I was blessed to be able to spend a week with six of my grandkids, ages 4-13.
Getting setup at Sylamore Creek Camp in Mountain View, AR.
We had ladder golf to play when we weren't in the water.
But most of the time we spent down at Sylamore Creek.
Amy brought the kids dog, Carly, a year old boxer.
The two four-year olds were best buddies.
We went to Blanchard Springs Caverns.
The kids had never seen anything like this before.
They really enjoyed all the different types of formations.
The Dripstone Trail, which is only about 1/2 mile and 1 hour long, was just enough for the kids.
After, we went to explore Blanchard Springs.
When the boys spotted the outlet for the spring, they all started scrambling over the rocks.
My favorite shot of the week.
Gavin actually walked up and grabbed this butterfly. I got a quick shot before he let it go and it flew off.
There were lots of tadpoles and frogs and crawdads.
When Aaron and Holly were there, we walked upstream to the rapids.
I took my camera with me this day and it got waterlogged. Didn't actually get it in the water, but the screen started fogging over, and eventually went black. So I didn't get anymore pictures for the next few days. I went home and put the camera in a bag of rice and left it and when I removed it several days later the fogging over the screen was gone and it seems to be working again. I think I still want a waterproof camera though. One more thing to put on my list.
After a week, I moved the kids to Natural Falls State Park in Oklahoma. By then my camera was working again and I got this great shot of the kids and their dad.
There's not a lot at Natural Falls State Park except for the falls themselves. But in the heat, it is at least 10-15 degrees cooler here.
But we were close enough to take a float trip down the Illinois River, just outside of Tahlequah, OK. I have been floating this river since I was a kid. During the summer there are thousands of people on the river. You could almost cross the river without getting your feet wet by stepping on the canoes and rafts.
We had several small inner tubes and rafts (like the kind you buy at Walmart), tied them together to make a large raft, then had the kids wear their life jackets and we just floated down the river. When ever the kids got tired they could crawl up on one of the rafts or tubes. The water was fast enough to make it lots of fun, and except for only a few places, the water was only about knee deep. I didn't bring my camera because it still wasn't working good yet, so the only pictures I got were after we got off the river using my cell phone.
Since Aaron and Holly live in Tahlequah, they knew of this great place to spend the rest of the afternoon, 'the tubs'. A large rock where the creek had hollowed out lots of holes and chutes.
The kids slid down the chutes like a waterslide.
All too soon the week was up and the kids had all gone home. It's time for me to move on down the road, but I sure had a grand time. Thank you kids for giving your grandma such a great week.