“Are y’all lookin’ for the kinfolk?”
This wonderful little sentence was the first thing we heard when we embarked on our Arkansas Farm adventure today.
For years, both my great grandparents and my dad have been telling us stories of the farm that my great grandpa, Papa Joe, grew up on. Spectacular tales of magnificent waterfalls, terrifying black panthers, and even an ancient potato house. Things that my sisters and I almost couldn’t believe.
Well, today all those tales became experiences as our whole family (grandparents, great grandparents, parents, kids, and all!) packed into the car and drove to a little place called Coaldale, Arkansas. And just so you can get the full jist of the amazingness of this whole thing, this town was nowhere to be found on ANY map, on ANY website, nor ANY GPS! Seriously, this place was small. But not to my family.
On the way there, the grandparents talked about the history of the farm. Spinning tales of how when my Papa’s mother was little, she had to walk to school. Now, this was not just a little pleasant walk through a little bed of flowers. Oh no, this was a walk over a mountain, through ‘haunted’ woods where screams of panthers and mountain lions could be heard every step of the way! Two times a day! IT WAS THE REAL DEAL!
When we finally reached our destination, or near it, we drove into the little town, which was really more like a super spread out neighborhood with a railroad than a town, but, ya know, it was great! Confused on just exactly where we were going, we winded through dirt roads for miles before finally just stopping and pulling over to “take a look at the land” (a.k.a. be lost). As we sat there, praying for some direction, we felt as if we might just have to go back home!
And then, all of a sudden, a friendly man in a big brown truck came around the corner and pulled up beside us. He then proceeded to ask us if “we were lookin’ for the kinfolk” and we figured WE were probably in the right place. (Thank you Lord!) Seeming like he knew who we were looking for, we followed him down the road, and sure enough! There was our kinfolk! (By the way, I’m really loving that word right now so I’m going to be using it as much as I can. Mwahahaha!)
Anyway, we soon were traveling with Papa’s cousin, Marvin and his son Gabe in these awesome little suped-up golf cart/dirt bike/ four wheeler thingy-ma-bobs to the fabled waterfall. And once again, I must remind you this was an actual real life adventure, so it was NOT just a walk in the park! As you will catch a glimpse of in the video below, we traveled through practically every terrain known to man. I’m serious okay, me and my grandma sat on the back of one of the thingy-ma-bobs and there were a few times we felt like our lives might actually be in danger!
Have you ever seen that one Phineas and Ferb episode where they make that awesome all-terrain vehicle? Yeah well that’s what we were riding in pretty much. Ohh yeah, it was quite the adventure!
The waterfall was so magnificent when we finally got there, I really couldn’t believe it. It was so amazing to think about cause it has literally been there since creation and is still the same as when my dad visited some thirty odd years ago. That’s really neat!
As well as just being really beautiful, the little town of Coaldale is a mining town, and Papa’s cousin owns one of the largest mines so we got to see it! We didn’t have the right equipment to actually go into the mine, but the facade was so magnificent that it almost didn’t really matter. Surrounded by a shimmering lake and painted with years of erosion and weathering, it was enough to take your breath away!
But the whole trip was like that, really. Everything just seems so much more magnificent and wonderful when you’re seeing or doing with people you love, ya know?
I think I would like to leave you with a challenge today: go spend time with the people you love! Really, whether it’s to Arkansas, or just to Sonic, go spend time with your family and friends, tell them you love them, don’t let another moment go by without letting them know.
Okay, go go go! And comment what your adventure is when you do it so we can all be adventurers together! Enjoy!