Monday, June 27, 2011

Buford Hatchery, Windermere Park and Big Creek Greenway

I spent all day yesterday hanging out with the girls. We got up kind of mid-morning. I had to actually wake Iz up, which I can't ever remember doing before. She'll be a teenager before terribly long. Maybe that had something to do with it.

We grabbed some lunch and tried to catch some fish at the pond. The girls caught 4 fun-sized bluegill each.

 Iz Fish

 Sophie Fish

The beef jerky doesn't seem to work any more. Hot dogs still do though. They family next to us caught an enormous catfish like the one Kathryn pulled in last year. I caught nothing.

Next, we picked up Isabel's friend Madison and went to Windermere Park to kick the soccer ball around for an hour or so.


It was about 97 degrees out though, and nobody was really into running around in the sun for much longer than that.

We'd grabbed Maddie's bike when we picked her up though, so our next stop was the Greenway.

 Biker Chicks

It was still hot, but we had plenty of water, we were moving, and the greenway is almost entirely shaded by that greenery from whence it is named.

Sophie led. We were really moving. She's gotten much faster and much stronger. She climbed every hill, rolled every downhill and never had to walk.

 Roll Out

We made extremely good time to the southern end by Big Creek Park. We saw several deer, including a spotted fawn but we didn't see as many people as usual.

Perhaps the weather had something to do with that. Despite checking both the weather forecast, which called for a 10% chance of rain all day, and the map, which showed no storms or rain or anything, by the time we got there, the sky was dark and threatening, and the wind was whipping the trees around like mad.

Normally the girls want to take a break at the end there, but they weren't the least bit interested with all that weather moving in.

Sophie was still leading, and actually pushing the pace for once. Then she saw this snake, crossing the trail...

 Eastern King Snake

"Aaah! Snake!" and then she really took off. It was cool watching the girls dodging it. They were riding about 1 bike length apart and moving pretty fast, then they all swooped to the left and back straight again. It looked like all pro like mountain bikers swinging through a turn or roadies dodging debris in the road. Yes.

I could tell right away that it was a king snake, so we stopped though to take a look at it. It was intent on getting across the road though, so we didn't get to see it for long.

The sky got darker, the wind picked up and we picked up the pace even more.

 Weather Moving In

About 1/3rd of the way back it started actually raining.

 Riding in the Rain

It's such a crapshoot how the girls will react to getting caught in the rain. Sometimes it's the worst thing ever, sometimes its the greatest thing ever, you just never know. Yesterday, it was pretty good. They laughed about it and made jokes and sang and had fun with it. I think it helped that it wasn't absolutely torrential. About two miles out from the car, Sophie'd started to complain a little, but I think it was more because she'd been up on the front than because of the rain. It's lonely up front, especially in bad conditions, you can't see anyone behind you, it's hard to talk to anyone because you're facing the wrong way. Poor little girl. I rode up next to her.

"How are you doing Sophie?"

Smiling: "Great! No, wait, terrible! Horrible! It's raining!"

"Too late, you said great. How can it be great and terrible, at the same time?"

We joked about that for a while. Mainly, she'd left her gloves at home, had to grip extra hard with her wet, ungloved hands and her fingers were getting sore and tired. Yeah, I've been there sister. Fortunately we weren't too far out at that point, and I rode next to her the rest of the way in, which seemed to help her morale. She even smiled.

It had stopped raining when we got back, and I had a camp towel that everybody dried off with. In the end, the rain wasn't that bad. It was just a bit of an adventure.

We grabbed some dinner at Summit's Wayside Tavern and everybody crashed out when we got home. Not a bad day. Maybe next weekend though, I'll remember that it rains EVERY afternoon, and we can get an earlier start.

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