Happy Birthday to me…

In an amazing turn of events, I lucked out with some awesome camping gear for my 35th birthday!

From Michelle and Joe, I got a Weber Smokey Joe grill for our camping excursions. This is going to come in handy when those picnic style grills at the campsite are a little questionable in terms of cleanliness. Yes, even I have some standards, especially when it comes to grills. I also got a few books by my favorite motivator, Zig Ziglar, and am looking forward to reading them in my new (cue Price-Is-Right music) ENO DoubleNest Hammock !!!

This totally unexpected birthday surprise came from my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and sweet little nieces in Alabama. The ENO line of hammocks are very comfortable and sleep inducing. If the ‘skeeters weren’t so bad this time of year, I’d be tempted to sleep under the stars tonight.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes today, and also to my wonderful family for these great presents!!!

My Birthday Haul...

My birthday goodies. Joe’s card is so fantastic! He drew a picture of our tent on it. Look closely, and you’ll see the little mat from our custom footprint, complete with a pair of shoes sitting on it. I love you too, little buddy…

Lounging in the ENO

Joe’s dad in the ENO

See you on the trail…

Almost Famous…

Forgive me blog, for I have sinned.  It has been 33 days since my last expression.  While the posts here have been quiet lately, I have some hopes for another trip soon.  In the meantime, here is one I’ve wanted to get out there.

Mather Lodge - Petit Jean State Park - image courtesy: http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com/accommodations/mather_lodge.aspx

Mather Lodge – Petit Jean State Park

During our “recent” outing to Petit Jean, the historic Mather Lodge was closed for renovations.  Since late 2010, the lodge has undergone a $4 million face-lift.  Originally built in 1930s by the CCC, the lodge is named after a National Park Service Director who helped persuade the powers that be to make Petit Jean Arkansas’ first State Park.

The renovations nearly doubled the size of the lodge, and provided an updated kitchen, new restaurant, and a makeover for the guest rooms.  As our luck would have it, we were scheduled to depart the mountain top the day before the grand reopening of the lodge.  I was sad that we didn’t get to drink all of the Petit Jean Kool-Aid this time around, but C’est la vie.   [Read more...]