I woke up on Father’s Day with a weird craving. Well, it was weird for me. I wanted to go bike riding.
On one of my summer trips to Pittsburgh as a teen to visit my brother, he and his wife took me to Moraine State Park for a day riding bikes. While I don’t recall everything from that day, I knew I had a good time and now I wanted to go back with my family.
This will also go down as the first time I didn’t research the heck out of a place before hand and come up with an itinerary. Consider it as silencing my inner Clark W. Griswold.
We couldn’t have asked for better driving weather. Blue skies and 80F temps made having working AC a gift from the travel gods as we sat in construction for 30 minutes just outside of Zelienople. Something I would have known if I checked Google Maps before I left. Seriously, how did my parents ever survive driving to Pittsburgh from Erie so many times without the internet?
On the way was a potty break on the side of the road where we ended up gaining an extra passenger. When we pulled over a grasshopper hopped in the car and moments after we got back on the road, it went up Lushie’s leg.
SCREAM – STOP – SCREAM – toss out the car – back to driving.
After a quick stop at the park station and a chat with a very helpful park ranger, we made our destination at the bike rental located on the north shore. I can say with confidence that I haven’t been on a bike in at least 15 years which was apparent with my choice of cargo shorts and lacking the ability to figure out which bike would be best for me. If you’re like me do yourself a favor, wear running shorts too. You’ll thank me when you’re done.
The wife and I picked our rides and she took the courageous task of riding with Little Thor in the wagon. Teaspoon, on the other hand, threw a fit to bring his own bike which turned out to be a bad idea. His ride has a back tire low on tread and training wheels that are a bit wonky plus he naturally leans to the left so getting up any incline is a task.
We made it about half way to our first destination before we turned around for 2 reasons.
- Teaspoon was struggling
- BIG BLACK SNAKE.
I’m Indiana Jones when it comes to snakes. Not. Gonna. Happen.
This proved to be a sign since everyone was feeling tired from the ride and the sun. I give Teaspoon credit though, even though he wanted to quit I got him to keep on pedaling. Someday you’ll thank me for this buddy.
Next stop was a picnic at Lakeview Beach and once again something else joins our party. A BIG black spider came down from the tree we were under and crawled on Lushie’s shoulder.
SCREAM – FLICK – SCREAM
This was a sign we had to move on and headed to the beach where we were greeted with a picturesque view of Lake Arthur.
Teaspoon and Little Thor were in their glory playing in the sand and water. I started to think of growing up in Erie and how I didn’t appreciate having a beach such as Presque Isle at my disposal.
The beach was packed with families celebrating Father’s Day and while I want to say seeing the joy on the kids’ faces was the most memorable part I would be lying. It was trumped by the 12 yr old boy who picked up a dead fish with his hands and went running up to his mom to show her. I thought Lushie’s scream was loud until this lady belted out her own tune. The boy then went running around showing it to all of the girls on the beach which caused more chaos. Lushie and I looked at each other laughing knowing that it will be one of our boys doing that someday.
We packed up and started to head home when I realized I must have missed a road sign but somehow still ended up to junction Rt19. After driving for 20 minutes I saw a sign for Volant and that’s when it hit me, we were heading north instead of south. Where we junctioned at felt like we were heading south but in fact we were facing the opposite direction. Lushie is laughing uncontrollably because this added to the random things that happened to us on the trip and I’m grumbling like an old man “TURN ON THE GPS!”.
On the way home we stopped at my favorite pizza shop in Pittsburgh, Slice on Broadway, for my signature Gonzo pizza. It has the best, of the best, of the best. Sliced steak, crispy bacon, crumbled gorgonzola, mozzarella and provolone, topped with baby spinach and sliced red onions. They will take any of their hoagie and make them into pizza. Give it a try next time!
Looking back on it today, it really was an incredible day and I’m fortunate to have the comical family that I do to share it with.
How was your Father’s Day?