Dad found another bike ride for us, the Tour de Pines, that took riders in and around Itasca State Park during the middle of August. It was the perfect day for a ride–cool temperatures, lots of sun and no wind. It was going to be just me and Dad with Jolene and Ellie as our cheerleaders. Unloading the bikes, Dad noticed that he had a flat tire. But that wasn’t a problem since they had a mechanic that changed his tube and got him ready to go again. We opted to do the shorter, 25-mile ride and I’m glad we did. This was the hilliest ride I’ve ever done. Every hill I had to gear down to my lowest gear. Good thing the scenery made up for it. The ride through the trails and roads in the park have to be some of the most lovely I’ve seen.

Often on the ride we saw these signs…and they weren’t kidding!

While Dad and I were out riding, Jolene and Ellie had breakfast at McDonalds (where Ellie discovered she likes the potato cakes) and shopped at Walmart (where a grandma couldn’t resist spoiling a grandchild a bit).

After a great pizza buffet lunch at the local Pizza Hut we showered and headed out for some shopping in Walker. On the way Ellie was entertained by the backseat movies.

Ellie and her Papa:

And keeping with tradition we had our “heroes” dinner at La Pasta.

Papa and Jolene left the following morning and Ellie and I enjoyed some time by the lake.

Shortly after this last photo was taken, Ellie was reaching out for a lily pad and fell into the water. Amazingly we both were quick. She managed to turn around and catch herself on the dock only going into the water up to her waist and I managed to get from a sitting position to standing up holding onto her arms. It did scare her a little bit, but she said, “now I know why you don’t let me come down to the dock by myself.” It was a good lesson learned.