Sunday, October 24, 2021

Bar J Guest Ranch! We arrived!

 I was so excited about going to Arkansas that I was awake and even UP before 8:00 Saturday morning!
Louis Dean, however, slept until nearly 10:00.......
so it was shortly before noon when we were on the road with Louis Dean driving for the first couple of hours.


I like road trips where someone else is driving so I can enjoy the scenery, read books and play my Word games.


The landscape is changing in the country.....just as we are getting used to seeing wind farms in the pastures and fields, now we also see huge areas of tress and bushes being leveled for solar panel farms.
So much is changing......


We switched drivers just as we were about to turn off of Highway 31 onto Toll Road 49 which took us to I20. I drove past Shreveport before Louis Dean took over again. We only stopped for fuel once and potty breaks and yet it was dark before we left Louisiana. And our directions skirted us around the town of El Dorado where we were planning on eating dinner seeing as we only had cottage cheese and fruit that morning and nothing since. Louis Dean was getting the shakes from low blood sugar and I was bordering on hysteria because it was dark and I could not see! And we were lost! We have have had a few lod remarks to one another as Louis Dean was making a u turn.....that straddled us in the very middle of the highway - with a car coming! It went around us and I continued to babble and carry on while Louis Dean backed up and pulled us away from the the precarious position we had been in.

I think me being so scared help Louis Dean pull himself together and he then managed to calm me down - some - by saying we shouldn't panic and that we can do what we need to do and everything was going to be okay. But first we needed to get something to eat and I could have kicked myself for not stopping sooner when we saw places. My thought was to drive as far as possible while we had daylight.

We parked at the side of the road and I looked up restaurants near me and got directions on my phone to Cafe 1891.
The photo on the site was of a taco salad.....so I have my mouth all set for a margarita.


This was in the middle of what I call nowhere - meaning lots of dark streets and no city lights.
Still......it would have to do and it was surprisingly good.
Louis Dean got a chicken fried steak and I had a chef's salad - both were really good - and we started to feel a little bit better.

As soon as we staggered into the cafe, I had called Summer and told her I had no idea where we were but that I would send her a pic of the address on the menu. She said she would be right there and we could follow her tail lights to the ranch. She is such a treasure and comfort to me. She came in all cheerful and upbeat and we immediately felt so much better and relieved that we would not have to figure any more directions out that night.


We just followed her red taillights!
Trust me when I say we would have never found the ranch entrance in the dark by ourselves.

There were wranglers and friends gathered around the campfire and everyone pitched in to help carry our stuff to the Annie Oakley cabin.


Isn't this the sweetest thing?
Once we had our belongings inside and situated, we joined the others y the campfire.


Sabrina had kept it going until we arrived knowing how much  we love campfires.


The Bar J is a horse camp as well as a guest ranch so there are lots of horses around.
And ranch kitties! And dogs since they also raise border collies!


We relaxed and enjoyed our first night here. Rayne entertained us with her bucking barrel ride.


We all laughed when Granddad decided he would do it, too!


It was a beautiful night and this is such a beautiful place.


Time to get ready for bed.
I had just lit my candle when Rayne knocked on the door and gave me the pinecone.
Perfect ending to this day.

Louis Dean and I both slept so well and woke up feeling grateful and blessed to be in Arkansas!


Meet Classy!
That's the Annie Oakley cabin right behind her.


The kittens are fun to watch!


We were watching Rayne working with a short horse inside a corral.....
and so were the dogs.


There's even a Belgium horse here and Rayne is hoping to ride him later this week.


Rayne loves working with any and every horse or dog she meets.....


but I believe Buddy is her favorite.


We all attended church services here at 11:00.


I love the cross light!


Seating for the children's class - bot for church and for horse camp.


Dinner was served right after the service.


Every one is happy to be here!
Here is Summer, Rayne and Sabrina with two sweet girls who work here with the horses.


Rayne and Sabrina went on several trail rides during the course of this Sunday.


Sabrina took this pic as she sat on her horse.


She is an excellent rider and that works out great since Rayne is so invested in all things having to do with horses.

While everyone was out and about doing things.....


Louis Dean was playing music with Macon, one of the staff here.


I love this photo that Sabrina snapped while Louis Dean was unawares.
Macon had to leave for a little while to take care of a plumbing problem.
Notice the horse had ambled up behing Louis Dean....guess he likes music, too.


Every evening Macon builds up the campfire in this great fire pit!
Louis Dean wants to make us one just like it.


It was time to carve my Jack 'o lantern and look who snatched up some of the pulp and seeds!
I think she actually ate a little bit and played with the rest.


Summer helped me with this one.
I did the eyes and nose - adding little eyebrows to him, while Summer carved the mouth and gave him a set of dimples. I'm using two LED tea lights in him and we carried him up to the pastor's home and set him on the porch. 


We closed out our day with Macon singing The Preacher and the Bear as we all gathered around the campfire.

I hear there's a lot of exciting things on schedule for tomorrow.....
a cow drive in the morning and an ice cream social that evening and all manner of possibilities for during the day.