22 week belly!
On Saturday, we headed out to Meeman-Shelby Park to check out the bike path there.
We generally try to go on a new, longer bike ride every Saturday, but it's been harder than I thought to get a real feel for each trail online before we go. We never know how do-able it's going to be for the kids--especially Lincoln--and also whether or not it will accommodate the bike trailer well.
So it's always a bit of a shot in the dark, but we've been able to enjoy some very lovely rides!
Riding bikes helps me with my agitation and frustrations more than almost anything,
and somehow, despite my breathlessness and weird heart rhythm pregnancy issues, I can push pretty hard on a bike without too much trouble.
We pulled up to the trail and started unloading the bikes and noted that we were just about the only ones there...unexpected at a state park on a Saturday morning!
We started the path and it was amazing. I rode up next to Sam and said, "Best trail so far, huh?"
It was wide and deserted and shaded and really just the perfect place for so many reasons.
A couple of miles into it, though, the trail went down a looong, steeeeep, winding portion and the smooth ride became considerably more difficult.
The trail was not well maintained and was very broken up by tree roots and "spike balls," as we call them (sweetgum tree seed pods) were covering the path, the combination of which made for an extremely bumpy, jarring trailer ride for Maxwell and Benson.
We went a bit further and then encountered a hiker who told us that there was a cottonmouth on the trail up ahead to watch out for.
Talmage lit up like a Christmas tree and started begging to keep riding down the trail to see it, spouting off facts right and left as he tried to convince us.
"But one in four bites is a dry bite, and hardly anyone dies from the venom, and they usually don't bite, and..."
He is still totally enchanted by the time a teenage counselor at Cub Scout Day Camp caught a cottonmouth where the boys were fishing and cut off its head, leaving the headless body to thrash around.
Despite his pleadings, Sam and I opted to head off on a dirt trail that would bypass the snake.
It quickly became a sludgy mess due to the recent rain, and poor Lincoln was struggling to keep going on his little bike. We are slowly upgrading the boys' bikes, but we haven't gotten to Lincoln's yet!
So we stopped and turned around to head back to the trail head.
And happy day, the playground next to the parking lot was OPEN and the boys got to play at a park for the first time in months! Too bad it was so hot by that point that they only wanted to play for a few minutes.
We ended our excursion at the Shelby General Store at the edge of the forest--a legitimate old-fashioned store with a small grill. We ended up waiting for our food for about 30 minutes, but finally it came and the boys downed their lunch in a flash.
It was a successful morning, but I'm not sure I would say "best trail so far" anymore...
at least not with the bike trailer!