We headed south to Oregon to spend 10 days in some beautiful state parks. The state of Oregon offers disabled veterans of any rating 10 free days per month in any of their state parks. So of course we wanted to take advantage of that wonderful offer. Our first park was Cove Palisades north of Bend Oregon. The park was beautiful with full hook ups and nicely paved paths throughout. The weather was perfect in the low 70’s and clear skies. Each campsite had a nice picnic table and their own little yard to play in. There were very few campers there with more than 80% of the sites empty. Alexander and Victoria were able to set up their toys in our little yard. They both were able to ride their bikes and skateboards around the campground. We learned that if you rode all the way around the campground and back to our site it was exactly ½ mile. So the next day we took advantage of our ½ mile track right outside our door. Alexander was in charge of P.E. that day so he designed a workout that had all four of us run two laps and then come back and do push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and planks. And once we finished all of that we had to do it all again. Alexander loves to be in charge of our working out.
The next day we went for a hike in an area called Smith Rock. Smith Rock is a popular rock climbing area that has over 1000 rock climbing routes in a very small area. There are hiking trails all around the rocks and along the river that flows through the small canyon in the area. We hiked about 7 miles up and down and around the rocks, rivers and canyons. As we began one of the long hills I told Alexander and Victoria that if we catch the young, twenty something couple ahead of us by about 5 minutes before we get to the summit they will both earn 30 minutes of screen time. That was a mistake! Alexander took off on a lung bursting, thigh burning pace that in no time dropped his mom. After about 20 minutes of sustained fast hiking up super steep switchbacks Victoria said you can keep your screen time and fell back with mom. Still Alexander had that couple in his sights and he was not going to miss out on the screen time. As we neared the top the pitch became even steeper, yet Alexander’s pace did not let up. He caught them right as we all got to the summit with his dad behind him gasping for air and wondering which of my quad muscles will cramp first. He sat at the summit proud of his efforts as we both waited for Ashley and Victoria to arrive.
On our final day we decided to have another P.E. session. This time Victoria was in charge and she decided to do the same workout as we did a few days ago. Ashley and I were still feeling the pain from trying to keep up with Alexander in his quest for some screen time, but we agreed to participate. After the workout was done Alexander asked if he could do a lap by himself. I made him a challenge. I told him that if he can do a lap in 5 minutes he would earn 30 minutes of screen time. Now keep in mind he had already run 2 miles and completed 40 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, 40 squats, 4 minutes of planks, and 50 jumping jacks. We all also ran the last mile barefoot. He said no problem see ya in under 5 minutes and started to run. I said wait would you like me to run along with you so you know your pace? He just looked up at me with that perfect little grin and said I got this and took off. 4 minutes and 17 seconds later he finished with an easy gait across the finish line. I could not believe he could run that far that fast and barefoot on asphalt no less. We all congratulated him and told him how amazing he is. After a minute of celebration and drinking some water he said he wanted to do it again. I told him sure I will come with you this time and again he declined wanting to run on his own. So off he went around our ½ mile track. I gave him a large head start that then ran after him. My thought was that we would run out of gas and the two of us could finish the track walking together. NOPE! I never caught him. He ran another ½ mile at another 4 minute 18 second pace!