Day With William

Ann went over to a friend’s house the night before and was spending the day over there, so William and I had a whole day to ourselves.  In the morning, we played Minecraft for a while and built a long path through deserts, jungles and mountains full of tunnels, bridges and other markers that would allow us to easily find our way back to our home base.  (For those who know Minecraft, William and I like to play it in “survival” mode usually, although “creative” mode is also neat, and Ann prefers that).  This time it was “survival” mode.  But whenever we got to a place we thought we wanted to explore, William noticed another peak or other area of interest he wanted to look at first, so we made a path there.  We never ended up looking around an area in much detail, but did get an impressively long pathway built for future explorations, (or probably just a launchpad for another pathway).

After a couple of hours of playing in “virtual land” we decided to get on with the rest of the day.  The plan was to go for a bike ride and go fishing.  I remembered that Kensington Park was a good place to do both of those things as it had a big lake with a paved bike trail around it, so we set that as our goal.  Although I knew how to get there, I gave William one of those “old-fashioned” printed maps and let him navigate the course.  This was neat to see in action.  A little back-and-forth with the map and macro/micro views on “even numbers go East to West” and “odd numbers go North to South” turned into a plan.

The weather report said it was supposed to be sunny and in the 50s—almost shorts weather—so we packed up the bikes, fishing gear, and lunch.  While loading up the car, however, we found that it was still pretty chilly with a biting wind, so also packed extra layers.  This turned out to be a good choice.  A brief stop at a convenience store was needed to renew my fishing license and pick up some live bait.

We finally arrived at the park around noon and started out on one end on our bikes.  About four miles into the journey, we stopped to explore a farm at the park where several of the animals had babies born a few weeks to a few days ago, (and some very big sows who we found out liked to be scratched behind their ears).  Then we had lunch, gave directions to a lost cyclist going the other way, (who we later passed again on the other side of the park), and headed off.  We finally completed the eight-some mile loop back at the car with a slight detour to one of the beach areas to skip stones.

The next mission was to go fishing.  We had thought about renting a rowboat to fish and explore some of the islands, (sort of like Minecraft).  Unfortunately, it wasn’t yet boat-renting season and unlike in Minecraft we couldn’t just knock some trees down with our fists, turn them into planks, and build a boat.  So, we drove over to one of the potential fishing spots we spied on our bike ride and got to work.

Now in our Minecraft adventure that morning, I built a fishing pole, landed five fish in a matter of minutes, (even though no fish could be seen moving in the water), and used four of those to tame a wild cat who would follow me wherever I went.  This was not Minecraft, however, with the exception that we didn’t see anything moving in the water here either.  After about an hour without so much as a nibble we gave up and tossed our worms, (my first one and William’s second as his first got caught in an underwater plant).  We now have 17 worms in a dirt-filled container sitting in our refrigerator—eww!

At this point I thought that William might be getting tired, but when I asked him what he wanted to do he mentioned one of the walking trails we saw on our bike ride.  I thought that was a great idea, so we headed over to the Nature Center where most of the trails converge.  As we entered the trail area, we noticed a family standing very still—one of the parents with a camera.

(The journal entry abruptly ends here.)

2023 Update: I sometimes take notes of highlights in my journal with the expectation that I will fill in the details shortly after while the events and feelings are still fresh. However, sometimes too much time has passed since the journal entry was first written (almost 10 years in this case), and many of the details of that day have slipped from my memory. That said, here are my remaining notes for this entry:

  • Birds that land on your hand
  • Long trail
  • That was fun.

What I recall from this day is that we soon discovered why the family was standing so still. There were numerous, small birds excitedly moving about in the trees lining the path. If you were still and extended your arm, one of the birds might briefly alight on your hand. I seem to remember that after several failed attempts, Liam finally had this experience, but I am not sure. After that was a long, looping trail through the trees. The last note is one that I do remember: that was fun!

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