Camping with Isaac, Day 2: from Seth
The 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.
Upon 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.
We 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.
The 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.