Sunday, November 4, 2007

Three Day Weekend!!! Mountain biking at Castlewood and Rendevoux at Fort de Chartres

Tatum loves Root Beer. Reese refuses to drink it as she says it is for Moms and Dads only! We try to explain it is not REAL beer, but you know how Reese is.

What a weekend! I had parent teacher conferences all day Thursday and then Friday off. The conferences went well for me and for Tatum. She did very well getting perfect marks and her teacher had nothing but good things to say about her. I know she is a great kid, but it is nice to hear someone else not related to you say it as well.
The girls and I went down to Ste. Genevieve, Mo on Friday to visit my Mom and help her get a small bit of yard work done. After the yard was done, I took the girls swimming at the Community Center. We were the only ones there, making it a really good time. Tatum is getting better at swimming and Reese is really coming along as well.

Saturday was a spectacular day. I met my friend and neighbor Carey out at Castlewood State Park to do some mountain biking. He had gotten there early and done 8 mi or so. I got there around 9am after dropping my offspring off at my at my brother's house. It couldn't have been a better morning. The leaves were in full color and not many people on the trails. I hadn't ridden a bike in about a month. I was a little burned out after a full 5 months of training and racing on the road and decided I needed to spend some time with the family and get my school stuff in order. It felt really good to be back out on the bike and really good to be back out on the mtn bike. I hadn't been on a trail since 1995 while down at the prestigious Southeast Mo St. U.

Carey led every trail and kicked my ass up, down and around all of them on his fixed gear. He is in really good shape and a really good mtn bike racer. My time off showed not only in the aerobic dept, but also in the technical dept. The Cdale 29er was a blast to ride and did make me a better mtn rider, but a lot of work is still needed before I even consider racing. After a few miles I started to feel better on the trails. It is still very nerve racking to be going down a gravel hill with at least a 20% grade with the Meremac River only 200ft straight down! To cap it off, their were a few hikers watching us go down the hill only making me a little more nervous. No one wants to bite it front of a couple nice looking ladies on a morning hike! Carey just zooms down with no problems, while I take my time just hoping to stay on the bike! I don't like heights! One thing I didn't lose was the joy of taking some big jumps and getting some big air. Carey let me play around on one of the jumps for a little while. I just did it a few times, but was still a rush. Bigger air next time!

I don't know how far we rode, but Carey estimates we did 8 or 10 miles together. I wanted to do more, but I had to get back to pick up the girls to take them to a birthday party. I am completely stoked about the mtn biking. I can't wait to get back on the bike next weekend. I hope to get a chance to ride Sat and Sunday at Castlewood again or perhaps the Chubb Trail. My goal by this years end is to ride the Berryman Trail down in exotic Washington County, Mo. Thanks Carey for convincing me to give mtn biking a try again. I am pissed that I didn't give it a go sooner. I am now hooked. I am sure Kirsten is happy as I now have more things to buy!!

The birthday party I took the girls to was fine. They had a good time and the food and drink was swell. I do wish Kirsten could take them to more of these parties. I am generally the only Dad there and have to talk with all the moms. Sometimes that isn't all bad though!!!! One cool thing is that I had to go and buy the boy a gift before we went. I got him some hot wheels and a cool race track that shot the cars out and did a big jump! I would have liked that when I was 4!!

Last night was fun as well. Tatum wanted to watch a movie so I put in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It was one of my favorite films when I was younger and she absolutely loved it. It sounded and looked good with the plasma and surround sound as well. I fixed some home grown popcorn from my Grandpas' farm the old fashioned way just like my Dad used to do. I popped it in a pot on the stove and then put lots of butter on it. It went down smoothly with an ice cold Pepsi. Nothing better! Thanks Dad!

With the time change last night, the Wyman family got out early. Those of you that know us know this is highly unusual! I had been planning on going to down Fort de Chartres in Randolph County, IL for the past couple of weeks for the winter rendevoux. While I had ridden my bike down there a couple of times over the past couple of years, the family had never been there. My parents used to take us to the summer rendevoux and we always had a good time. I remember buying my first rabbit fur and bowie knife there. The original fort was built around 1720 buy the French. Since then it has been moved, burned and rebuilt buy numerous countries. The most recent was by the USA! For those of you who have never been to such an event, you must go. I was very impressed as there were French, Indian, Mountain Men and British re-enacactors from all over the country there to participate. They had all authentic goods for sale as well as gun shooting contest and cannons shooting off. I even bought Tatum a bottle of old fashioned Root beer. I think the girls had a good time.

The drive to and from the fort down Bluff Rd was just beautiful. It only takes an hour to get there from out house in the city, but because of the nice weather it just flew by. We got lunch at the little general store in Prairie du Rocher just a few miles from the fort. I knew from bike riding that we could get a really good bologna sandwich for next to nothing and an ice cold drink as well. Four sandwiches with loaded down cheese and bologna only cost $5! We sat out on the front curb and ate them before we headed home. What a nice weekend.

Most of the photos are from today at at the rendevoux. Talk to you all later.


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