This has been a very pleasant summer around southwest Arkansas. We were at De Gray Lake in the middle of July and we were able to enjoy the great out-of-doors for a couple of days. In fact, it was even cool at night, the kind of weather that made campfires feel good. If global warming is happening, our region is missing out on it and I, for one, am glad! The only down side was that the rooms were very cold because they kept the air conditioner cranked up. I couldn’t get warm enough to sleep well.
I was having a little tendonitis in my left knee while we were up there at the lake, but it felt good enough one day for a bicycle ride. I had loaded my mountain bike into the carrier thinking, as I always do, that I would fully recover soon. I have been expecting a pain-free life for a long time. But I was not disappointed in that ride.
We were staying at the lodge. At about three in the afternoon, I took off on the bicycle headed for the peninsula beach. We have loved that area for a long time, ever since our daughter Alicia was a baby. We played in the warm shallow waters of that beach every chance we got back then, so I had sweet memories of the place.
On a bicycle, one becomes much more aware of rolling terrain than in a car. I had to drop the 21-speed bike down into first gear several times. I was climbing significant hills into the wind. All bike riders know what that means—hard work. But I got to the beach at about 3:30 and that wind that had been my enemy was now a pleasant breeze blowing in off the water. It was partly cloudy and much cooler than I expected as I rested on a picnic table and sipped water from my water bottle. Another astonishing thing was that there were only a few people there to enjoy the ideal beach weather.
I got the cell phone and texted other family members at the lodge and gave this report, “at peninsula bch. not crowded. cool breeze. kids will love it.” Within minutes, while I was waiting for response to my text, the family drove up. When they got out, they ran through the warm sand to the warm water and had a blast. I joined them.
We spent a couple of hours there. The trip back to the lodge was easier for them in the car. But it was easier for me, too. Who would have thought that there is more downhill going back to the lodge that coming from it?
When I cruised back into the parking lot and repositioned my bicycle into the carrier, they were all ready to go to supper. I made quick work of an English bath (just a washcloth) and we went to a nice family restaurant in Arkadelphia, where the catfish was restorative to say the least. We all slept well that night. Maybe it was a tad warmer in the room.