Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The first-ever "Women's Outdoor Weekend" held at Bull Shoals/White River State Park occurred October 2-4, and was, in this writer's opinion, an outstanding experience, in becoming familiar with many of the possible activities one can do when they are outside enjoying God's amazing creation here in the Ozarks. Ladies started arriving from the north, south, east and west on Friday afternoon, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to try their hand at some new outdoor experiences, with the help of those who were more adept at such things, and who were ready to share their knowledge with a group of willing students. The top photo shows the entire group, while the two lower photos highlight the two sets of sisters that made up our group. On the lower left are Trieneke and Della from nearby Lakeview, and the lower right photo shows the Hodges sisters from Little Rock. Park Interpreter Julie Lovett, along with her well-trained helpers, had the tents already set up for us when we arrived. All we had to do was unroll our sleeping bags, and make ourselves comfortable in the spacious Eureka Tents placed strategically throughout the group camp section of the park. (if you want to see what it is like to sleep on a bedroll on the ground, BEFORE next year's outdoor weekend, simply go to the "Step Into Africa" experience at Baxter County Fairgrounds, October 18 - 25)

Our classes began Friday evening with a lesson/demonstration/"hands-on" session on Dutch oven cooking (upper left photo shows Marty from Yellville and me, as we wait patiently for our broccoli/cheese casserole to get cooked in the Dutch oven). Other meals during the weekend gave us the opportunity to make omelets (each individually cooked in a plastic baggie, placed in a pot of boiling water set on the coals, as shown in upper right photo). Julie and her helpers also did a great job of grilling hamburgers and hot dogs for everyone (upper right photo). Nothing says "picnic' quite like a red-checked tablecloth, and that is exactly what the two ladies from Hot Springs were enjoying in lower left photo.
Other classes included fly fishing and bird watching (top two photos), kayaking (middle photo), and proper gear selection for backpacking and hiking (lower photo). All of our instructors were outstanding, and would be consistent with the "wonder woman" described in Proverbs 31:26 that says "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

Posted by PicasaNo outdoor weekend is complete without time spent sitting around the campfire, and that is exactly what all the lower photos show. I don't know what an all-men group talks about around the campfire, but this night the conversation of our diverse "hen party", covered just about every topic from A to Z! Sometimes when I comment about some fun activity I have participated in at one of Arkansas' wonderful state parks, people ask me, "How did you know about it?" The answer is easy---one can sign up for the free e-newsletter at the website for the state parks ; also, when you first see an activity you're interested in, make arrangements as soon as possible to participate, as most activities have a limit on the number of folks who can be on the outing or in the class. These are YOUR parks, so get out there and enjoy them! Miles of smiles! Tricia