The Messed-Up Day: Redemption Threatened

(concluded from: The Messed-Up Day: And Benjamin Waited)

My work completed and both of us fed, I headed off with Benjamin. Finally we would take that Arbor Hills trip I had promised him since the first day he rode without training wheels. Lest anyone start figuring that since he’s seven, I must be awfully neglectful, I would like to point out that he learned in November, and our weekends have been full of family trips or inclement weather ever since. Plus, he needed to become a fairly strong, confident rider before trying the steep, often densely populated paths and offroad trails that awaited.

And to survive his first involuntary flight. (click pic to enlarge)

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The Messed-Up Day: And Benjamin Waited

I promised him, and that was my mistake. I was determined not to let it ruin his day.

On Friday I told Benjamin that he and I would take our bicycles to Arbor Hills Nature Reserve, a hilly area in west Plano set aside for walkers, runners, and mountain bikers to live peacefully alongside our smaller-brained brethren of the natural world. Sunday’s weather was supposed to be nasty, and I had some work to do for a customer at about noon on Saturday, so we decided that early Saturday morning was the time to go.

That night, while working from home to complete a scheduled task, I heard from a co-worker that a customer’s planned disaster recovery test was going to start early Saturday morning. “But your part probably won’t start until later, after I do my part,” she said (except that I’m paraphrasing to conceal the details). I originally thought this would take place Saturday evening, only slightly interrupting a planned date night.

I told Shannon that I might not get to take Benjamin for that ride. “Oh, he will be so disappointed. He told me it was going to be the best day ever,” she said (and I didn’t change that quote at all).

I informed my co-worker that I would take my laptop, because when on call I have mobile internet access. If needed, I could take a break from my ride with Benjamin to do my work, and then resume our fun.

If only it had worked out that way. (click any pic to enlarge)

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Photographic Finale (Ozarks Weekend Part 8)

(concluded from Part 7)

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What a grand trip back to our home state. Here are several shots, some from “downtime” when we weren’t out hiking or driving, un-cropped but taken with two different cameras that feature different aspect ratios. Did I mention Long Pool Campground is a great place to camp? (click any pic to enlarge)

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Unexpected Pleasures (Ozarks Weekend Part 7 – redux)

(continued from Part 6)

Disclaimer: there is no simple way to get out of that area of Arkansas. True, the signs there really mean it when they proclaim “Scenic Drive,” but they also can make you laugh when they warn, “Crooked and Steep next 14 miles.” Um, the next 14? What the heck would you call the last 14?

It’s even tougher to get out when you need to go west but you go north.

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