My Love Affair


Lake Pepin as the sun begins to set. Does life get any better or more beautiful than this?

I woke up yesterday to a beautiful Minnesota spring morning and the question of where did I want to go triking.  There were many options available, but as I am still not yet wanting to take out the ICE Adventure, I only considered trails worthy of the Fat Tad. Life has been depressing of late and I don’t think work could get any more awful so I needed to spend time with the love of my life, my beautiful Mississippi River.


River bluffs.  Wish I had done a better job composing this shot, but maybe next time. I should have angled it more with the bluff more to the left and the tree more to the right for symmetry.  It is fun to pick apart my pictures and think about what might have made this really capture the eye. 

The Mississippi is called ‘Old Man River’ but I always refer to it as ‘she’.  She is the one to whom I can share all the ups and downs of life, she is the holder of all my dreams, and she understands why although I long to escape I have to let her do that for me since I am stuck right now.  I trust her to share my life. So, I packed up what I needed for the day and headed off to find a place along the Mississippi.  I so desperately needed her comfort.


Even though it was a bit of a drive, I decided to head to Trempealeau, Wisconsin and ride the Great River State Trail. In reading the reviews it sounded like a rough enough trail for me to enjoy with the Fat Tad.  It didn’t end up having the river views that I originally had in mind, but I enjoyed the peacefulness of cycling through the marsh listening to the birds.  Theirs were the sounds of spring!


I chatted with another cyclist along the way for awhile.  He was probably around my age.  We talked trails and life, kind of funny to share about the joy of cycling along with the disappointments of life with a total stranger, but perhaps it helped us both.  I get tired of the facade I’m expected to wear off the trails.  On the trail, my muscles can be screaming, my clothes can be soaked in sweat, and my hair matted with salt, but to other cyclists this is normal and I think they understand the smile on my face which mirrors theirs.  They understand my drive and don’t think I need to contain it. The salt lines on my clothes are visible proof to myself that I have accomplished something difficult that not everyone can do, and I need that knowing.


I have this thing for bridges so I was quite excited knowing there was a trestle bridge up ahead.  I thought I might turn around after I crossed, but the trail beckoned me on so on I went.


In time I turned around and headed back to my vehicle but I was in no hurry to return home.  To be able to experience such a day?  Who would want it to end any sooner than absolutely necessary?


But inevitably the sun sets and I have no choice but to return.



I just hope I was able to store up enough serenity to cope with life off the trails once more.


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