I am so excited to have Kathryn on the blog today! Kathryn is a 6th-grader and an award-winning writer. She loves being outside in her beloved home state, Arkansas. She enjoys reading while she isn’t writing and doing fun crafts with her mom. Her family loves the outdoors which has influenced her and her writing.
Today Katheryn writes about why she loves Arkansas. And I think any Arkansas lover will agree, it couldn’t be said any better.
Arkansas is a wonderful state, the one I have come to know at least. Called the natural state with good reason. I was born here, and have lived here my whole twelve years. The memories I have made here reflect my opinion on it. This state is full of many beauties, the people, the scenery, the places. I believe that Arkansas is very underrated. There is always more to every place you go than meets the eye. Anyone dissatisfied in their experience visiting this marvelous state must be doing something wrong, going to the wrong places, or not digging deep enough. To say it in few words, if you have not yet realized, I really love my home state.
“We are not watching people live on television, we are out living ourselves.” A quote from my dad, an
It feels like just yesterday I was just waking up to a cooled
We put in at Woolum with no trouble, a good sign. Tipping over on a chilly morning is one of the worst things that can happen to you. The river being high helped us out a lot in some slow spots, also lessening severe rapids. The flow was fast and the water ice cold. For
That day was the warmest of all the float days, so I had my jacket off for the main extent of that afternoon. At the end of the
Food on a trip is very important, you have to eat, and also figure out what you can camp with. We usually bring pre-baked brats and hot dogs, easy to warm over a fire. Another camp favorite is instant mashed potatoes. These are heavenly at the so-called time of “Camper’s midnight” at 8:30. Some people would think that we were roughing it, but we were camping in comfort, not glamping, but comfortably sleeping in tents on a rock bar.
Waking up the next morning was a bit shocking. It was very, very cold. I was so glad I slept in my warmest jacket.
Sitting in the calm, misty morning by a crackling fire is the perfect time to think or
I was awoken from my daydream by the offer of hot chocolate, a beverage anyone would except on this morning. The steamy liquid warmed me up inside, and when breakfast was over I was ready to pack up. I had a light load to carry, my boat being a small one. Once I got my stuff together and in my kayak, I helped the others who had more gear than I did. Back on the river for our final leg of the trip. Thankfully, it was a rather short distance to the
Every year, or at least in the past few years, we have gone to the area around the Buffalo River, around Jasper and Ponca. We find a place to stay with some of our friends and spend our spring break hiking and eating good food.
One of my favorite hikes is in Boxley Valley called Lost Valley. It is quite
On this trip, I climbed back into the cave with my friend and dad, my mom being claustrophobic. Part of the hike goes off on another trail, leading up some rock stairs to the
The rocks after the hop are a bit slippery, and you have to scale a few of them to get to the entrance to another part of the cave. In the second part, we have to turn on our
The obstacle after that was a boulder that we had to crawl under. This was the last part before the main attraction of the hike. Coming out onto to a sort of rocky bank, I looked up in awe. Water was pouring from a spot in the ceiling that was so high up I couldn’t even see it. We all stood and looked around. A small pool in the middle of the cave was surrounded by rocks and
My dad took some pictures so we could treasure the moment, and also show our friends. We all had a little fun spooking the hikers coming in, turning off our lights and then turning them back on suddenly. To mix things up, we decided to use a different way to get out of the cave. Another path that was similar to the beginning of the trail would let us skip the bear crawling, so we used that route. It wasn’t much different from the other path, just without the crawling. It spat us out back to the beginning and we waved to our group. One of my favorite hikes of all time, and well worth the trip.
It is hard to not love where you came from, especially if those memories are pleasant and full of many outdoor escapades and experiences you can see people do on TV, but are doing yourself. I love my family and friends, and I feel lucky to grow up in somewhere where I have many close relationships. Living in Arkansas, I can truly say that, yes this is a natural state. You can float rivers, hike into caves, and develop a community to sustain happiness for however long you reside here. I could have been born anywhere, but I was born here. My heart is here with my family, with my experiences, with my community. That is why I love Arkansas. It is where I reside, where I laugh, where I make friends, where I develop personal connections. Arkansas is not only where I live, it is my Home.