Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 23, 2014

A Shared Adventure

Today is my son Jonathan’s 30th birthday. I can hardly believe that so many years have passed since we brought him home from Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi. Our lives have never been the same since. Over the years we have enjoyed lots of really good days, survived some really tough and dark days, and learned many lessons about the ways of God — how He can take the best and worst of our lives and weave these threads into a beautiful tapestry. I am very proud of Jonathan, grateful that he is a member of our family, and thankful that he still enjoys sharing adventures with me.

Jonathan and Dad in Colorado
I took a couple of vacation days this week to travel to North Texas to do some adventuring with Jonathan. He and I talk several times a week and our conversation inevitably turns to what will be our next father-son adventure. This week we decided that we would camp out at one of our state parks, ride our mountain bikes on some challenging trails, and do some paddling in our canoe.

Jonathan recommended that I ride the trails at Cedar Hill State Park on my way to pick him up in Lewisville. So, I spent Tuesday night at the park in my solo tent and rode the single-track trails there the following morning. Fantastic trails maintained by the Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association. Other than taking an epic spill going a little too fast on a tight switchback, I thoroughly enjoyed the trails at Cedar Hill. Definitely worth another visit.

Later in the morning, Jonathan introduced me to the Grapevine North Shore Trails, so named because they are located on the north side of Lake Grapevine. These are among the best single-track trails in the metroplex. Lots of fun and plenty of technical challenges. Because Jonathan is a much faster rider than I am we did get separated at one point. I took a wrong turn. But, we enjoyed a good time on these trails.

After riding the North Shore Trails, we loaded our gear into Jonathan’s Trailblazer and headed to Cleburne State Park to set up our camp. We arrived just as the sun was starting to set. What a beautiful night it was. Jonathan cooked up a delicious meal and we spent the remaining hours talking around the campfire. Our original plan was to head for the Brazos River the next morning to paddle and do some primitive camping, but something unexpected happened.

For the past few days the big toe on my left foot has been sensitive to the touch. From Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon, my toe swelled to twice its size, turned red, and my toenail turned a frosty color (too much information, I know). The pain was intense — it felt as though someone had hit my toe with a hammer. So, we drove to nearby Cleburne on Thursday morning to see a doctor. Bottom line: I have a bad strep or staph infection in my big toe. Not sure how I got it but it has my full attention. Started my round of two prescribed antibiotics and then we were off again on a modified adventure since we ate up most of the morning at the doctor’s office.
Dinosaur Valley SPInstead of canoeing on the Brazos, we decided to keep our campsite at Cleburne State Park and ride the trails there (very painful ride for me) and then canoe at Cedar Lake. We also drove to nearby Dinosaur Valley State Park for a quick trail ride and to look at the dinosaur tracks along the Paluxy River. Pretty cool stuff! There is just something about dinosaurs that brings out the boy in grown men. Before we left, Jonathan did a little rock-stacking at the park, something amazing to watch. When we returned to our campsite Jonathan cooked some delicious steaks and veggies. The best part of the evening, however, was sharing good conversation around the campfire.

Our two-day adventure was not expensive. We are fortunate to have so many beautiful and affordable venues in the Lone Star State for outdoor adventure. Sharing adventures like the ones Jonathan and I enjoyed this week is a great way to strengthen the ties that bind. I feel especially fortunate to have a son who still enjoys spending time with his dad. As for me, I can’t wait for our next father-son adventure. On the horizon is yet another shared adventure — biking the Caprock Canyons Trailway. You can be sure that Jonathan and I will talk a lot about this next adventure between now and the day that we do it. Happy Birthday, Jonathan. I love you.



  1. Thank you for sharing this personal story with us. Our Lalena turns 40 this weekend and we are all headed to Kerrville to celebrate so your story is timely as well. Blessings to you and Jonathan on your future adventures!

    • Thanks, Bruce. Enjoy your time with Lalena this weekend. May the time you spend together be filled with fond memories, great joy, and good conversation.

  2. I like this story very much! I do also like if Jonathan come to Bangladesh with team or him self than we’ll share gospel to the people. he’ll teach & I’ll translate for him ! as usualy I am doing for you.


    • Thanks, Mortuza. Maybe one day Jonathan and I will travel together to Bangladesh.

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