Finding COVID-safe adventures for my grandson has been a challenge. For the first 8 weeks of lockdown we only talked by video/phone. Then we carefully expanded our bubbles to include our two families. This allowed me to resume our adventures in consultation with his parents. We have explored more of the trails at Effie Yeaw Nature Area and walked round and round the duck pond at Land Park. There is always my own neighborhood and “work” in my garden.
We were on our way to the lily pad duck pond across the road from the Sacramento Zoo entrance. As we drove by, Cal saw the open sign and people walking in and I was anxious to distract him. The zoo is welcoming visitors with a reservation, yet we don’t feel an active boy of 3 and three-quarters will be able to keep from touching surfaces and staying a safe distance from other kids his age, so we are waiting. I quickly turned to park and lo and behold we were right next to the WPA Rock Park. What a delightful discovery!
It’s been here since 1940 and yet I never noticed it before, so we explored it together. Although I was definitely the support player in the imaginative play inspired by the landscape. Once we explored all of the trails and dodged some of the “muddles” created by the sprinklers, he began imagining he was a mama wolverine and he began looking for the perfect place for his wolverine family den. I was grandma wolverine. We spent over an hour exploring the garden and rock hardscapes. We didn’t make it to the duck pond today (although the huge lily pads are something!) and boy did we have fun.
We were not sure what to expect. I signed up for The Urban Bike Adventure via Amazon Local and only received a ticket. The website was equally vague. Honestly I had forgotten that I bought the tickets some months ago, and then it popped up on my calendar. I recruited my friend Alison and team “Sactown Friends” was ready to go.
The Urban Bike Adventure (TUBA) team made full use of social media. We received text message updates; advance clues were provided via Twitter and Instagram, and they encouraged people to bring a computer or digital camera (practically speaking: a smart phone will do). Bike helmets are required so Alison purchased hers just the day before and forgot to take off the tag. We decided it added to her look! We arrived at the pizza place Hot Italian at 16th and O Streets in Sacramento about 11:30 a.m. We registered and we were none the wiser about what to expect. We sized up the crowd and felt reassured that this event did not require one to be a Serious Cyclist.
We got our Clue Sheet at noon and interpreted the instructions to “be sure to read all of the clues and directions carefully” as permission to solve the clues and plan our route for fastest time. We had a great time and it reminded us of a Young Life event.
Everyone in the team has to be in the photos so it forced us to ask for help from other teams and strangers. The clues took us to Old Sacramento and Land Park and I learned Sacramento is very busy on the weekend!
We had to recruit a stranger to sing for us as we did background moves (I promised Alison the video would not end up on YouTube!). We probably bicycled about 15 miles over the 2:09 it took us to complete the tasks. We did not expect to be competing for a top prize and yet we were among the top 20 teams!
I also learned that there is a Funderland next to the zoo and Fairytale Town. How did I escape going there with my children?
Here is a sample clue: “Sacramento is also nicknamed “The Big Tomato” for its role in the tomato canning industry. Find a tomato and take a team picture with it.”
The event takes place around the country and $2 of every entry goes to the Wounded Warriors nonprofit.
We definitely recommend this event for friends, families or co-workers who want to team build. We are looking forward to next year.