On Riding, Writing and Sitting Still
Note: This post was also published on my Idyllwild blog.
I’m on a writing retreat at the Anderson Center in Red Wing and took a break from my writing yesterday and this morning to get out and ride the Cannon Valley Trail. The CVT parallels the Anderson Center’s property and to get to the trail I only need to bike a few blocks down a hill. I simply can’t resist riding the trail when I’m here! The CVT is my favorite bike trail and although I’ve ridden it many, many times, I never get tired of riding the trail or the beauty that surrounds it.
With the leaves gone from the trees, I expected the scenery along the trail would be somewhat bland. But I was wrong. I spent most of my rides simply taking in the beauty along the trail. The sun shining through the bare trees. The green moss on rocks and fallen logs. The brown leaves covering the hillsides and carpeting the woodsy floor.
On my ride to the Welch trailhead this morning, I noticed a newly constructed Marshall Memorial Rest Area alongside the trail. On my way back through, I decided to stop and check it out. I’m glad I did! There are benches alongside Belle Creek and a walking path down to the water. It’s a beautiful little spot.
Normally, I don’t sit still very well but I felt compelled to lean my Vaya up against the bench and sit still for a bit to breathe in the fresh air and listen to the sounds of the creek flowing next to me. I probably sat for only 10 minutes but I felt so refreshed after my little break that it felt like I stayed much longer.
Had I know about the lovely spot when I set out on my ride, I would have packed a book or my journal, made a cup of coffee (I now carry a little stove, pot and coffee on my Vaya so I can make a cup of coffee at any time) and planned to sit and read or write all morning. But I wasn’t prepared to stay and it was already time to head back for lunch and my writing. “Next time,” I promised myself. Then I got back on my Vaya and pedaled my way back to my writing retreat home away from home.