Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another Mini-Vacation

My husband's new obsession with offroading has taken us to a lot of fun, new places. This weekend, it was Hot Springs, Arkansas (or Are-Kansas, as we jokingly call it). After rolling into town at midnight during a fierce thunderstorm and slippery, twisting roads, we resurfaced the next morning and hit the trails as soon as possible. This time, it was at Super Lift Arkansas.

Oh. My. God. OMG. These trails were the toughest we have seen yet. They were made of something that looked like slate or shale-sharp, ragged, colorful rocks that would be either paper thin, or in huge chunks. At one point, we tried to scale a particularly tough climb, but lost control of the vehicle, slid down the hill and right into a tree. Ouch! After about an hour, we got lost at the top of a "mountain", and were beginning to debate if we would ever make it out of the woods before sunset. I know when I see my usually calm husband worrying that there is trouble! But not to fear, his excellent sense of direction eventually found our way out, where we immediately left for concrete paved roads, picked up a pizza, and hid in the hotel for the rest of the night. (Which, as a side note, the hotel actually ended up losing power and the entire town was bathed in darkness.) I like offroading, I really do, but when it comes to body damage and getting lost in backwoods Arkansas, not so much!

On our way into the offroading park, we came across a super cool dude ranch called Panther Valley Ranch. Knowing my son's love of horses, we stopped by and asked when the next trail ride would be. All the horses were out except for two, one of then named Haas, an unbelievably gigantic horse that was also very gentle. Two boys were working when we showed up, and told us that the kids were too little to go on the trail rides, but they would be happy to put a saddle on Haas and let them ride around the pasture for free. How sweet! Both kids had their first official horse rides this weekend. Thank you! Next time we are in town, we will definitely be staying there!

Saturday lunch was spent exploring the magnolia-lined streets of downtown. My daughter looked more like a Parisienne, walking her little white dog. We strolled along the allees together, munched on sandwiches, and window shopped the art galleries.
I had no idea that Hot Springs would be such a gorgeous place. There were ornate fountains everywhere, bubbling with steaming water from underground. Also, the architecture was amazing. I am an architecture freak, and one of my favorite things in the world is looking at old buildings. This is a mosaic from the outside of one of the bathhouses.

Lastly, here is my husband's newest desire that we saw on the way home, right on the Texas border. It is a vintage Toyota FJ, and all he can think about.

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