So yesterday the kids and I were heading out for like an hour long bike ride around the lake. I packed the usual arsenal of bathing suits, tools, gum, sunscreen, snacks, hats, lunch, towels, bike pump, water, bike locks, cell phone and check card- to be prepared for what "may" happen.. As with all bike trips, we stopped by the Grand Rounds map to plot out a course that incorporates as many playgrounds, swimming beaches, and snack potentials as possible.. And after two hours of preparing we were ready for the one hour bike ride.. I love spontaneity.
The whining started about a half a mile down the trail with the boy, who wanted to take a break. We pushed on till the cries were piercing my brain and all I saw was bright flashes of white light. We stopped at an underpass and luckily for us there were a pair of egrets fishing in the creek! Papa egret saw a threat of a duck and went to defend his woman up creak a bit, while Mama egret stayed to find a snack. She hunting like a pro, slowly stretching her long neck out to eye her pray, vigilantly, yet light footed, stepping though the water, till PLOP! Down went the beak and up came a big juicy frog! She looked at us with pride, with a frog leg sticking vicariously out of her beak, majestic creature.. This is when the kids started asking for lunch.
We rode on to Minnehaha Falls, found a picnic table, locked up the convoy, and ate our lunch.
Then we decided to do some hiking. I will be getting on my soap box for a second here to grip about Minneapolis- Back in the day a tremendous amount of land was set aside for a picturesque, park-like setting for the city. We have the creek, the falls, the river, and a plethora of lakes. Then someone came up with a whack job campaign telling folks to look, but not touch.. Fences were put up and lookouts were made, but DO NOT, under any circumstances get close. Well, that mentality is starting to fade away but in some places it is still a challenge to actually get to where you want to go. The kids and I had to jump two fences to get to the the falls.. LAME! OK, I am done with my rant.. We had a lovely time looking for crabs and fish.
Afterwards, I somehow convince the children it would be fun to hike the mile down to the river (which later I would regret, what with ALL the whining that ensued). We did make a friend along the way- which the girl named Sparky Hello Kitty (what she names EVERYTHING...) A snapping turtle.. We examined and followed her for a while then continued with our walk. Soon it turned treacherous as the trail faded away- so muchfun to navigate what was left of the eroding trial, the four year old was holding on to tree branches for her dear life!
We were soon upon the sandstone walls that people have been carving into for years- this is as true a testament of the history of the area as any museum- Mary DID love Steve, and some dude really WAS passionate about wanting pot legalized (I mean he did spent almost 20 minutes carving it into the side of a bluff..)
But finally we scrambled our way to the Mighty Mississippi. OK, back on my soap box- to all the jerks who had fires and lit off fireworks on the beach, pick up your shit when you leave.. Your trash was everywhere! Have a little respect for where you live... Sheesh. It was gross how much garbage was left.
The kids and I vow to bring trash bags next time we come to the river and start the trek back. And with the promise of ice cream at the end of the trail it was a quite enjoyable, and speedy, walk back!Found this funny graffiti on the way which made me grin..
And of course had to stop and check to see if Sparky Hello Kitty was still around, but I think she bolted as fast as she could, I would imagine she got poked and prodded by many children that afternoon. And finally, what I hear was the absolute best, most fantastic, yummiest part of the day, ice cream....
We then found a swimming pool to clean off, I mean cool off in, and met dad at Longfellow Grill for dinner. Our hour long trip turned into a nine hour adventure! I love that the kids are getting older and able to just go with the flow.