Pretty Places

There are a million reasons to love Arkansas.  I spent this weekend at one of them:  Petit Jean State Park.  The sky was blue, the weather was perfect, and I didn’t even take my cell phone or computer.  Here are a few highlights:

Pj1

Pj2

We did a little hiking, and, as you can tell, we are serious about it.  Because only the most seasoned hikers take pink hairbows and stuffed dogs out on the trail:

Pj3

My 7yo son took a look at this view and said, "So, those would be ‘rural’ areas?"  And I thought, "oh my stars, I’m raising a city boy…"

Pj7

I hollered "boys-slow-down-don’t-go-too-near-the-edge" so many times that the sentence no longer holds any meaning: 

Pj5

If there is anything sweeter to a momma’s heart than watching her oldest hang on to her youngest, then I don’t know what that would be:

Pj4

Another reason to love Arkansas?  Signs like this one:

Pj6

47 thoughts on “Pretty Places

  1. Grateful for Grace says:

    OH!! You brought me back in time. I graduated from UALR and my roomie and I went there one day with her kiddos (I lived with an amazing woman who had a deaf 4yo and a six yo, helped both of us financially). It was soooo pretty. One of my favorite photos of all time is one of me and the littlest girl sitting at the edge signing with that beautiful scenery in the background.
    My dh gave me endless kidding about living in Arkansas (AR, AR, I just love ol’ AR, I love my ma, I love my pa, I just love ol’ AR was how he answered the phone when I called… we were dating), but it was soooo beautiful. I’ve said that if I couldn’t live in TX, I would take AR in a heartbeat.
    Glad y’all had fun!

  2. Heather says:

    My favorite Mid-West billboard so far has to be “don’t give up, Moses was a basket case!” It’s about 80% of the reason I didn’t give up that particular day 🙂
    Such wisdom and beauty… who wouldn’t love it here?!

  3. jessica says:

    How beautiful! I’ve only experienced Arkansas as I drove I-40 on my way fr/ TN to TX, so it’s nice to know that there is more to it than flat fields and bad highways : ) It looks like y’all had a great time – and you’re right, there is nothing sweeter than your children loving on and protecting each other!

  4. Laura V. says:

    I LOVE Petit Jean. I have an aunt and cousins in Russellville and Clarksville and when we lived in Oklahoma City (Air Force) we would go visit on weekends frequently. So beautiful!
    However, now we live in Colorado Springs with TONS of gorgeous mountains and hiking spots, but it’s still sad that we’re too far for those weekend trips now.

  5. Kim H. says:

    Oh my word…beautiful pictures and wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing them.
    Should I be skeered to move to Memphis?…..
    I think it’ll be a whole new ball game for this mid-western girl! 🙂

  6. Linda Sue says:

    What a great weekend! The serious hikers were outfitted just right – a girl has to maintain certain standards. Now the question about what is rural made me laugh and the sign – love it! There really is a heartland to America and I’m thrilled so many of us love and appreciate it. All y’all Texans – early voting starts today – pray and go VOTE. End of commercial and thank you Shannon for sharing your weekend away with us – looked wonderful!

  7. Andrea says:

    The photo of your oldest and youngest touched my heart. My oldest and youngest are twelve and four (both boys) and I have so many pictures with the hand placed protectively around the shoulder . . . oh, it just doesn’t get any better.

  8. Jenni says:

    LOL I’m lovin’ that sign!
    Beautiful spot…I’m going to have to check that out one of these days; not too far from us, is it?
    Meaningly phrase numero uno is ALWAYS “Be Careful!!” or anything in that family. Glad they stayed in one piece, regardless!

  9. sometimessophia says:

    Lovely photos, and the ‘rural areas’ comment cracked me up. Reminds me of my son’s comment about my husband’s last job, which was in a suburb of Portmsouth that looked pretty rural: “Who wants to be superintendent in the middle of nowhere?”

  10. Lynnet says:

    When my dh told me 18 years ago that we would be living in AR, I didn’t want to go. “They only have hicks there. I’ve since found there is so much beauty, friendliness, warm, and home here. We love to visit the State parks with our kids and dogs, and I’ve warned my kids the very same thing, but somehow we’re all drawn to see how far down the edge drop off really goes! Loved the pictures of the kids! Priceless! Thank you for sharing.

  11. Melene says:

    Little Rock, AR will ALWAYS be one of our family’s most favorite places we’ve lived during my husband’s Air Force career. Beautiful state, great people…….

  12. Margie says:

    Oh, man, how I miss Petit Jean mountain. I used to live in Russellville and worked at Winrock International, (Winrock International not there anymore, moved home office to Little Rock) there atop good ole Petit Jean. Did you eat at the lodge? Oh, man you just made me so homesick. I live in Texarkana now and it’s not quite as scenic. 😦 Margie

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Arkansas is my real home and I love it so much! Petit Jean is gorgeous. We went there after prom and camped and hiked all weekend. What fun memories! I’ve been meaning to take my kids there, and I need to do it soon!

  14. Kate says:

    i love love love petit jean mountain!! another not to be missed in the area is the blanchard springs caverns… holy gorgeous, batman! I love that place… taking family photos down by cave opening was always one of my favorite parts… and now i take pictures of my own family there… so many years later that place is just the same and gorgeous as always!

  15. Desiree Rutter says:

    I live in Arkansas and I really love how beautiful it is. I lived in Dallas for three years and could not wait to see trees again. There are so many beautiful parks and fun out-doorsy things to do here. I love it!

  16. Shannon says:

    Looks gorgeous! We postponed our fall foliage trip to Arkansas (for a good cause, early pregnancy) but I do hope to make it up there one of these days. It looks lovely.
    And LOL at the sign.

  17. Christy says:

    I have very fond memories of trips to Petit Jean (Or Petty Jeans as my sister used to call it). My dad used to have a ’57 Thunderbird that we would take up for swap-meets at the car museum.
    Then in High School, our youth group took a retreat up to the cabins where the old chapel is. I have many memories of that place. It’s such a neat place!

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