Somebody needs to invent a new kind of pants. We've got sweatpants, dress pants, and blue jeans, and none of them is good for doing things like "walking around outside on a borderline-temperature fall day."
"Borderline temperature days" are those days when it's just a little bit too cold for shorts, and a little bit too warm for pants-- so that no matter what you do you're going to be a little uncomfortable. That's what happened to me last week, on the Saturday Adventure, when Sweetie and I took Mr F and Mr Bunches on
The Catbug Trail Nature Walk!
On this particular day, I opted to wear blue jeans, because I'm not going to walk around in slacks,
Nobody born after 1952 should ever use the word "slacks." It's like calling a couch a davenport, like my Grandma used to. She also had a fold-out bed davenport, which she called the "Dabble Bed."
for Pete's sake, on a nature trail, but I didn't want to be too cold, either. That was a mistake, as you'll see. But before I knew it was a mistake, we set out optimistically, bringing along the soon-to-be-obsolete double stroller because it's about a 1 and 1/2 mile walk to our destination, the highest point in Middleton, Wisconsin. You can see it in the exact center of this picture:
know it's officially the highest point in Middleton, Wisconsin, but I don't not know that, either, and is it really worth debating?
That hill in the middle of the picture is the "Mountain" that led to "Little Park On The Mountain" being called "Little Park On The Mountain." But, weirdly, this mountain is not the mountain Little Park is on. I know, I know. Nothing I say makes sense. You know, if you've got like a JILLION years and want to read another long post you could read "The Naked Boy And The Mountain That Isn't."
To get to the point where we took that picture, though, we first had to walk up the giant hill that leads away from our house. To get to or from our house, you have to go uphill. I know that sounds like the kind of story your grandfather
who wore slacks
told you, but it's true: If we walk anywhere, the walk begins and ends with a strenuous uphill walk, because our house sits off to the side of the top of a tall hill, so you have to drive or walk up that hill, turn onto our road, and then go back down a hill to get to us.
Which means I was already tired and a little hot in my jeans when I took that first picture, and we still had over a mile to go. Luckily, I had a chance to rest and deperspirate (that's a word I invented for when you stand really still until the perspiration on your legs evaporates and your jeans don't stick to you anymore) when we passed a playground on the way; the nature trail goes along the edge of a park for a portion of it, and Mr Bunches wanted to take a moment to go down the slides. So we let him do that, while I rested, before heading on to the rest of the nature trail, where we came across what could be described as a thundering herd of these:
... if caterpillars thundered when they herded around. The trail was full of caterpillars -- all of them trying to head east across the gravelly, sandy trail. It made me wonder what was coming from the west. Was there something they knew that we didn't? A caterpillarocalypse?
It could have been. The actual term for a group of caterpillars is "army." An Army Of Caterpillars.
I picked up one of them to show Mr F and Mr Bunches. Mr F wanted to hold it but I wouldn't let him -- he's kind of rough and I didn't want him to hurt it. Mr Bunches looked and said: "Bug."
I said "Caterpillar."
He said "Catbug."
So that's what they are now.
We were closer to our goal, but it didn't seem that way. Here was where we had to park the stroller to go up the part of the hill where strollers aren't allowed:
Sweetie said "Is it safe to leave it here?" We were in the middle of a nature reserve, with nobody around. "Who's going to steal a stroller?" I asked, forgetting my upbringing, when I learned that everyone in the world is a thief (which is why I was carrying my wallet in my front pocket even on the nature trail.)
(I don't know why I brought my wallet.)
It didn't really matter is someone did steal the stroller.
I miss that stroller so much. Not only was it great for getting through crowds, but it was far easier to go somewhere with the boys before Mr F was a 120-pound linebacker who frequently changes direction, or trys to, without any warning, leaving the person in charge of him with a separated shoulder.The Babies! are 4 years old now, and getting a little big for it; it serves mainly as a way for them to rest if we go somewhere like a nature walk, and it's usually more trouble than it's worth, especially since Mr Bunches, who sits in front, can put his feet down and touch the ground and if he does it hard enough he'll stop the stroller dead in its tracks.
enjoyed the walk up the hill, but that's because he's supermuscular. He likes to jump on Sweetie's exercise trampoline for hours, and as a result has legs that would be the envy of an Olympic high-jumper.
This is still true. We are about 2 weeks away from Mr F being stronger than me. He still jumps, plus he has one of those exercise balls that you sit on only he bounces on it, too. His core is a thing of wonder. He is the most solid, stable kid I know. He's like a block of iron suddenly developed muscles and a strong urge to go that way right now.
The walk up the hill posed no problem for him.
It nearly destroyed me, as the temperature continued to hover around "You won't be able to make up your mind what to wear" degrees, and I got sweatier and sweatier in my jeans.
Things got a little worse when, near the top of the hill (which is about a 1/2 mile uphill climb) Mr F and Mr Bunches both got tired and I had to carry each of them about 200 yards uphill to get to the top.
I used to be able to do that! I once walked a mile carrying both of them, to avoid a fox that was stalking us through a back road. That's a true story, every bit of it. These days, when I try to do yoga only to have an asthma attack so severe that I have to go to the doctor, I think back to those days and tell myself: I WAS ONCE A SUPERHERO.But we made it there -- sweaty jeans legs and all -- and were rewarded with this view:
That watertower in the upper left side is where I took the first picture from, just to give you a sense of perspective.
We hung around a few minutes up there, but there's really nothing to do once you've looked out at the scenery and said "Wow, what a view" and "Boy, that's a long walk" and "My legs are sweaty," so we headed back home. I paused to take this picture just before we left:
Because I've always liked the pattern of stark branches against a blue sky.
So there wasn't much to that adventure, I suppose, but, there you go. That's what I was doing five years ago today.