Monday, April 06, 2009

Trail, Road and Sky

Well, it’s been an active three days. Friday, my bride and I traveled to Brazos Bend State Park and hiked the many trails for four hours. It’s only the second time this year we’ve hiked together and it was very pleasant and fulfilling for both of us, at least it was for me.

When two people have been married for thirty-two years, it would appear walking a trail together would be status quo, but truth be told, many folks grow apart over the years and pursue their own agendas apart from their mate. My bride and I have walked many a mile together over the years, but seldom on long hikes, so this is new and exciting territory for us.

I’m pleased to say this was the second successful hike in the last two weeks for us and more are planned. In fact, I hope we hike many more miles in Brazos Bend SP in the next month so we can witness the American Alligator in rut. They are very active at this time and I am hoping we see a big male rumble and ripple the water as it calls females. If I can video it, I will be very pleased indeed.

My Lady is with me on this hiking business, as she knows it is a good thing. I am about three years from sixty and she is approaching fifty. What could be a better decision than walking the trails, looking at nature and getting exercise to boot? Speaking of boots, I ordered her a pair of Columbia Coremic Ridge hiker boots. The temerity! She reminded me this was very personal and I reminded her I knew it was.

I want my Bride to have all the comfort she can get on the trail, so I ordered her three pair of merino wool hiking socks also. Call it cheek if you like, but I call it protective compassion. Banging your feet on the trail bothers the feet and can ruin a hike and it doesn’t matter who you are or what skill level you have. Having good socks and boots makes a big difference in how long you can walk comfortably.

Saturday rolled around and I went down to Texas Avenue for the Bayshore Fine Rides car show in time to watch Mean Gene Kelton and his Diehard band. I had a good chat with former council member Sam Mahan and a couple of other folks, but the best visit was with Ken “the dauber” Pridgeon. Ken’s a local artist and a mover and shaker in the Baytown Art League. He was sitting at a table in front of the old Brunson Theater drumming up signatures to save the old building. Of course, I signed.

Sunday morning, I skipped Sunday School (again! – Lord forgive me!) and geared up for a ride out Beach City way. In my defense, this area is very hostile to cyclists, as there is very little shoulder on the roads and even less tolerance from cars drivers. It’s so bad out there that riding a bicycle is flat-out dangerous. The only safe time to take a long distance ride is on Sunday morning.

I left the house about 9am and made my way down the south side of Business 146 to Kilgore road. Old Kilgore is now new Kilgore and awesome cement. You would have to see it to appreciate how improved this road is. Passing Roseland Park on Texas Avenue, I peddled to Spur 55/Hwy 99 and crossed over Cedar Bayou, stopping to appreciate the view and look to see what changes have been made concerning the proposed Barge Terminal.

On West Bay road, I turned and rode towards the dump, which believe it or not is odorless and actually not a bad ride. Since it was Sunday, there was little traffic and I had the road to myself. The open road and big sky got me to thinking how much I liked wide open spaces. Trail, road and sky…and me. Just the way I like it.

I usually ride straight out Fisher Road to Tri-Cities Beach Road, but the wind was picking up and I knew I was going to be riding into it one way or the other and that long stretch out by Trinity Bay can be murder, so I elected to ride the opposite direction and have most of this wind at my back and then fight the head wind on the return down the five miles of Fisher Road.

What I experienced though was a bad crosswind on Tri-Cities and total frontage on Fisher. By the time I got to the Wesley Riggs Memorial on TriCities, I was pooped. I always stop and pay my respects to the fallen local hero PFC Wesley Riggs. He and his family payed the ultimate price in Iraqi Freedom and deserves a few minutes of reflection.

Needless to say, that ride into the 10-15 mph wind on Fisher road turned me into a grunting 56 year old man and I finally wheeled down my own street exhausted and once again fulfilled. I’ll do it again, but next time I’ll check the wind report, but the sum of all this is I got off the couch and did something outdoors.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

That wind was BRUTAL!! And those gators are gonna be, too, you keep messin' with them!

What is the status of the barge terminal? Haven't heard anything lately.

It can only happen while shopping!

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