Last weekend we had a totally open Saturday, a big cold front was coming in, it wasn’t freezing cold yet and so we embraced the day and headed with bikes to one of our favorite parks, Route 66 Park! We love the wide open spaces, the roads which make for easy bike riding, the trails, the river and the big hill. I also love the story behind it!

Just in case you’re interested… this is the VERY shortened version…

The park used to be a town tiny called Times Beach and back in the 70’s they had a dust problem but couldn’t afford to pave their roads. The town hired a man to spray the dirt roads with oil to keep the dust down but what they didn’t know is that he was also hauling waste oil from a chemical company and figured out that if he sprayed the toxic oil on the roads it saved him money! Animals started dying, people were calling all over the place for answers and finally the EPA came out and discovered that there were toxic levels of Dioxin on all the roads of this town. Then the Meramec River flooded which made the contamination even worse. In the early 80’s the government bought the entire town, the first time that had ever been done, and evacuated all the residents. Clean up lasted for years and in 1999 they opened this park. The park is tested regularly and now the levels of dioxin are lower then what semi trucks puff out on the highway. Which just means it’s safe!

My favorite part of the park is the huge mound/hill in the middle of it… it’s where they literally bulldozed all of the buildings. It’s it’s own landfill I guess. I don’t like that there is a landfill in the middle of this park but it just always reminds me how stupid and ignorant people can be. ONE man that was trying to save a few bucks poisoned an entire town. It’s amazing to me. If you are interested, HERE is the full story.

That is the mound/hill/landfill. We like to run up and down, roll and play on it!

This was the first day Gray rode his big boy bike. He is the most athletic little boy ever but he has REFUSED to ride a bike. Until now. Now, he LOVES it.

I bet by summer those training wheels are off!

Bailey is OBSESSED with dill pickles and we let her get a huge pickle in a bag at the grocery store on the way out there. Those bagged pickles totally gross me out but she loves them! We wouldn’t let her eat it in the car so the second we got there she ate while the other two rode around waiting for her! It just makes me laugh!

PJ and Gray waiting patiently for the pickle eater!

After letting the kids ride for a while we headed down to the river. The girls loved riding on the trail but it was too wet for Gray so we left his bike and walked.

The kids love throwing rocks in the river and we noticed that NONE of them can throw! We spend too much time with a soccer ball I think!

So Chris worked with them a little! It was pretty funny how bad they all are… me included!

I love those kids!

Riding back from the river.

We’d been there forever (it felt like) but the kids begged to play at the playground so we let them.

The girls went back and forth and back and forth on the monkey bars which got us wondering if we could do it! IT IS HARD!

I can’t believe I’m putting a photo with my tush in the air on the internet but the girls thought it was SO cool that I got up there! It’s not fun to see myself like that BUT I know that my kids don’t see the chub, they just see me playing with them!

Then Chris and I wanted to see if we could hang on one-handed, which I found out is nearly impossible! Bailey was cheering me on!

Luckily my stud husband caught the exact moment I let go and was on the way down! HA! We’re just going to pretend like I’m hanging on!

SO. Parker hung there like a little monkey! Bailey lasted for a few seconds and me? I fell like a lump! BUT Chris caught it again and it looks like I’m hanging in there with my girls! I love that shot even though I have too many chins to count! I keep adding goals or themes or non-goals to my list for the year and I think a new one is to get in the damn photo!

GET IN THE DAMN PHOTO! 2013 resolution #264.

Parker took that one!

Bailey took that one!

Maybe the resolution should be… SHOWER and THEN GET IN THE DAMN PHOTO! HA! I was a mess!

And my favorite photo of the day?

Parker cracks me up! They all do actually. And MAN do I love those four people standing up on top of the landfill! HA!

This last shot is totally out of focus because I was laughing so hard but well, it’s how we ended our day so it’s how I’m ending this post! Blurry photo and all!

Happy adventuring this weekend!