Sunday, August 5, 2012

38 Special

The other day marked my completion of 38 trips around the sun. While not the birthday party type, I'm more than happy to use it as a guilt-free excuse to clear my to-do list for a day and indulge in a bit of meandering on the bike. I started with a hearty lunch of "Texas Caviar" (a seriously tasty black-eyed-pea salsa) from the Urban Gourmet at Bushnell Park. From there I made my way toward the Connecticut River and followed the Riverside Park Trails to the railroad tracks by the Windsor line. From there I followed the newly-paved Windsor multi-use path north to the Bissel Bridge and crossed the river to South Windsor.

Keeping the river on my right (albeit mostly out of sight) again, I pedaled south through East Hartford to Glastonbury, where I visited the bike shops, refilling my water and lingering in their air-conditioning. I meandered along Southward toward the ferry, taking in historic homes, farm fields and unmanned honor-system farm stands along the way. I picked up some peaches, tomatoes and hot peppers (honorably) for my short-and-medium-term eating pleasure. I arrived at the east bank of the river and bit into the first of several peaches as I waited for the ferry to land and offload.
Edibles with a stern warning taste better.
I love riding the ferry.  This 350+ year old institution will never get old for me. For something so close to Hartford, it has a quaint, Brigadoon-like remoteness about it that makes me happy each and every time I use it. I'm going to make a point of taking more ferry trips this season. To that end, I prepaid for a special order part at Bicycles East, ensuring an easy excuse for a return trip this week. Note: the operating hours (10:30-5:00 every day) on the CT DOT site don't match the longer hours (M-F 7-7, S/S 10:30-5:00) posted at the ferry.

Back on the west bank, I hopped on the abandoned rail line near the Rocky Hill ferry landing and rode north into Wethersfield. There was more natural and man-made debris in the way than I recalled from the last day I spent along this stretch of track, but it wasn't that bad. With late-afternoon temps still holding in the 90's, the added effort of riding the traprock and rotted, uneven ties of the tracks made quick work of draining my on-board water reserves. I left the tracks in Old Wethersfield, where an impromptu visit with nearby friends provided snacks, water bottle refills and good conversation in front of a blessed electric fan. As dusk fell, I pedaled off refreshed, making my relaxed way through Wethersfield and the South End to home and a refreshing shower. It was a very fine day.

1 comment:

Schleppi Longstocking said...

"Do I dare to eat a peach?"