Shane stayed to help decorate the yard for Christmas - he had been asking for months to help her with this.
Ella stayed to play with her cousin.
Hank stayed so he could go to Bill's brother's house to help rake massive amounts of leaves.
And Jake stayed to muck cow and goat pens.
Worked for me!!
Sooooo what should two grown ups do when left to themselves for 2 whole days??? Well, maybe what you're thinking, but we definitely checked out a Maryland game.
And I couldn't let a gorgeous weekend go by sans kids without a long bike ride so I put on my equally gorgeous YMX jersey and bolero and hit the tow path for 30 miles.
30 miles isn't far to go on a bike...if you've trained consistently for it - you know, like I did this summer. I haven't been on my bike much since the triathlon, and I was sucking wind by the end of my ride. But it felt really good to just ride and ride.
Yes, that's mud - probably mixed with a little horse poo - on my neck. It was also on my front and my behind. It's part of what makes the towpath fun.
Being a bird geek, I was excited to see a pair of Bluebirds that hadn't yet migrated as well as a Pileated Woodpecker. Pretty cool! (Neither is in this picture. I just thought the view up creek was pretty. My phone camera didn't do it justice)
I got home, just a little tired (ha!), and Bill asked if I'd go on a hike with him. Since I'm always nagging him to peel himself away from his work computer, I figured I'd better go. Plus it was still a really nice day.
He wanted to hike from Gathland to Weverton Cliffs, check out the sunset and then hike down Weverton to the parking lot. We left the car at Weverton and then drove together to Gathland. I've never hiked all the way from Gathland to Weverton before (~7 miles). I've hiked about 2 miles from Gathland and gone about 1 mile up from Weverton. Those 4 miles in between were a mystery to me though.
In a moment of complete, absolute, without a doubt stupidity, I chose to wear my old hiking boots. They're excellent boots and in great shape - except - I bought them many years ago, pre-kids, and my feet have grown at least a size since then.
Yes, please rap my knuckles with a ruler. It was a bad, bad choice and I paid for it. About 3 miles in, my pinky toes started to talk to me. Then my heels joined the chorus. Nothing I could do but press on. I couldn't go barefoot because the trail at that point is very rocky and leaf covered. I figured blisters would heal a lot faster than another fracture or plantar plate issue.
We saw this cool woodpecker hang out
Neither of us realized how technical the trail was so we didn't count on it taking us so long to get to the cliffs. We had adequate food and clothing (except my dumb boots), and thankfully we brought headlamps along too.
So it started as a day hike
Bill is having a hard time getting used to these self portrait pictures. He doesn't look like a serial killer in real life, promise.
And it became a night hike
You're loving my Tinkerbell headlamp, aren't you?
We missed sunset at the cliffs, but we did hike down there to enjoy the view for a bit. Then we began the mile of switchbacks to the parking lot. It was a great hike, and I'm really glad did it.
My feet... today [Wednesday] I was able to wear shoes other than flip flops so they're doing better.
Aaaaannnndd, even better, Bill now has the itch to do a 3-4 day backcountry hike (which he used to do all the time before we met). I hope he lets me come along too.