Doing Other Stuff

"Other people need to get in the shower, Abby."

I really didn't want to get out of bed and get ready for work, but it seemed liked the adult thing to say to a daughter lolly-gagging in the bathroom. I would have been happy just to stay there and listen to my son snore next to me.
The day before the wife said we were going to Whittier to go berry picking. It was a statement, not a question requiring spirited debate. I had an easy workout on the schedule, but felt guilty for slacking off and not doing the planned ride. I shouldn't have.
Berry picking sounds like a fairly relaxed activity, and usually it is. Blueberries don't exactly put up a fierce fight. They mainly just hang there until you pick them. Since a lot of the easily accessible berries were gone by the time we got there, the berries we found were a little more "sporty". Picking them required climbing up muddy game trails, over roots and fallen trees, while trying to maintain balance with a rambunctious toddler strapped to your back. We did manage to get a respectable amount and avoid head trauma, so after a while we called it quits. I don't really like blueberries in the first place (it's more of a wife and kids thing), so I would have bailed long before we did.
We decided to hike to a waterfall and rock beach that were supposedly just a little way down this pleasant gravel trail. A hundred yard in, the gravel gave way to cut logs suspended over bogs. Some of the logs had seen better days, and were there more as suggestions than actual trail. After a while, even the logs became pleasant memories as the roots and mud took over. A couple miles in we were still on the established trail, even where it had been re-routed or overrun by creeks. None of this is unusual for Alaska trails, and is considered top-tier construction. None of it would have bother me if it wasn't for the swaying toddler on my back held there by a poorly-adjusted carrier. Eventually we reached the waterfall and then the beach. We skipped stones, which for my son involves grabbing a handful of pebbles, throwing in the general direction of the water, and then giggling maniacally. Good times at Price William Sound.
It was around 8:30PM when we finally got to the one-lane tunnel out of Whittier, just in time to wait a half hour for it to open for outgoing traffic. Once through, we stopped for some sub-par pizza at a place that usually does a pretty good job at it, then finally made it home.
My back is pretty much in knots today, and I think my core is roughly in the same shape. So much for taking it easy. I have a list of chores that accumulated while I was on vacation that is as long as my arm. I managed to hay the back lawn last week between rainstorms, dislodging a handful of rabbits and a very nice immigrant family that had taken up residence there. Since the grass was still soaked, it looks like my head did that time I tried to cut my own hair. At least it's under waist-high now, so Cecil the Lion's offspring can't sneak up on me while I'm grilling on the back deck. I'll keep hacking away at the list between relaxing berry-picking expeditions, and arrive at the Tour of Anchorage properly ruined.
I promised Janice that I wouldn't overdo the riding, but the other stuff is what's killing me.


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