Happy 4th of July! (posted by Ann)
I'll start with my own obligatory wildlife picture. Don flew to teach a class, and on the way he stopped in Smithville, TN to get fuel. When you put fuel in our plane, you need a ladder to get up to the top of the wing. When Don went to get the ladder here's what he found on top of it.
Now, on to other updates. We had a great visit with Mom and Dad, I spent two entire afternoons doing nothing more strenuous than jumping in the pool to float for a while, then refilling my iced beverage of choice. Lovely. We ate at Hunts and at the club, went out to the cottage, and relaxed. I can report that as of a week ago there was no oil on the beach, and we took a long walk one morning to enjoy it.
While we were there Mom asked what I wanted for birthday and Christmas (yes, I know that's a long time off!) and for once I had a ready answer. I've been riding Steve's old bike, and I want one of my very own. Mom then talked to Don, and they contributed to Ann's bike fund, and when we got home Don decided that we shouldn't wait. (no complaints here!) We were planning a bike/airplane excursion this weekend - fly to Elry, Wisconsin, and bike the Sparta-Elroy trail to Sparta, spend the night in Sparta and bike back. That's 35 miles each direction.
Then the weather didn't cooperate. It's great here in Chicago, but it was calling for 80% chance of rain and, worse than that, low enough ceilings that we couldn't take off or land in Elroy. So, we decided we'd just bike around here. Yesterday, we rode around Barrington for a total of 16 miles. Today, we biked a 20 mile section of the Prairie Trail, interrupted by a visit to IHOP at mile 14. This trail is absolutely beautiful, and we were riding at 6:30 this morning so we saw rabbits, deer, my first ever ring-necked pheasant, a formation of herons flying overhead, tons of wildflowers including Prairie Spider-wort, Prairie Phlox, Bee Balm, Michigan Lily, Prairie Milkweed, and many others I couldn't identify. It was really great, and the new bike is awesome. It actually fits me, unlike the one I borrowed from Steve.
So in two days we have biked the equivalent of one day on the Sparta-Elroy trail, and both of us think that we could go another 35 miles only if we didn't have to sit on our bums to do it. The weather saved us from ourselves!