This trip to Arkansas was simple, take pictures of night skies, waterfalls, and share the experience with our friend Rosy. An Australian whose fluid eloquence with profanities is only rivaled by her kindness and twisted sense of humor. In my opinion everyone needs an Australian friend. Ours are really good at day-drinking, feeding you Vegemite, playing pranks, and using curse words most Americans have never heard, in ways no Grammar-Nazi could punctuate
That first night our campfire cast dancing shadows on the mirrored surface of Petit Jean lake. Occasionally a perfectly timed Goose call echoed like hysterical laughter as the three of us told jokes and stories.
Later we turned into our humble abode, a Yurt. The interior reminiscent of summer camp, yet what our Yurt lacked in comforts it made up for in location. Water front UPGRADE, like a United Airlines upgrade, but lacking someone being savagely beaten!
Drifting to sleep I contemplated our first campfire. Attempting to explain my perspective on (justbe<BETTER) Rosy mentioned that she was passionate about helped feral cats. I’m not a mean person, but “mathematically” feral cats seemed a waste of resources in a world of genocide, disease, and famine. Yet the more Rosy spoke, the more I realized how much I’d missed a core principle of my own philosophy.
We spent the next few days hiking, and taking pictures. A big breakfast in a Lodge overlooking the mountains, Native American rock art, historical structures, caving, Northern Arkansas is a playground for hikers, explores, and photographers.
Early each morning while the girls slept I’d sneak out and take night sky images. In those quiet hours alone I continued to reflect on what it is to (justbe< Better), which I originally wanted to call (just /Suck-less).
I struggle to see the good in society, religion, business, or government. There are so many self-centered, illogical, entitled, rude, people in this world. Mega Churches, non-profits, government, self serving, self righteous, self promoting, millionaire preachers, corporate owned politicians, non-profits CEO’s with million dollar salaries.
With our backs to a majestic waterfall, before sunrise, Lauren and Rosy helped me light paint the remains of an old Gristmill. We’d spent the majority of the previous day underground wild caving the Blanchard Springs Cave network.
Between Lauren and Rosy I’d look over to see them gazing at beautiful formations. So many profound experiences, but perhaps the high point of this trip for me was that first campfire.
I’ve spent most of my adult life struggling with religious organizations, or non-profits: “to do the right thing”? Around that campfire I finally realized that the “big picture” is an accumulation of brush strokes. See a need, meet it, and repeat. Small task, small good deeds, kind words.
Arkansas is pretty awesome, cool sites, awesome trails, amazing caves, and the occasional brew pub. If your looking for a chill place to burn some trail miles, explore caves, and take rad pictures. Check out Petit Jean State Park, Blanchard Springs Caverns, and Hot Springs Arkansas! And remember to (justbe <BETTER)
May your trail run long, your campfire echo laughter as the breeze whisper a song your heart can hear!