Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lemon Grass and Crisp November Skies

I had some comp time at work so decided to take off early today and put in some trail time. Headed downtown to the Vietnamese restaurant for the buffet, then north to Detweiller Park. For some reason I've never tried this trail system. What a shame I waited this long. It is not extensive in terms of miles, but there are some brutal climbs. I did the north loop of the Pimetoui Trail (not the Forest Park loop of the same name) which starts as a 150 or so foot climb, crosses the road, drops down into a creek valley through some stands of bamboo (Bamboo Creek, anyone?), then loops back about a half mile for the big downhill. I was pretty sluggish from the buffet so I hiked most and slow jogged the steep downhills. The bluffs were encased in late season sunshine, and temps, while not warm, were in the mid-40s. I loved the solitude and the views off the ridges of the bluffs and river valley to the east. Put in about 30 minutes there, skipping the southern trail system, and then headed 10 minutes or so north to Robinson.

Some kid put about 2 miles worth of trail in out here for an eagle scout project. He's got bridges over the creek crossings and they're working on putting bark down. I was out here a few weeks ago with Keegan and we got as far as the iron bridge before he got tired. Today I followed the Illinois River Bluff Trail all the way to Camp Wokanda, did a few of the paths there and then headed back. What a great concept to connect along the bluffways. You drop down into these huge basin ridges and it feels like you're in the Appalachians or something. The width of the ridge bottoms is unlike any other trails in the area. Typically the terrain is steep and your view of the next ridge fairly limited, primarily due to the youth of most of the stream valleys around these parts. I was so stoked to finally try this connector trail. I'm hoping they proceed with it and hook up Forest Park, Detweiller and Robinson via the bluff trail. My buddy has told me this is the plan, but of course one never knows about these things until they are actually completed. I put in 1:07 and headed home to a dinner of homemade chicken noodle soup and then took Keegan to the EC bball game tonight (win 64-62). Life ain't all bad.

soundtrack: Johnny Cash "When the Man Comes Around" (thanks, snyd)

1 comment:

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