Every weekend is two days of my dad and I trying to fill as many hours as possible with activity. This weekend that has included four grocery stores, Dick’s Sporting Goods, a Harlem Globetrotter’s show, dinner out, and cleaning the garage, several walks around the block and 4.5 miles of a trail.
In the winter, we’ve struggled to find the motivation to leave the house for any reason other than grocery shopping. Last year we tried cross-country skiing, but for this whole winter the trail conditions have been described as “grassy”. I’m too cheap to go to the movies and we can only go shoe-shopping about once a year while preserving our father-daughter relationship. Our city’s minor league hockey team left.
I’ve been meaning to check this place out…
Is he going to take us across to a terrible falafel restaurant in a town where no middle-eastern person has probably ever been? To the frog pond for ice skating at 6 pm on New Year’s Day? To a tiny storefront where the only other customer is sitting at a table counting hundreds? To a store that he was sure was open just a month ago but has actually been closed for three years?
My dad is always wants to try new places: find new trails, new state parks, and our area is the level of suburban that makes that possible. I am content to ride and walk the same six dirt miles of rail trail that we’ve been going to for over a decade, but no, we’ve always got to be looking for someplace different and new.
Today when we were cleaning out the garage, my brother agreed to finally get rid of his skateboard (ahh, those dreams were never realized). I, however, refused to get rid of a pair of inline skates that I had bought at a yard sale six years ago. “I wish there were a paved rail trail where I could roller skate.” This is responded to with a quick Google search and instructions to fill a water bottle and get in the car.
We drove to a narrow rail trail a few towns over, parked in an oddly-marked dirt parking that abutted the trail and off we went.
The great thing about rail trails is that they are flat; towns have taken abandoned railroad tracks and turned them into parks and because trains cannot go up steep hills, now we don’t have to either. This rail trail was avoiding a few rivers and so was a little steeper than we were used to. This resulted in me careening down a few slopes in the skates I don’t know how to stop while he tried not to crash me on my bike. When we turned around after half an hour, we quickly passed several kids complaining about the entirely uphill ride back as I just tried not to roll backwards.
Because my dad and I have incessant nervous energy, we’re racking up miles in various forms of transportation on trails all over the county. I rollerskated 4 miles today. And walked another two or three. If DST changed the time by two hours instead of one, we’d be out raking the yard right now. All winter we annoy each other as he paces around the house looking for a project or something that we need to run out and get and I try to read finish reading the paper or just watch videos online. Now we can go to new places and breathe in clean air and feel the wind and see kids learning to ride bikes and compare the different reservoirs and easy hikes.
Even though we barely got any snow and feels like global-warming end times, thank god for 60 degree weather.