Monday, July 4, 2011

The Fourth of July

Happy Birthday, America!

This weekend has been such a wonderful time spending time with Jim, connecting with friends, and taking it easy. As I mentioned, it kind of started with my dinner with Gretchen, then the team outing where I got a chance to attempt canoeing, and more recently Jim and did a 25 mile bike ride before I had lunch with my good friend Cindy. Cindy's a hoot because she knows me well enough to call me on my bullshit and yet laugh with me about it at the same time. Then it was on to the fireworks for a dazzling show with perfect weather. Nice thing about our location is we have an awesome viewing location and yet it only takes us about five minutes to get home.

This morning, Jim and I did another bike ride. This one was 18 miles, which brings the season total to 124 (so far). This ride was one of those magical things that happen in life; a surprise where you least expect it.

For some time we have biked from our house to a nearby path that leads to a forest preserve and back. Usually this is about a 17-18 mile ride. We were looking forward to it this time because there had been a whole bunch of construction at this busy intersection and the story was that this intersection (getting across it being a major buzz kill to a biker) had been reworked with tunnels going underneath the streets so no need to cross with the cars. We were eager to see what it was like. The work done is phenomenal! It hasn't disrupted the path much either, so they did a great job. We followed the path down to where we normally turn off to get to the forest preserve when - surprise! - the path kept going!

We decided to follow it to see how much longer this path went for. It just kept going and going and going! We ended up biking along the DuPage River, through a forest preserve, past wetlands/marshes and lakes, and finally ended with a big circuit around Lake Whalon (see not so great picture), a gorgeous looking lake in the next county.  Even saw a bird suicide bomb into the lake to snag a fish. It was really a gorgeous ride, and I kept thinking "it's going to end here", but then we'd turn the corner and the trail kept right on going. There's even an indication that the work isn't over.  Apparently, the DuPage River Trail is being extended and connected with existing paths to provide access to a considerable distance. Who would have thought that this morning we would bike from home and within five minutes be on a gorgeous path that we'd never been on before and (apparently) will soon go on and on and on? Fantastic!

I love it when life offers a surprise this!

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