Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crazy October 2010

Octobers are traditionally busy months for our family. Last year we kept things a little under control by not getting caught up in the fall mountain bike racing season. This year, not having a toddler with us, (our foster daughter went home in June) we committed to participating in as many of the races as we could. It made for a wonderful, crazy fall!

In October alone I traveled with the boys to 3 out of town races. Of the two other weekends in October, we did an in town fun bike ride on one weekend and Halloween fell on the other. Needless to say little got done around the house and my fall vegetable garden remains only in my mind.

We started off October in Abilene. I was really excited to check out the yurts at Abilene State Park. The boys and I loved it. I'm a fairly intrepid car camping tent camper, but having traveled so much this summer, and being so wimpy about the slightest hint of cool weather, being able to arrive and simply unload food and clothes into an existing structure was downright luxurious.

We had a great time. We saw deer, armadillos, sunrises and sunsets, went on hikes and rode our bikes. The boys' primary and most engrossing activity consisted of sharpening sticks and slaying prickly pear. It truly kept them busy for hours. We definitely want to revist the park in the summer when the pool is open, and definitely stay in the yurts again. (One of our friends checked out the yurts more recently. They were not as impressed with the park itself, but she's got some amazing photos you should check out.)

Abilene has a great biking community, and I heartily recommend VT Bike Stuff if you're in need of emergency repairs. They also happen to be on the road into town from the state park.

The next weekend we were home and tackled the Round Rock Outlaw Ride. Lyman had done this ride 2 years ago and enjoyed it, and kept telling me that it was relatively flat. I'll just say that a flat road can have subtle inclines on a bike that are not noticeable in a car... Bike Monkey and I signed up for the 40 mile ride and decided to tackle the 50 once we got going, and Lyman road the 63 mile route.
Thirty miles in I wondered what I was thinking tacking 10 extra miles on and was thoroughly convinced the claim that the rest stops were 10 miles apart could not possibly be true. I have to say many thanks to Lyman for encouraging me to ride, Bike Monkey for babysitting me until we rejoined his dad, and the really nice man and his wife who were riding with their two kids in tag-alongs who stopped and helped me with a flat early in the ride.

Midway through the month we headed to Huntsville State Park. I really wanted to camp there, but I had failed to reserve a campsite in time so we ended staying at a motel with bike team teammates. We had a great time eating and socializing around the pool with Bike Monkey's bike team.
The following week, with very little turnaround time, we headed up to see my folks for a few days then on to Ruston, Louisiana, for yet another bike race. We had traveled to Ruston the first year Bike Monkey started racing. It's quite a haul, but is really beautiful, and worth the drive. Attendance is lower at this race, because of the drive, but both boys had a great time playing with their friends and racing in the piney woods. The pond, ducks, and changing fall colors were all just gravy.

Thanks to good caravaning company, the long drive home didn't even seem so overwhelming, and we got to see a gorgeous evening sky.

Finally we wrapped up with Halloween. Thankfully Lyman took charge of decorating the house, and our good friend invited us over to carve pumpkins at her house. She went above and beyond with creative decorating and dinner ideas for the party.

All the kids' pumpkins turned out great, but my children did have to be told that next year their jack-o-lanterns could not be carved as to suggest bullet holes. (I swear we're peace loving people!)

Hope everyone else is having a great fall!

1 comment:

Patti said...

Wow, what a busy month! And there has been some serious growing of the young knights!