Ahhhhh. It was amazing to NOT ride a bike for a few days. Our bottoms had been pretty sore, and this break was just what we needed to stop walking funny. We ate well, slept well, played our hearts out, and even napped a bit. Just what our bodies needed.
So ended the first of 3 straight weeks of leisure in the middle of our bike trip. The next week we would be at Family Camp at Camp Reneker, a Boy Scout Camp just east of Whitehall. And then we would return to Silver Lake for our second reunion, this time with Angela’s extended family.
You’d think that getting back on our bikes after a week break would have been easy, but perhaps our muscles were a little surprised by the sudden exertion. Our destination was 39 miles away, at Silver Lake State Park, home of majestic dunes where people are allowed to play on all types of motorized vehicles. One giant sandbox.
Our ride to Silver Lake was largely uneventful and typical of our family: ride 4 miles, stop for 3 minutes to let Caleb or Lydia use the “facilities,” then back on our way. The kids sang a lot of newly learned camp songs, while Angela and I did our best to think happy thoughts and not go crazy hearing “Your mama don’t wear no socks” or “Princess Pat.” 500 times. Okay, sometimes we couldn’t bear it and we just asked them to stop.
In the town of Hart, we connected to the Hart-Montague trail, an amazing paved trail that runs for 25 miles. It runs through beautiful forest canopies, next to cherry and apple orchards, and over some deep gorges. This is probably the most pleasant path of our entire trip. Little did we know that Google Maps was messing with us again and the chosen “short-cut” from the path to Silver Lake would be treacherous. It directed us to a sandy dirt road, with some rolling hills to add to the excitement. An additional bonus: Angela had messed up her knee a little playing soccer the night before, so we had moved her trailer to Elise’s bike so we could make a little faster progress as she struggled to pedal with her discomfort. We took our time, walking up – and down – some of the hills, and made it back to a paved road.
We arrived at Silver Lake State Park in the early evening, set up camp, and cooked dinner (chicken with biscuits) in our dutch oven. Finally, we enjoyed the gorgeous sunset over the dunes. What a masterpiece!