We decided to trek on the Rivanna Trail on Sunday evening. We parked at the UVA Fontaine Research Park and headed over to the trail.
We each donned hats for shade (not that we needed any more shade under the treetops) and to protect ourselves from pesky bugs.
Steve wore his aerated sandals and suffered a few bites. I sported my trusty Asics runners and tried my best not to slip in the muddy puddles into patches of poison ivy. As far as I can tell, I succeeded. I did find a tick crawling on my arm when we drove home. I smashed the little sucker before it could bore into my skin and give me Lyme disease.
Aside from a few bugs, we had a refreshing hike on a 2 mile loop of the trail.
We hiked up several steep hills, around a mountain, over a stream, and through countless muddy puddles.
About the time Calvin grew a little antsy, we found sweet treasures.
We pulled lovely blackcaps from the bushes hanging over the trail. Calvin plucked them from Steve’s fingers and said two words non-stop, “mmm” and “please”–the later word coupled with the sign language for extra emphasis.
The only way to get him to quit asking for more berries was to finish them up and tell him there were no more…until we found another bush heavy with berries. We found quite a few. We also noticed the raspberry bushes were jeweled with green berries which will be ripe in about 2 weeks.
The sunlight peeked through the heavy canopies at a few spots along our hike, but we were mostly shrouded by the dense treetops as we continued our way down the mountain, past the stream, and toward the muddy puddles (which is exactly where the berry bushes were ripe and beckoning).
The RTF trail blaze was easily identifiable when several paths split off. However, when we made it through a clearing to a fire station and police station, we had to guess to find our way back to the trail and into the forest. Steve’s a pretty good guesser when it comes to trail navigating. Soon enough we were back on the right path after following a gravel road for a short distance.
We chanced upon 1 trail runner, 1 mountain biker, and two women walking 4 little dogs who were not attached to their leashes. That was evident when they came bounding up to us and tickled our legs with their wet tongues. I didn’t mind slobbery kisses from strange dogs, but my bare legs didn’t appreciate the sharp scratches from the dogs’ claws. Owch!
Sturdy foot bridges allowed us to stay dry when crossing the streams. While bounding through the trails, Calvin sang to hear the rhythm of his voice percuss with his father’s footsteps. He pointed at trees, beckoned for more berries, and enjoyed the lush and green surroundings.
We had so much fun that we’re planning on an overnight camping trip in the near future.
If you haven’t yet, read Part I of this week’s Weekend Update for more Traveling with Baby fun.
–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly