So the weather here - oh, the weather here. It rained for about 40 straight days, and then the sun shone like a beautiful mirage, and now we've had almost a week of absolutely perfect weather. It's about 75 degrees, light breeze, full sun, leaving nothing to be desired. I've tried and tried to get myself and the children outside every day, at the park, or even for a walk, because I know that in Arkansas time, we have but only a few days left until opening the front door feels like walking into an oven. So we've been out and about lately, and it's not as hard as I thought it would be, what with Seth being practically elderly at 6 months old now, and the boys being able to dress themselves (albeit without lending a care towards matching, or, you know, seasonal trending). We head to the car, and as soon as I open the door, the boys start screaming that they are BURNING! BURNING! They've forgotten last summer, with their little minds being full of other things (video games, computer games, ad naseum), and that cars get hot in the summer, they just do - so they get into their carseats and yell that they are burning, and beg for me to please turn the cold air on.
Yesterday I forced them to venture out (Owen protests, as he's had a slight cold lately, or possibly allergies, and didn't FEEL LIKE WALKING and today is his worst day EVER), and we decided to try a new walking trail, for the new adventure and the new scenery. We parked in the parking lot, decided to head left instead of right, and off we set. The trail is very lovely, following a creek almost the entire time (which was running high due to recent days of abundant rain), and there are benches in the shade along the way. It also runs alongside a mountain bike trail, with ramps and other obstacles for tricks (I presume, not being a mountain biker myself), which was so interesting to the boys. Seth rode along in his stroller, and we walked about a mile before we came to a bridge. The bridge ran over a particularly inviting part of the creek, with a couple feet of water and a pretty fast-moving current. The edges banked nicely down, with large rocks for sitting and feet-dangling, and so we did just that for quite some time. A lady came, with her two large golden retrievers, and they swam and fetched sticks, and we watched them, and the boys threw rocks. Then we felt refreshed and started on the second half of the walk - that second mile that loops you back around to the parking lot. Or so we thought.
The second half of the trail is in direct sun for a long portion of the time, and the boys were hot. They shucked shirts and I decided it was time to lather on the sunscreen. They started complaining, and slowing down, but we trudged on. Then, we reached the 2-mile marker. And the trail dead-ended. Just stopped on some small country road. No sidewalks, nothing in sight either way, no idea where we were. And the boys broke down. The thought of turning around and walking back 2 more miles was more than they could handle. Ari fell to the ground and moaned, "We're going to DIE out here, with no water!" I tried to rally the troops, but they couldn't be rallied. I dragged them the two miles back to the car, with the promise of a drink at Sonic if they could make it. We did stop again at the creek on the way back, but it didn't have the same magic as it did 3 miles ago. Needless to say, in the future we won't be taking any new trails without some serious investigation first. But this won't stop our adventuring! We are sunburned and blistered today, but we will be back out before you know it.
By the way, Seth rode along happily for the entire 3-hour tour, that little sweetie-pie. He is just the most delicious thing.