Monday, November 03, 2008


First of all, if you are sitting in Arizona or Texas or Jamaica or someplace like that, you can stop reading right now. What I am going to write about will mean nothing to you. However, if you are from North Dakota or Minnesota or Canada, you will understand exactly what I mean when I say that the past four days have been extra special November bonus days

It could be snowing (in fact, we did have a snow squall on Sunday, October 26, but it all melted again). It could be blowing 30 miles an hour out of the northwest, a good ol’ Alberta clipper—or straight out of the north from Hudson Bay, up near the Arctic Circle.

But it’s not. We’ve had four days in a row of balmy fall weather—and Tom and I have logged around 15 miles on the Central Lakes Trail in those four days. It’s true, the leaves are mostly gone. All that’s left are a few hanger-on-er leaves that are too stubborn to blow away and will probably last the winter.

Balmy November Saturday on the Central Lakes Trail west of Alexandria.

I feel nostalgic right now. If it were to snow a foot (which it could legitimately do any day), the countryside has prepared itself. The final colors of a beautiful October have faded and gone—the reds, oranges, yellows, and maroons have fallen into soggy brown piles under the trees. The trail still has a beauty of its own, but right now, it looks like it’s just waiting, bracing itself for winter. That’s when the snowmobilers take over the trail, revving their noisy engines as they fly down the trail, the scenery whizzing by at warp speed.

I think of the Central Lakes Trail as a live entity; and in my mind, I believe the trail much prefers its spring, summer, and fall users—the walkers and the runners and the bikers—to its noisy winter users.

I’ll think of this when I’m down on the treadmill this winter.

On Saturday, I saw a father and his three little daughters using the trail. The father and middle daughter were pedaling away on an adult/child tandem bike and pulling a child bike trailer holding the littlest girl, singing away at the top of her voice. The oldest daughter, about 8 years old or so, brought up the rear, pedaling to keep up with her dad and sisters. It looked like an ad for the “Father of the Year” award. We met one of my co-workers walking with her daughter and the family dog. We met men and women biking alone or in pairs, some in regular clothes and some in biking spandex. We met an older couple (yes, even older than us) who greeted us and commented on the beautiful day. Everyone was smiling. We were all out there together, enjoying the November afternoon, knowing that any day, one snowfall later, we would all be at home, walking on the treadmill in the basement until the snow melted off the trail again.

1 comment:

j9 said...

What a beautiful sight! I do miss it.