Saturday, April 16, 2011

Buford Hatchery, Windermere Park and Simms Lake

Last weekend I had some work to do in New Orleans and all week my evenings were consumed by work, illness and bad weather. I don't even remember what dirt and grass look like. Isabel's got a gym meet tomorrow and my buddy Paul and his family are in town from Houston. This weekend was shaping up to be similarly dirtless. Me and Paul were set to grab some lunch together in Douglasville, but his daughter had gotten sick and we had to call it off. As unfortunate as that was, it freed up my day, and the girls and I jumped right on that.

We started off with some Dutch Monkey doughnuts.

 Dutch Monkey

If loving their doughnuts is wrong, I don't want to be right.

 Dutch Monkey Yum

With our blood sugar climbing, we rolled over to Reality Bikes for a quick tune up; at the Trillium Trek last weekend, I'd realized that my rear hub was super loose. They also had a black version of Isabel's bike in the shop, so Sophie gave that a try. It'll fit her if we drop the seat down to about half an inch. We'll have to work that into the budget somehow. The girls picked up some much needed gloves too. They had gloves that fit their tiny little hands in stock. Who'd have guessed?

It's been too cold to fish for a long time, but for the first time in weeks, the temps were favorable, so we headed down to our favorite little fishing hole. We did all right.

In an hour and a half, Sophie caught about 8 of these.

 Sophie's Fish

I caught one and a catfish.

 My Fish

Isabel randomly caught this largemouth bass.

 Isabel's Fish

It was big and scary to her. This is the closest she would get to it. She got it to shore, but I had to reach down and grab it. We were worried it would break her rod.

She caught that two feet from shore, with a tiny little hook and a chunk of sausage. I've been doing it all wrong.

Eventually a whole cub scout troop showed up and we took off before it got too crowded. It was a pretty satisfying little fishing trip though.

We grabbed some lunch at a local pizza joint that I'd never noticed before. Marco's I think. It was OK. I'll eat it again if I'm in the area.

Next we hit Windermere park for some softball and soccer. The ground was moist and the grass was wet but we found just enough slightly-higher ground to get it done.

 Soccer Girls

It's great. We just play now. I teach them when the opportunity comes up, but we've turned the corner. Iz is old enough to just crush Sophie though. We need to bring in an equalizing factor. Maybe we can get some of their friends over to play with us next time.

Nobody got their fingers crushed today, and we determined definitively that Sophie is right-handed as far as throwing a softball goes. She still bats left handed though. We'll have to do a little evaluation on that next time.

When we'd had enough of that, we headed even further east to Simms Lake Park in Suwanee. I'd seen it from the road the last couple of times I'd been down that way and it looked like there were some paved trails there. Suwanee has a greenway system too. Maybe they'd connect up.

"Hey Dad, did you bring my wheel too?" Ohhhh. No.

I'd left Isabel's front wheel at home. How many years have I been riding now? Fortunately we were only 10 minutes from home, so we made a quick turn. There was something wrong though. Her hub was almost immovably tight. I had enough tools to loosen it up, but not enough to get it adjusted right. I need one of those super-flat wrenches. Cone wrenches, is that what they're called? How did it get so tight? Did somebody mess with it? Ohhhhhh, wait. I know. I must have put the wheel on backwards last time. Rolling in that direction, it could tighten up. Wow. It must have been tight like that at the Trillium Trek. I need to remember that. I couldn't tighten it as much as I wanted, but with the wheel in the correct direction, it should tighten itself against the lock nut. Good enough. We hit the trail.


It's not clear what the Simms Lake area used to be. The woods didn't look like woods. There were palmettos and some kind of ornamental flowers that I have in my yard all up in there. Every little stream was all rock-armored. It looked kind of like Disney World, where everything looks nice, but highly engineered.

 Simms Lake

The trails were fun though. They were a lot twistier than the Greenway and there was only one hill that Sophie had to walk. We'll go back. Actually, we'll probably check out the rest of the Suwanee trails first, but then we'll go back.

We'd half planned on hiking around Settles Bridge after riding. It's right there and we had an hour and a half of daylight left, but I'd forgotten to pick up some dollars on the way in and you have to pay to park there now. Plus, Kathryn called to see if we wanted to get some dinner with her and her mom so we punted those plans and ate some dinner at Chili's. For some reason, the sesame seeds on my burger were extra sesame-seedy.

It was fun playing with the kids all day, but it wasn't much of a workout. This time of year, I'm usually starting to ramp up my fitness - epic rides and hikes, group rides, commuting to work... Heck, last year, I'd just finished up the TNGA. So far this year, I've had an aborted Huracan, two 6 hours and one group ride. I'm actually feeling pretty antsy. Tomorrow I'll probably go ride with my dad after Isabel's meet. Maybe that'll get the ball rolling.

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