Mark has great skills in calming a fussy baby. He has brought back some of the inventive holds he used with our sons when they were the same size.
We have also spent time playing games with our kids, passing Carter around the table like a game token.
Even with hours of holding baby Carter, we're still trying to sneak in some exercise. With unseasonably warm temperatures, we find our best chance to be outside is in the early morning. We have discovered a map of Kansas City area bike trails, and we've tried several.
This is the Blue River Trail, complete with many bridge crossings as it snakes around the river.
But we really love the sections that wind through the wooded areas. You can get a sense of how tall these trees are when you find the tiny dot on the trail that is Denisa on her bike.
The entire trail was smooth concrete as we rode until it connected to Indian Creek Greenway.
This day we rode all the way to another state! We had ridden seven miles when we hit the Kansas/Missouri state line. Then our trail became more urban, so we turned around to pedal back towards the car.
Even though we are in the city limits, it feels like we are miles away in the country. We saw a deer and some rabbits, but we almost missed the wildlife hiding in the pictures below.
A walker on the trail pointed out a woodchuck, blending in with the tree that he was climbing. We were cracking "how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood . . ." jokes for the rest of the ride. [Just for your edification, according to a Cornell University study, based on the size of the average burrow, the answer is about 700 pounds.]
When the trail split, we took a ride over the big pedestrian bridge for views over the Blue River. Plenty of lovers had strolled over this same bridge, as it seems to be the best place to "lock your love."
Each padlock represents a couple that has ceremoniously locked their love at the Blue River Bridge. When throwing the keys into the river became a water quality issue, boxes were installed to store the keys. The keys in the boxes are to be used to make a decorative fish statue later. After 37 years, we didn't figure we needed a padlock to symbolize our love. Living together in a motor home seems to be a good symbol of our lock now.
After a 15-mile ride, we put the bikes back on the car and walked a trail down to the river.
Another friendly hiker--this one five years old--pointed out the wildlife on this trail. There was a huge moth in the middle of the trail.
We also found an iridescent green beetle scuttling among the sticks on the trail.
As the foliage got thicker, we were wishing for our good camera when we spotted something in the trail in front of us.
When Denisa tried sneaking up on the raccoon on the trail, he darted off into the thickets. But he was obviously keeping an eye on us as he popped his head above the bushes. We were really wishing we had the good camera with all these wildlife sightings today!
So even though we're spending lots of time trailing behind this little girl in a stroller . . .
and our wildlife sightings usually involve a big golden doodle watching squirrels out the window . . .
we are occasionally getting out to see other parts of Kansas City. From what we've seen so far, we are really impressed with how easy it is to get out of the city for some time on the trails seeing wildlife.