Friday, August 17, 2007

Dawn's Birthday Bike Ride

On Monday Dawn and I rode to 31st Street Beach. I'd been wanting to do that for months. It was her birthday. I still need to get her a bike helmet. (Should this be in The Dangerous Book for Girls? Will all my biking friends kill me for letting her ride around with me helmet-free?). There's no nearby place to buy one that I know of, and I want her with me when I buy it to get the right size. Finding time and a store has been difficult. Maybe we should just go to Swap-O-Rama together this weekend.

Dawn borrowed her dad's bike, and the back tire needed air, so we stopped at the gas station on 45th on the way out to the beach. At first the machine wouldn't work, but the air started flowing on the second try.

We took Ashland (mostly on the sidewalk) to 35th, then 35th to Halsted, then the bike lane to 31st, then 31st to the beach. For much of 31st I had Dawn take the sidewalk while I rode in the street.

We got to the beach a little before sunset. The water has finally warmed up. Dawn had sweat pants on, so she hiked them up a little and went in. She got wet. I went in, but not as far. As it was getting dark, we walked over to the pier and went all the way out, enjoying the view of the skyline and saying hello to the people fishing.

Dawn wanted to know about the breakwater rocks and the light at the end of the pier. It has a big cage around it--I guess so someone can stand there while changing the light bulb.

She also told me a story from her camping trip this summer. I think it was while they were doing the rafting part of the trip that she and another camper got stuck in quicksand and had to figure out how to get out. It was a little scary, she said--she was in nearly up to her hip and her first escape attempts were pushing her down, not up. But one of the trip leaders was nearby, offering advice, and Dawn got it--the trick she used was to kneel (that got her higher up), then walk in a sort of sideways manner, sort of like climbing steps with your feet askew, to get out.

Once she and the other camper were free, they started pushing each other to try to force the other person back in the mud. "It was funny then," she told me, "but before, it was scary."

We had to hurry home because she was getting up at 4:30 the next morning to go to work. She's doing temp work between the end of summer school and the beginning of the new year. (Joey's already back in school because Chavez is on the year-round calendar, so they started August 6.)

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