One Tuesday back in October I skipped work and took off for a ride. Fortunately my boss is nice that way, letting me take short notice vacation days now and then so that I can take advantage of beautiful cycling days as they come along. I can’t plan ahead for such days. They just show up and I have to hit the trails!
On this particular day I decided to ride the Cannon Valley Trail from Cannon Falls to Redwing. It was fall and I was free from work. What could be better than pedaling along the Cannon River right on down to the Mississippi.
Since it was a weekday, I got to see Redwing at work with semis lined up to unload grain on one side of the elevator while barges were being loaded on the other.
When I arrived at Redwing Station, the American Queen was loading passengers for a cruise down the river. I never knew they had such things this far north! I watched as bus after bus arrived to offload passengers. A Dixieland band was playing as the passengers boarded. I stayed by the river for quite a while, enjoying the sights and sounds of my favorite river. It was one of those perfect afternoons. All of the sudden I realized the sun would soon be setting and I still had 20 miles to ride back to Cannon Falls. The weather was so perfect that day I forgot it was already October and the sun sets early. I kicked it into high gear and pedaled away like mad! I did not have a light with me and I didn’t want to be riding through the woods after dark. I pretty much had the trail to myself the whole way back but I arrived at my vehicle with some time to spare.
On such a day I have to think, life doesn’t get much better than that, does it? It probably sounds morbid, but I hope my last day on this earth is such a day. It would be the perfect end to a life I would not trade for any other.