Monday, November 14, 2005

Valley View, TX

We came to this area with the hopes of seeing Andy's old friend, Fred Hammond. Andy and Fred worked together at Glidden and The Carr Co. We hadn't seen Hammie in seven years. That point was drilled home when we saw his oldest daughter - who is now 16 yrs old and a young woman, not a kid anymore! But Fred hadn't changed. It's so nice to relax with old friends and just pick up where you left off last. Casual and comfortable conversation. Pizza and beer. A nice night. But we didn't get to see his wife or other daughter, unfortunately. That's what happens when we call at the last minute to make plans. But we met the latest addition to his family, his 5-yr old son who reminded me of our little nephew, Christopher - quiet and cuddly and funny.

Ray Roberts State Park
On Sunday we went into Ray Roberts State Park for some mountain biking. We loved it! Those are the kind of trails I like. Through forests, tight and fast, hearing the crunching of leaves under my wheels, and the biggest danger is misjudging the width of trees you have to squeeze through periodically. Of course, if you judge wrong you'll break your fingers and probably do an endo. But there were no cliffs where a misjudgement would mean a thirty foot (plus) fall and, most likely, death. After riding several of the trails, I let Andy go back in by himself for awhile. My hands were tired and I wanted him to enjoy some of the trails at his own break-neck speed. Also, more riders were coming out onto the trail and I prefer believing I'm the only one out there, ha! That's because my comfortable speed is not nearly as fast as someone who's done the trail several times. The trails are all one-way with clearly marked signs to connect different loops so you can pick the length of trail you want to ride and the difficulty. That makes it nice so there's no fear of crashing head first into another rider and reduces the number of times someone has to pass. I feel a lot of pressure on a single-track when someone comes up fast behind me and there's no safe place to pull over. I don't like slowing someone else down.

Now I wish we were staying longer so I could ride these trails more. But we're still about 1,500 miles away from home so we need to keep moving eastward to get home by early Dec.

PS: Some things we just can't explain, such as this skeleton that someone took the time to arrange. The skull was hung on a nearby odd sense of humor, I guess.


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