Yesterday, I wrote about 1400 words on my latest novel. Today, I woke up and decided that it was time to explore a new -- to me -- bike path. I'm on vacation, so these are the kinds of choices I've been facing each day. As noted in my last post, I'm in New Hampshire, in the Lakes Region, and we've been fortunate enough to have good weather. In fact, one-third of my words yesterday were written during a rainstorm in late afternoon and the progress I made inspired me to continue and eventually to finish the chapter that was in progress.
I've been a bit sore lately, so I chose an easy way out: I drove to my preferred starting point. The Cotton Valley Trail was extended about three miles since I last rode it, so I wanted to see this new stretch. About five minutes into the trip, the path looked like this:
I continued on and was delighted to find I was the only one riding this portion of the trail. Around me, there were woods of maple, silver and white birch and old growth pines. As shown above, much of the trail followed the original rail bed, but from time to time, a wooden platform signaled a transition to a path that paralleled the tracks. The last time scheduled trains ran on these tracks was over twenty years ago, but the tracks have been retained on most sections and converted into a multi-use trail. Biking is the most common use, but there are also rail hobbyists who run very small train cars on these same tracks, especially on the weekends.
Later, I encountered a stretch of overturned roots and broken trees -- perhaps a micro-cell had wreaked this havoc in some recent year. Eventually, I hit an area where the path ran adjacent to a flooded area, which looked like this:
From here, it was only a short ride to the trail's end, where I finally encountered other bicyclists. Here is the shot from that point.
As you can see, the weather was outstanding, a great day for biking. I turned around and really let loose on the way back, riding at a much faster clip than I had on the way out. The rest of the day? Swimming, kayaking and helping my son try out water skiing. Later on, a neighbor dropped by with a margarita by the beach. Not a bad way to close out our vacation. Goodbye, New Hampshire, until the next time.