After a Saturday that saw both Pennie and I working most of the day, I got up Sunday and really wanted to get out on my bike. It was raining and the forecast showed that it was going to do so on and off all day, but that was of no concern to me.

I called Pennie and she said she was housecleaning and planned on doing a thorough all-day job on it. About 45 minutes later, I was on my way up to the Woodlands with the bikes in the back and she changed her plans to a quick clean up instead.

I had no plan, just a general idea… but because she is the coolest girlfriend on the planet, she was willing to take her chances that whatever we came up with would be fun.

We headed up to Sam Houston State Park to check out their mountain biking trails. A short drive north from her house and in no time we were deep in old growth forests.

Pennie brushed aside the rain and mud, determined to have a good time.

The trails are very easy in terms of difficulty, but because of the 8 miles of beautiful scenery, it is a mountain biking “must-do” destination.

The real coolness is found in the hidden treasures deep within the forest, like this wooden bridge…

… or this cool boardwalk across the marsh area. (The deep bassoon-croak of the bullfrogs here was awesome.)

Later, we even stood on a pier and watched an alligator stalk a crane.. (he didn’t get him.) The gator was too far away to get a clear picture, but it was very cool to watch a real live Discovery Channel segment as the 12-foot monster slid up to where the crane was standing in the reeds. A short flight took Crane K-Bob off the menu and the gator slid silently back out to choose another target.

Sure, we got soaked… Sure, we got muddy… but we end the day with a boatload of new memories and unforgettable experiences. It sure beats another mindless day in front of the TV.

Oh yeah… it cost us a grand total of $6.00 for the outing.