Monday, June 30, 2008

Last Day of June


The last day of June. The rains we have had have washed away quite a bit of what I wanted to do in the Spring and capriciously whimsical winds have altered other plans.

July is getting rather filled, the weekends, and it suddenly dawned on me that if I wanted to do the Tunnel Trail this season, I should just take off and do it before anything else happens. I'm taking holiday on thursday (business sucks before a major holiday) and will just pack up and take off.

The trail is only two hour drive; I can take my time and still be there by noon, find a camp ground, get in a leisurely ride up to tunnel #3 and have plenty of time to sit at a campfire thursday night before doing the whole trail on friday, driving back friday night.

It is on an old railroad cut in the western part o the state dating from 1873. The last train ran in 1964 and soon after that it was converted to a biking/hiking trail. It runs 32 miles on hard packed crushed limestone in the heart of rural Wisconsin, through three large tunnels and across 34 small bridges spanning the creeks. It has been a favorite trail of mine for quite some time, especially the stretch through tunnel #3.

It is the longest tunnel, almost a mile long. There is a creek on the top of the hill the tunnel transverses and the water that permeates through makes the deep interior of the tunnel seem as if it is raining. It also produces a dense condensation fog, so that when you are in the middle, you cannot see a light on either end, or, frankly, the hand in front of your nose. A flashlight is mandatory and, even on the warmest of days, a sweatshirt or jacket as well. There is no chance of riding through; it is very pitted and you cannot see any other hikers or bikers.

The pay-off is coming out. After a mile walk through pitch black, through a path that can trip you in a second, coming out into the sunshine is fantastic, rejuvenating, clean, clear.

Maybe I think of it as a metaphor for life. Or just a bike ride.


11 comments:

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn said...

Quite intriguing.. Yes, the metaphors abound.. damp tunnel (ahem), light at the end of said tunnel (ahem)..

I enjoy a hot 100 degree day for the same reason. After getting really really hot (yeah, yeah, more metaphors), it feels good to cool off under the garden hose with a nice stream of deliciously cool and wet water.

okjimm said...

Gees, Jo, get your mind outa the gutter, ah tunnel (or in your case, clouds) :)

Scarlet W. Blue said...

Dahling, I have surfaced temporarily to hand out awards. Will you be picking yours up or shall I have it shipped?

DCup said...

What a lovely trail. I'm wondering about those metaphors though....

okjimm said...

Scarlet...nope....I picked it up....I just haven't figgered out if I should add crushed nuts and whipped cream or horseradish& mustard.....

Dcup....oh wowsers....yup....after your vagina post...the second photo....I think I had a subconsciousness working overtime.....or a libido that needs some exercise...whew

DivaJood said...

That trail brings back memories - I've ridden it two summers in a row, when I participated in the Twin Cities to Chicago Aids Rides in 1997 and 1998. But biking as a metaphor? Yikes.

okjimm said...

Aw, shit....Diva....you rode all the links of the trail to Chicago.....and still have knees left? I am pretty much on a thirty mile or so regime....it is all the knees can handle. Linebacker knees.....too many brush back blocks.

Anita said...

hmmm ... metaphors ... you need to add a picture of a train goin' through that tunnel, son.

no, i didn't just say that.

okjimm said...

Anita, you break me up! :)

DivaJood said...

Who said I had knees left? I mean, I did this ride two years running, Jim, and then I did another 500 mile ride in Alaska in 2000 - from which I am STILL thawing out - and the body does take a pounding. But the Wisconsin Rails to Trails are some of the prettiest scenery I know.

okjimm said...

oh, shit&stuff...if you are trying to impress me, it's working! My ol buddy Pete does some good trips. He did glacier to yellowstone.... cross Iowa, Arizona....me? ten or twenty out and back. I never like to be to far from my favorite bars. :)

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