Saturday, October 13, 2012

Come Along With Me - Clear Creek Trail

There are three main stretches of trail that I cover, each with its own personality and charm. A little over a week ago I took you with me on the Rail Trail, a two-mile stretch of gravel trail. Eventually, I'll introduce you to the B-Line Trail, which actually goes up through the middle of Bloomington.

But for now, come with me along the Clear Creek Trail - a roughly 2.5-mile stretch of paved trail that winds through fields, along neighborhoods, and past farms.

"Oh lordy, do I really want to do this?"

As before, the walk starts at the bridge just above the parking lot off of  Church Lane.

It seriously kind of cracks me up that there's so much
 "traffic" here that we need a roundabout.

Rather than staying straight ahead, as we do for the Rail Trail,
this time we veer off to the left from the roundabout.

This stretch, just after the roundabout, seems
especially mystical on foggy mornings.

A reminder that we are but tolerated visitors
and we shouldn't stray from the path.

Seen at the trail heads, these signs remind me of
"Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock" diagrams.

Strangely enough, of the three trails, this is the only one that marks 
which road you're about to cross or that you should stop at the 
road. (If you can't read it, this sign designates "West That Road" 
across the top.)

This trail has more foot bridges to cross than either of the others.

One lone house in the middle of a big field. This is the house that
sits on the farm mentioned below.

As the story goes, the city purchased land from a farmer for this trail. 
His only stipulation was that his cattle be allowed to cross at one point. 
Thus we have the Cattle Crossing sign. On one side of the trail is the 
large farm (above), but now the other side has become a neighborhood. 
The sign, however, still stands as a silent reminder of the trail's history.

Water fountains are a welcome sight every mile or so.

This sign cracks me up - as if the snakes are going to pay attention.
It became even funnier when I learned that I know whose yard this is,
because these people have just that kind of sense of humor. (If you can't 
read the whole thing, it says: NO SNAKES This Side of Trail.)

This particular morning, our adopted college "daughter" Amber was 
keeping me company. On the one hand, she was kicking my butt without 
even trying. On the other hand, it was nice to know that I could 
more-or-less keep up with someone 30 years younger than I am.

A couple stretches of this trail go through open fields, which allows for
amazing palettes of color like this.

I'm sure these belong to some farmer, but considering the number 
of deer that I've seen along this trail, I'm betting they enjoy a few 
meals off of these hay bales, too.

Like the water fountains, benches show up every so often for 
those who need them.

(Cue Beatles music) The long and winding road...that your door...

Just another shot of the trees - the colors were wonderful this morning.

I *love* this sign...until I remember I'm really only halfway finished.

One end of the trail is currently blocked off by road construction.

Where the posts are...that would be the back half of what used to be the
parking lot at this end of the trail.

A PortaJohn. A roundabout. And doggie clean-up bags.
They're ready for everyone and everything.

Beginning the return trip. At least it's a downhill slope.

I believe there are more reminders to clean up after your
dog than there are benches or water fountains.

We regularly have to move to the right to allow bicyclists to pass.

It helps to see the distance markers go past (the little red signs).
It gives you a feeling of accomplishment.

More limestone decorating the side of the trail.

(Cue "The Wiz") C'mon and..ease on down, ease on down the ro-oad....

Sorry for the blurry shot, but this trail leaving the main path
always makes me wonder....who...why...

You can't tell it, but there's quite an incline to this little hill. Considering 
that it comes about 4 miles into the trip, Sandi has aptly named 
it "Oh Shit Hill." It's one of those spots where you just have 
to dig in and GO.

One short stretch of trail near a parking lot is designed for creative 
learning with kids. The signs suggest activities such as exploring 
flowers and trees, or walking like various animals, or seeing what 
you can see that starts with different letters. I have to take 
Ethan out  here someday.

More signs of suggested activities along the kids' section.

Describe the colors and shapes you see... well as the letters you find.

The last road crossing before we finish.

Another blurry shot, but I kept it because it is the second-sweetest 
sight I see - the roundabout at the beginning/end of the journey.

See? Roundabout. It's official. We're almost finished.

Again, I get tickled that they need a Yield sign as if there's a 
lot of car traffic here.

The bridge! By this point, I'm usually having to talk myself to the end.
"C'mon, you can do this. Just a few more minutes. Almost there. MOVE IT!"

There. You just did a 5-mile walk in fewer than 10 minutes. Don't you feel better now? ;)

Oh, and the sweetest sight I see? My car, waiting to take me home for a hot shower. :D


  1. Love the Clear Creek Trail! There's a path down to it right by our house and it comes out right by the "oh s*** hill" :0)

  2. THAT'S where that path goes! I've seen people disappearing in the trees there, but haven't taken time to explore where it went. :D

  3. Jenni, I love the pictures. What great trails you have! I'm so glad you get to walk in such beautiful places.

  4. Lovely trail! I wish we could find something like that around here. I shouldn't complain, we can run alongside a beach, but there's not a lot of shade along the coast.