27 September 2007

Going Hiking

Today, the kids and I took a lovely fall hike. The Moms in Madison group is organizing Tyke Hikes now that we have the lovely fall weather. Today, we met up with other moms and little ones and took a walk through the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. We walked around the edge of the restored prairie and then took the path back through the middle of the prairie. I forgot my camera in the car when we got there, but managed to snap a couple of pics from the parking lot before the wee ones completely lost patiences with me. There were lots of gorgeous fall flowers:

And here you can see the pretty rust color of the big and little bluestem in the prairie (just past the parked cars):

We also got to see lots of cool buggies and animals, including several furry black and brown caterpillars, a slug, and a frog. We also got to examine all kinds of leaves and sticks and grass and rocks up close and personal. But probably the best part was getting to hang out with "fends"...some adult conversation for mama and some flesh and blood friends for Bug and Bean to hang out with (as opposed to our usual invisible animal friends).

Unfortunately, after our lovely, relaxing walk, I had some run-ins with a couple of my arch-nemeses: the "special people to whom the rules don't apply." First, a disclaimer: I am delighted to share the road with bikers. I wish more people rode bikes and left their cars at home. I have nothing at all against bikers. Unless they are jerks. Then jerkness trumps bicyclist. There were a couple of bikers that had a very casual relationship with the actual rules of the road that I did my best to not run over, but one in particular irked me. The road through the arboretum is quite winding, so I just drove slowly to stay behind this bicyclist for a while until there was a long enough straight section so I could pull over into the other lane to pass him. Well, the way is clear and I pull into the opposing traffic lane and start to speed up to pass him and the dimbulb decides that he needs to be riding smack along the dotted yellow line. So I slow down again and resign myself to following him. A few minutes later we get back into another curvy, winding section of the road and this guy suddenly discovers that I am behind him and starts waving me around. Since I want to give him plenty of room (and hopefully, thereby minimize my urge to flatten him), I am waiting until I can see far enough ahead on the road to pass safely. Meanwhile, he is making increasingly larger and more enthusiastic gestures that he wants me to pass, as if he is starting to get ticked off because I'm not passing quickly enough. I doubt he realizes how lucky he is to be upright rather than a big smudge on the road. In general, it is not wise to irritate the bejesus out of a hormonal post-partum mama with a wailing 3½ week old baby in the back seat (since we were driving too slowly to lull him to sleep...the motion of the car usually puts him right out, assuming we are going more than 10 mph). I'm just sayin'...

Fortunately, the mood swings go in both directions, so by the time we were done with lunch, the nice walk and lovely weather won out over the bad bicyclists.


Marianne said...

Sounds like more than a lovely way to spend an afternoon with the young'uns....er...especially since you didn't 'smudge' that biker dude. Funny he considered himself a 'traffic cop' on the winding parts...(?!?!?).....
I love that... 'got to hang out with fends'... sweet.

ok, too funny... word verification? byclpie

Namma said...

Tyke hikes...what a nice way to enjoy the great fall weather, nature, and make new "fends"...a great combination any way you look at it...until...you get behind the "I make the rules" bike dude. But you're right to not let it spoil your day, 'cause it's just a few minutes out of an otherwise lovely day.

byclpie...what an appropos word verification. Your dude could have become byclpie!