That’s a direct quote. My friend, Myra, and I were walking the Lester-Amity trails this weekend. The sun was out, the sky a potent blue, the air crisp and the leaves still so very colorful. We walked and walked as we talked and talked. It’s a favorite activity of ours, and accomplishes many purposes. Myra was commenting on how lucky she was to live right across the street from these beautiful trails, Amity Creek, and Lester River. With all that nature, city life seems so very far away. Since we’re neighbors, I am equally lucky.
It’s a benefit of living on the edge. Literally. Our house backs up to a regular city neighborhood. But that’s where civilization ends. Looking out the front it’s all park. That’s no accident. We built the house because of the park, and it fills the huge windows that surround our living space.
Yesterday I returned to the trails. Since I was on my own and wasn’t trying to carry on a conversation, I ventured onto the narrower single-track trails recently built by COGGS. Fortunately, these trails are available for multiple uses, not just mountain biking. I’d followed them before for snowshoeing, but things look entirely different without all the snow.
In contrast to cross-country ski trails, these paths can be a lot more flexible. I loved how they twisted and wound through the woods, sometimes doubling back on themselves and doing switchbacks through the trees. They covered a lot more mileage for the same amount of forward progression through the park. I could see why they prove so attractive to mountain bikers. The views of Lester River were frequent, and the rushing water a constant welcome background music for my walk.
“We love the forest floor at this time of year,” noted another friend recently. It was a good reminder to look down. To gaze more carefully among the colors and growth at my feet. To take in details, not just broad views. My reward was noticing the late blooming hawkweed flowers along the trail.
I hadn’t a clue where my route would return to the main ski trails. It turned out to be a lot farther away than I anticipated, and I turned toward home on the more direct ski trail. That too held a surprise for me. I discovered a view of Lake Superior I’d never noticed before. There it was, pure blue visible above the trees when observed from a high point in the trail. It would be impossible to see when skiing in the park, given the one-way system of ski trails. But when walking, anything goes. And everything takes on a different perspective when viewed from a new angle.
I have to agree with Myra. I too love where I live.