Almost daily we take a family bike ride that would make Martha drool.  She would love to go with us on our daily adventure, but there would most certainly be a mishap if she were to come.  First, she hates to run.  She would lollygag, sniff around and get left behind.  Second, if she did try to keep up with us she would run in front of the bikes and get ran over.  Finally, in the past we have learned that Martha sees running and biking as a contact sport.  As we ride or run, she nips at our knees and hops repeatedly in front of us.  Not safe.  So we slink out the door with our helmets on, fully aware that we are about to betray Martha yet again.  I mean, look at this lovely trail:


We start out on the interurban trail that follows the the freeway north to 128th.  Along its edges there are just about a million places to sniff around, long grasses to bound through and many trees to get lost in.  Just the kind of place that would make Martha, literally, drool the super sticky saliva that hangs off of her nose when she is extra exuberant.  We find ourselves winding past the Puget Park Drive-In:


Then we head over to McCollum Park:


While the kids play, Martha would cavort in the grasses, perhaps chase a ball or some children.  Today, Gigi was able to play tag with a kind family while Jude made some great strides with his climbing and walking development.




He spent some time picking flowers, then when he didn’t know what to do with them (or if Gigi looked like she might be interested in them), he would hurriedly stuff them in his mouth.  Yech!  He discovered that dandelions are not very tasty!  Then, we were back to the trail.


This is one of our favorite parts of the ride.   There are hills and valleys that wind through the woods and marshes that make up Mill Creek.  When we start this part of the ride, we always recall Disneyland and pretend we’re on a variety of rides.  Bradley can be heard hollering out, “Here we goOHohOhoh!”  And, “Off to Neverland!”  And, “Hold onto your hats and glasses, cuz this here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!  YEE HAW!”


We race along through the fragrant and beautiful woods.  All at once, you can smell the crispness of pine needles and fresh green leaves.  The marsh lends its dank and moist perfume the mix, all of which would make Martha froth with giddiness.


Taking a brief break here can be rewarded with the sound of bullfrogs calling to their mates or woodpeckers mining for meals.  Gigi questions as we pass this area time and again about why the bullfrogs are always seeking mates.  Don”t they get married and stay together forever like us?  No, baby.  They’re different.


As we come to the end of our ride, we reward the kids with a chocolate milk from Starbucks then head to the end of the trail, the ultimate betrayal, the creek!  When we’re on foot, and Martha is with us, she heads straight down the trail for a long drink of water and refreshing gallop through the current.


Today, though, there is no Dog.  Just Boy and Girl.  He, industriously moving rocks from one part of the creek to another, She, making a campfire with sticks, leaves and rocks.  A lesson is learned about keeping away from stinging nettles and we head home.  We are tired, satisfied, and hugely aware of the secret we keep from our dog.


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Betraying Martha: The Littlejohns Hit the Trail!


Gigi Said

  • Topless Tapas 2012-11-03 18:44:52-

    Tami was leaving to go out with her friend and the kids begged to go with her. I said, "you don't want to go with mom, she is going to the Tapas bar and we are going to stay here and play games."

    Gigi stiffened, "That's weird", she said as she blushed. I processed fast and realized the problem. "TAPAS bar. It means 'small plate', not TOPLESS bar!"

Jude Said

  • Nicknames 2013-01-04 21:30:33-

    The checker at the store asked our always conversational little boy what his name was. He replied "Jude" then added "but sometimes they call me pumpkin brown". LOL.

    And they are right. We call him that after the folksong that we sing sometimes.

A long time ago…