For the first few weeks that I had my bicycle, I was content to limit myself to riding the portion of the Rocky Run Trail that runs through the woods behind my house. It’s three miles (that’s about 5 km) there and back, and that is not a short way, especially since it had been years since I’d ridden a bike with any regularity (Roman traffic was a little too scary for me to want to brave the busy streets around my house long enough to reach the cycle paths). However, I recently discovered that the trail continues on the far side of a large road about half a mile from my house – a fact I’d missed since the trailhead has been closed for construction ever since I moved here. So, I loaded my camera with fresh batteries, pumped up my tires and headed out to see what waited for me in the wilder woods on the far side of the big road.
What I found out was that the path I knew was twice as long as I had thought: nearly eight miles, there and back. The trailheads on the two sides of the big road were both closed, so it took me a while to find an entrance where I could pick it up on the other side. However, there were enough knowledgeable dog-walkers around to point me in the right direction, and I soon found myself in a much larger and less tame wood than the one I’ve gotten to know.
From the trail on the near side of the road, you can always see a house or two, somewhere off through the trees. However, in this new forest, there were places where I couldn’t see anything beyond woods and water. I road further on, and soon I found myself entering a place I hadn’t known existed, the Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.
I thought the deer I see when I’m out riding were the extent of the local wildlife. However, a sign on the board near the park’s visitor center, located in what was once the house of the miller who operated Cabell’s Mill, told me I shouldn’t be surprised to come across beavers, coyotes, foxes or copperheads (I wouldn’t mind avoiding that last one, but believe me, if I see any of them when the weather warms up again, you will be the first to know).
Here are some of the scenes from my ride back to the main road.
Of course, I had to share my discovery. Besides, I didn’t want Dad to feel left out after having seen the photos from the walk I took with Mom the other day. So, we had a weekend bike ride back to the farm a few days later.
Thanks for coming along! That will be the last of the fall foliage bicycle rides, I think. The leaves are mostly brown now. I’ll keep going out – until I’d need snow tires, anyway – but I doubt there will be much to photograph. I hope you’ve enjoyed our excursions through the autumn woods, and that you’ll come back and visit soon to see what other adventures are in store.
Until then, here’s wishing you some glorious adventures of your own.
- The Woods Are Lovely, Golden and Deep (adventuresofanexpatreturned.com)
- Deeper into the Woods (adventuresofanexpatreturned.com)
- A Quick Autumn Hike Along an Extended Road Trip (autumnhiker.wordpress.com)
- A Walk in the Woods (artteasemagazine.com)