heh, heh.  I took it out, set it with our stuff, and there was more playing, including throwing all the kids flip-flops in and watching them go over the small falls and float down the creek, and chasing them down.  We decided it was time to go, so we rounded up our stuff, only the diaper was missing!  What in the world???  It completely disappeared.  We all looked, and looked, and looked!  I'm pretty strict about the "Leave No Trace" rule, so I was bothered that we couldn't find it!  Eventually, we had to give idea what could have happened to it...guess we can add it to the Unsolved Mysteries of Petit Jean list, lol!  And if you hike this trail, and you happen to see a diaper, my deepest apologies. ;)          

These are some of the things we bought.   The tomatoes were grown in a hoop house and were awesome, as were the Amish made desserts.
Cedar Falls overlook, the falls are on the right
Love the different shades of green from the mixed forest
We went back down the Cedar creek trail to play in this stream. This is where the diaper  mysteriously disappeared.
We had a campfire that night which put Genna to sleep.  She actually fell out of the chair and promptly went back to sleep!

1 comment:

Golden Gang said...

Oh, it just looks SOOO wonderful!! I can't wait to hit the road again!!! :)