Koben grabbed the camera and started taking some pictures in the back yard. He did pretty well as only a few were not in focus.
We took Koben to Horseshoe Curve and the Railroad Museum for his birthday. We spent two hours at Horseshoe Curve watching the trains go by. When we arrived and got out of the car, the first train was coming by. It was a really long train and seemed to take 5 minutes or so to pass. We paid our admission, looked around the gift shop and missed the first ride on the incline up to the top of the hill. We were not worried, as there were some steps we could climb instead of waiting for the next ride up in a half an hour. There were a lot more steps than it looked like form the bottom. We struggled to make it to the top and were a little “winded” when we got there.
At the top, we hung out for about a half an hour before we heard a train coming. It turned out to be the 2 back engines from the long train that had come through earlier. So, Koben and I decided to ride the incline back down. Koben enjoyed the ride down, but I knew that we would have to climb the steps to get back to the top. As soon as we got off at the bottom, we started walking back up. About 5 steps into the walk, we heard another train coming. We started running up the steps and shortly thereafter, I picked up Koben and ran him up a little faster. It was a rough run up the steps, but we got there just in time to see the next train go by. I was hurting, but happy.
The trains came pretty regularly and we got to see 2 more from the top of the hill and hen another really long one from the parking lot on the way to the car. We were happy as we had no idea how often the trains would come by. If the weather was a bit warmer, I could have stayed out there all day, but it was a little chilly and we were getting hungry.
After lunch, we went to the Railroad Museum and looked at some exhibits inside and some train cars outside. Inside, Koben got to see and play with a huge H.O. scale train set up. He also found a couple of wooden Thomas the Train set ups. He spent a little while playing with these and this was expected. Outside, Koben got to walk through a caboose and see some cool train cars. We walked around the yard and saw the boxcars, passenger cars, coal car and refrigerator car.
We recently attended the Open House at Koben’s school. Koben got to show us his classroom and the cool spaceship with outer space scene that he helped to make. HE and Mom also got to do some crafts.
Later on, Koben and Mom were playing in some weird baking soda, water and food coloring creation. Koben loved the texture of it and the fact that it was messy.
I went on another bike ride yesterday, and as I was leaving, Koben asked if he could come with me. I knew that I would be riding an excess of 20 miles and knew that he would not make it that far. I explained that to him and told him that we could possibly go out tomorrow to the tunnel for lunch. He was alright with that. As I rode out that section of the Sandy Creek Trail, I observed the distances to the tunnel form the various access points and determined that the Rockland trailhead would be our entry point to the trail. When I got back from my ride. I discuss it with Koben and we decided to once again make a lunch trip out of it. We would pack some sandwiches, drink and chips and head out around lunch time tomorrow.
We packed up the food, Koben’s bike, the camera and some additional warm clothes, as the temperature was only in the low 40’s. The first stops that we had to make before hitting the trail was a K-Mart and Wal-Mart. I wanted to see if there were any useful bike supplies at K-Mart and Koben wanted to look at toys at Wal-Mart. I found nothing at K-Mart, but Koben and I had a great time looking for toys at Wal-Mart. I found a lot of toys that I wanted and so did he. We spent a little over an hour at these stops and soon headed out to the bike trail.
Within 10 minutes, we were at the Rockland trailhead. I unpacked the bike and got out our winter garments. It was cold and a little windy. We started our ride west towards the tunnel. It was a little longer of a ride than expected, mainly because of the average speed that Koben travels on bike compared to the average speed that I travel on bike. To me, it seemed like a 5 minute ride, but today it was a lot longer, especially in the cold. We continued on, past several Woolly Bear Caterpillars and through many fallen leaves. Soon enough, we were at the tunnel.
Koben and I decided to cruise through the McDonald’s drive-thru and pick up some lunch and then head down to the Belmar Bridge to eat it. We drove the five miles down to the Belmar trailhead and found an empty picnic table on the west side of the Allegheny River. After lunch, we went for a walk across the Belmar Bridge. Koben was excited that he could see the river and all of the surroundings. He had a great time pointing out the little “islands” in the river and just being silly while walking like a duck.
We got to the east side of the bridge and decided to take the steps down to the Allegheny River Trail. (Koben loved the steps.) When we got to the bottom, we walked out the access trail kicking the leaves along the way. Then, we started north on the trail. We stopped for a photo just north of the bridge as Koben was showing off his Bakugan. We crossed another small bridge and Koben decided to walk across the wooden board path instead of the pavement. (He liked it because it was noisy.)
We continued north until we came across a tiny Woolly Bear Caterpillar. Then, we had to stop while Koben played with it. He tried to feed it a leaf, tried to get it to go into his Bakugan and eventually just watched it cross the trail. Just after that, we stopped for another photo at a clearing with a good view of the Belmar Bridge. We walked a little further before turning back south to the bridge. At the bridge, we decided to walk just a bit on the trail leading to the south. There was not much there to be seen.