Thursday, October 4, 2012

Come Along with Me - The Rail Trail

Bloomington has an amazing trail system, the south end of which is about a two-minute drive from my house. Today was gorgeous - the temps were in the mid-50s when we were out this morning, and the sun made the fall colors extra bright.

Good thing I had my camera.

Unfortunately, I tried to take pictures and keep walking at the same time, so many of them are less-than-sharp.

In any case, this is the Rail Trail - a two-mile stretch of soft surface (gravel) trail on the south side of Bloomington. And this is the trail that I walked and walked and walked until Sandi and I started doing longer sections so we could do five-mile walks.

It may be fall, but the bright red berries against the dark green leaves on a
plant near the parking lot remind me that Christmas is coming.

This bridge serves as the landmark for the start and stop of our path.
As many times as Matt saw this bridge, he never saw it looking like this.

Just beyond the bridge, this roundabout connects the Rail Trail, going
up through the trees, with the Clear Creek Trail,
a paved path that goes off to the left of the bench.

Although it's blurry because I was walking, I think the picture looks
like a watercolor, painted by God's own hand.

Part of the reason I like this trail is because it's easy to know where
my distance markers are. The center line on this road
is the half-mile point.
There's a beautiful horse farm along the trail,
right on the edge of a subdivision.

Just after the horse farm, we have to cross another road. We almost always
have to stop here for traffic, in spite of the crosswalk.

Just after crossing the road, you can see the next road
- the one-mile mark.
As we come out of the woods, there's the Bloomington
version of Stonehenge. (Okay, I don't know what it really is,
but every time I see it I think of Stonehenge.)

This church stands at the corner that marks the one-mile point.

There was a carpet of leaves on the trail this morning.
Colorful, soft...and a little slippery.

After all the markers along the first mile, there are none on the second
and it seems to stretch forever until you finally round a curve and see the
trail ahead opening up in front of you.

The trail head and parking lot at the other end of the two-mile trail.
You get to this parking lot from Country Club Drive.

Catch your breath, turn around, and plunge back into the forest again.
I loved the way the sun streaks broke through the
leaves and striped the trail this morning.

I always kid that this feels like a camera shot in a horror movie where the
trail just keeps stretching on forever and ever and you never reach the end.

There's a surge of both excitement and relief when I see this sign -
the roundabout at the beginning...and end...of the journey.

The view from the bridge - the creek is still really
full from all the rain we had earlier in the week.

Oh, let's be honest - this is what I see most of the time...
Sandi about two paces ahead of me all the way. :)
Back in the summer, when I started walking, it was hot and humid and horrible, even early in the morning. At that point, there were many days that I got through it mostly by imagining how wonderful it would be once we got to the fall and the temps cooled off and the humidity was lower. Now it's fall, and you know what? I was right. This is WONDERFUL walking weather!


  1. I so wish I could walk this trail. I wouldn't be able to keep up with you, but it is absolutely beautiful!

  2. You'd do fine...or I'd slow down for you. *pinky promise*