Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday - June 1st - an outdoors day.

First of all, a plea for some computer advice. When I used a PC to blog, I would add the images that I wanted to my post, and all would load at the top of the entry. I would grab the picture I wanted and drag it down to where I wanted it in the text. As I dragged the photo, the text would scroll down so that I could place it exactly where I wanted it.
With the Mac, everything loads at the top as normal. But when I grab it to move the photo, the text does not scroll down and I end up pasting the picture sort of outside the blogger text box, and then having to move it again to it's new location. Maybe this explanation doesn't make much sense, but if anyone has any good hints on how to load and move pictures in blogger, using a mac - I'd appreciate the help.

Okay, onto my weekend post!

Mountain Bike Riding

I am not an athlete. I was never a tomboy, never climbed ropes or managed to hit a baseball. I was (an am) a reader, thinker, dreamer. But an athlete? Nope, not this chicken.

But many people in my life have tried to show me the joys of coordination, and athletics. My cousins tried to teach me to ride ocean waves. I sank, or got left behind or got scrambled in the surf. In camp they tried to teach me tennis or team sports and I was a miserable failure. The only sport I liked at camp was rowing. It's a solitary sport, and you move forward while looking backwards - how great. Anyway, since my childhood camp days, boyfriends have tried to teach me sports. My brother has tried, and my cousins are still trying. No one really understands that I mostly like solitary sports, with minimal pain.
Now - DH's latest interest is mountain biking, so we went out and got me a mountain bike and off we go. (I am taking lessons next week so that I learn how to not kill myself.) We went out to what was supposed to be an easy trail, and while it was fun - I also felt a constant terror. Plummeting downhill towards trees and rocks! Bonking over roots and rocks! I did like it, but am heading to the store this week to get all the protective equipment I can find. Wrist protectors, ankle protectors, elbow, face, etc. A slight exaggeration, but I'll really get what I can!
When we got done with the terrifying ride - (it was supposed to be easy trail,but even Tony said it was "intermediate") we went to a semi paved rail trail and rode there for a few hours. I got to take some pictures of the Blackstone valley area - really beautiful
The two field above were just so green, and luscious looking, I wanted to stay there all afternoon.
Don't you just want to walk down this path, in the dappled green sunlight?

These pink flowers are not phlox - they are wildflowers and I don't know the proper name. An old friend called them "lady flower" - she said that they were for the Virgin Mary, with their four petals.

This rock was covered with these unusual lichens - so much so that some of the rocks I saw in the woods looked like piles of leaves. It wasn't until I got up to them that I saw that they were rocks covered with these lichens.

And this rock was evidence of "pin and feather" rock cutting from colonial times. After reading "Sermons in Stone" which is all about New England rock walls, I was fascinated to see this actual evidence of the tools used to split rock. As usual, it astounds me to realize the amount of work that went into farming (still does I know - but different work right?) Imagine, hand drilling holes in stone....inserting tools to split the rock....pounding those tool....breaking the rock and then MOVING it. I understand the need for lots of sons to help on the farm.

At the end of the canal towpath, there was an old woolen mill from the 1800's. It was in production until 1988, at which time it was closed. Families in town had had generations that had worked in these mills - of course I wondered what happened to everyone and where they went for work when this mill closed. Now they are talking about renovating it, and putting in shops etc. But, the town itself is not in such great shape economically, and I wonder how well the shops would do. Perhaps a tourist destination, but I just don't know. Anyway, I took this picture of the lock, you can just imagine this lock open, and the water power running this whole building.

So, as you can see, I really enjoyed the flatter ride, it was much more scenic and relaxing. I got to take pictures, and read signs about the farm that used to be in the area, and enjoy myself. The tougher ride, while exhilarating, was not as much fun at all, and much more of a physical challenge. I am suspicious that DH is trying to make me into an athlete again, and voiced my concerns. "No, no" he protested, he just wants me to have fun with him and to have us bike ride together.

I'm thinking that here is another misguided male, trying to get this I-would-rather-be-reading female out into the wide blue world to get exercise - and I think that he's hoping that "maybe she'll like THIS sport". I'll give it a try, but I think that I am going to enjoy seeing winter again, when the snow stops all relentless outdoor activity and one can sit in front of the fire, reading, with a clear conscience.

Sorry DebKay - I know you love mountain biking. Maybe I need a woman only group to ride with....


Forever Young said...

ha ha loved the end to this...yes give me a cosy armchair and a good book any day!!

Debra Kay said...

Oh Mim, come ride with us in August-I can pick you up in Dallas.

I imagine your trails are a lot more challenging than ours-we don't have real mountains in Oklahoma or Texas. Due to my rotten foot, I can only put one foot down if I need to-so I prefer a wide trail.

I am thinking of creating my own sport-cross country riding or dirt road riding-want to be a charter member of my club?

I like pedaling on grass, it's bumpier than the road, you work harder and your abs will tell you about it the next day, so you must be balancing. I've been riding some in my cousin's pasture.

caseytoussaint said...

Well you got some great pictures! I enjoy bike riding, but I'm always afraid of getting hit by a crazed French motorist....