Camping with Isaac, Day 2: from Seth

potato breakfastThe next day, after our potato-egg-and-bacon breakfast mix, we began our hike up to Eden Falls-a waterfall, which, shoots out of the mouth of a cave.  We made the 1.1 mile hike, Isaac taking the mileage in stride.  He found treasures along the way: sweet gum balls, muckety old rocks, and dead bark that looked like a sword.  Five-year-old eyes seem to find beauty in the simple.

by God's handsUpon arriving at the waterfall, Isaac asked if we could go into the cave, and we did.  Colin issued each of us head lamps, and we crawled several hundred feet (me on my hands and knees) through tight cavernous spaces back to an open limestone room, carved by the water that formed the falls.  In the room was a sheer cliff face with a waterfall pouring from the top.  We sat in wonder for a while, and I explained to Isaac how the cave had been cut by that water.  Finding it hard to believe, Isaac informed me that “water was too soft to cut rock,” and that God must have carved the cave with his hands.  I envied his faith.

a naturalWe exited the cave, ate our lunch on a high mossy rock, and traveled the 1.1 miles back to the campsite.  Upon arriving, Isaac said that he didn’t want to go back home, but that he wanted “something icy and creamy,” and he asked me “do you know what I want?”  I told him I had a guess, and we drove to the little town of Jasper. 

The Ozark Café is truly a gem of Arkansas, but its one of those gems hidden in a town that is barely large enough to make the map.  We entered and sat at the high ice-cream bar.  He ordered mint-chocolate chip, I ordered a hot-fudge Sunday, and we ate ourselves into near-diabetic comas.  I thanked the good people at the Café for suffering our mud-covered smoke smell, and the lady smiled and shook Isaac’s hand saying “ya’ll come back anytime.”  Isaac told her that we would-maybe next weekend.

exhaustedThe trip home was quiet, Isaac sleeping in his booster seat.  Thankful for the wonder of a five-year old, I realized that I had left office-cares and practicalities behind.  Without computers, and facsimile machines, and telephones I remembered what it was like to be a mint-chocolate chip filled child.

And, for a moment, I was envious.

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Reply October 20, 2009

what a great experience that he will treasure for years to come! it's these moments that will add up to make him into the man that he will become... you guys are doing a great job raising your boys... oh and Jasper, you're so right, great place! We actually honeymooned in cabins up that way, highway 7 is amazingly beautiful!

Reply October 20, 2009

Beautiful. Just beautiful. What memories for you both.

Reply October 20, 2009

So awesome and special! I love the way Isaac thinks: something icy and creamy. I get that feeling a lot, too.

Reply October 21, 2009

What a great treat for both of you :)

Reply October 21, 2009

Can't wait for Micah to be old enough so you and Matthew can take all the boys camping:)

Reply October 21, 2009


Your Husband
Reply October 21, 2009


When Ike made the comment, I said "you know who'd be proud of you right now?" And he said, "who?" And I said, "your Aunt Nic who lives way far away in Portland, but who will be moving closer soon." And he said, "COOL!"


I hope things are well down there. I'll go back to Jasper and take more pics for you and Gary.


Indeed. Grow up, Micah! In another 5 years Ike and I are coming to the Smokey's. Tell Matt to get his gear ready.

Reply October 21, 2009

Now've made me all teary and sentimental! Beautiful words for a treasured experience. So timely for me as I get ready to board a plane to celebrate college graduation with my son who slept just like Isaac in his booster seat sixteen years ago. I really does go by that quickly!

Cassandra Frear
Reply October 21, 2009

Love the waterfall. What a great idea for a child.

Jane Anne
Reply October 21, 2009

We took our 3 boys (and daughter) camping this summer. It was a lot of work for my husband and I but it was also the best part of the summer. The combination of kids and nature made me leave my grown up sensibilities behind, too. Nothing like boys and dirt to make you appreciate the little things!

Mike Rusch
Reply October 21, 2009


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