Project Breakaway Vaca: Day 1

Four Day Road Trip: Impending Rout is now fully underway and day 1 has been nothing short of an adventure. WARNING, images in section “Oops, Ouch! Slice” may seem graphic to some readers. Photos may cause a sudden shudder reaction.

Away We Go

I got up at 5:00 AM to finish up with loading the car and bound the bike rack to the back. My daughter and I left our house at 6:30 in the morning and went to Walmart for a couple last minutes necessities and then to Panera Bread for breakfast. It was only going to a 3 hour drive to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas, but we were going to enjoy this road trip and take it slow.

We stopped at multiple gas stations along I-40 heading east, sang loudly in the car to songs we knew coming on SirusXM’s, 16 The Blend, and eventually stopped at a Braums shortly after crossing the Arkansas boarder.

At one gas station my girl and I got some pretty sweet semi-matching sun glasses that we decided made a statement for on us this road trip!

We stopped off in a nearby city about 40 minutes from Petit Jean State Park, and grabbed a bite to eat at McAlasters Deli. We were given our number for food at McAlasters to put on our table, but were unsure if it was a “99” or “66”. We went with 99 and hoped for the best. It seemed as though the odds were in our favor, our food did find us!

Arriving at Petit Jean State Park

We arrived at Petit Jean State Park about 2:00 PM, and could not help to admire the beauty surrounding us. We stopped for a few pictures before reaching the information center, paid $22 for 1 of 2 nights (we were meeting a friend and she paid for one night already), and then drove to our campsite to set up camp.

I have T-Mobile, and apparently they do not support service on this mountain. We went down to the Mathering Lodge, about 2 miles from our site, and hopped on the wifi to send a text to our camping partner, Teresa, who was still on her way. Teresa came around 8:00 PM that night, has AT&T and the service was great for her at our site.

Mathering Lodge

After sending a couple texts out, we went back to our site and pitched our 2 person tent. My daughter then decided that the 90 degree weather we were in called for a dip in the pool we saw about a mile west from our camp. Not a bad idea at all…


Oops, ouch! Slice.

It was around 6:30 PM and at that point we were still waiting for Teresa to arrive, but I wanted to get all our equipment out of the car and set up for dinner. I got a lantern recently, shiny new and still in the packing. Out of convenience, I grabbed my pocket knife and began cutting the plastic zip ties that were holding the lantern to the packing. Slice. My thumb.

Pocket Knife
The culprit.

I cupped my thumb and calmly told my 8 year old I cut myself. I found the closest neighbor that was outdoors and it happened to be a kid. I timidly asked if their parents were around and then a nice woman named Sonya helped me wash off the pool of blood gathering in my palm. She wrapped 3 Band-Aids around my wounded thumb and tied part of a Boy Scouts tourniquet above the knuckle. There were 3 times I needed to kneel down while Sonya doctored me up due to nearly passing out. My ears started ringing, I began beading sweat and tunnel vision loomed. I composed myself though and managed to make it back to our camp to lie down. My daughter was so great and helped with anything I needed until I regained my bearings.

8:00 ‘o clock came and Teresa arrived! First thing she asked was what I did to my thumb – it was after all tied up like some terrible present. She decided we needed to clean it up and re-wrap it, but she is no Florence Nightingale either. We peeled off the bandages, and since I was…ok… I took a couple pictures of it for the blog. That is when Teresa started sweating bullets and had to sit in the car with the A.C. because SHE then almost passed out. We were a mess. Glad we had the 8 year old there to put on her big girl britches and take care of us. Between Teresa and me we managed to get it disinfected with propolis, wrapped in gauze and taped back up. Success.

Wrapping up the Day

Dinner was quick and yummy. We didn’t eat until about 10:00 PM, and it was a few grilled vegetarian patties and chips. I love open flame cooked food. It was midnight when we retreated to the tents for the night. It was pretty hot out, especially inside the oven of a tent, but thanks to a small fan we were fine.

Day 1 of Project Breakaway Vaca complete, status: accomplished. It was an overall great day.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Bryan says:

    Great perspective shot with the mushroom and Lena. Good-on-ya! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Bryan! I call it…. “Lena in Wonderland” lol


  2. Wendy says:

    Petit Jean is one of my favorite places! My grandparents used to take me every year when we would go to a little town about 15 miles away called Casa for a family reunion. I’m glad you liked it! They have an awesome night hike!


    1. That is so cool!! It was absolutely beautiful. We should make a weekend of it together!


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