I am writing today from the Allen County Public Library because my laptop at home has a sticky keyboard and that is the main reason/excuse why I have not been writing for a while.
Our family is in Week 3 of the Great Summer Day Camp period. Last week, my son went to Salomon Farm Day Camp at Salomon Farm Park on the far north side of Fort Wayne. Without owning a car, getting there involved a bus and a bike ride.
Camp started each morning at 9 a.m., which meant getting on a bus that left downtown at 7:45. For someone who works until 1 a.m., 7:45 is early. We got on the bus, it went past the mall then out to the end of its line, where my son and I off loaded our bikes and rode through a couple of suburban subdivisions to the Puffer Belly Trail, which goes into Salomon Farm Park.
The first day, I rode the fold up bike in case the bike rack on the front of the bus already had a bike aboard. Throughout the week, not once was that a problem. First, let me back up. The week before (July 15-July 20) was the hottest week of the year. That week, my son went to Franke Park Day Camp, a ride of about 2.5 miles from our house to Franke Park. On one of those days, I was supposed to recon the trip to Salomon Farm but never did because of the heat. Finally, on Saturday (July 20), while my wife and son were visiting the Barr Street Market, I finally reconned the route to Salomon Farm. It took me 22 minutes to get from the bus stop to the learning center where camp met. And yes, on that trip there was another bike on the rack.
So Monday morning greeted us with, you guessed it, rain. We rode to the bus stop, got on the bus and rode to the end of the line. We then went through the subdivisions to the Puffer Belly Trail and got to the park to sign in. Water was dripping off my helmet as I filled out the paperwork. My son got to camp on time and I rode back to the bus for the trip home.
Tuesday, we overslept — the whole family. My son and I got to camp about 10:30, and the rear tire on the folding bike went flat just as I was entering the parking lot for the learning center. I took the flex bus from the nearby YMCA to the end of the main line and rode the bus to near home then walked the bike home from there.
Wednesday, when it was time to pick our son up, my wife suggested we ride all the way to the park without taking the bus. Using Google maps, she found a route. It took us just over an hour to get there. It’s good to know there is a way to get there by bike because Salomon Farm is hosting a 5K next month to raise money for the Puffer Belly Trail.
Thursday, my wife took my son up to the park and I went running.
Friday, I took him up there and brought him downtown, where my wife met us at Freimann Square as we got off the bus.
By the end of the week, my son was tired. A good tired. He got a lot of exercise during the week, much more than if we had driven a car up to the park each day. We stopped along the way and ate wild raspberries (try doing that in a car). I discovered a subdivision that appeared to be identical to the one my mom lives in on the other side of town.
Now he’s in his third straight week of day camp. Then it ends for the year. All in all, he will have completed five weeks of day camp when this week ends (including two weeks at the Youtheatre camp in June).