Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Tale Of Two Trails (And Two Cameras)

Two image of new camera. My Nikon was nice and shot this Canon.

Well, blog pals, my Kodak point-and-shoot, which lately has gone a bit looney, was replaced on Father’s Day with a new Canon PowerShot SX150IS.  It’s a 14-megapixel camera and shoots, or so it says, HD video, too.

So my RAGBRAI coverage this year will be with this new camera that I’m just getting acquainted with.

Tuesday, partly to try it out, partly to show the journey I wrote about earlier (the new trail ride Tristan and I took on Father’s Day), I took the new camera for a ride.  I should say, rather, I took it along for a ride—I was riding Old Blackie, not the camera—but I think you understand.

As I stated in my “mini-me” post, the city of Marion has done some recent trail extensions.  Come along, as on the way home from MMU on a hot Tuesday afternoon, I went for a ride down these new trials:

Photo 1:  The start.  The west end of the old rail line ends behind Walgreens on C Avenue—actually, in a parking lot owned by the IBEW.  Yes, it’s just a track by a dumpster—but it is planned to be an official trail, some day.

Photo 2:  Where Cedar Rapids ends and Marion begins.  Marion has finished its part of the trail.  CR?  You just have to dump and smooth some limestone …

Photo 3:  When I got to Lindale Drive (or Avenue, don’t recall the street name for sure, those of you who know the local geography, whatever that street is that crosses Blair’s Ferry where it goes from four to two lanes) there was a bright orange “construction entrance” sign.  I decided to ride through Marion neighborhoods to the Boyson Road trail and take the short trail loop that connects with Parkview Drive, and then proceed along the main trail.

Photo 4:  The northwest end of the Boyson Road trail.  This used to be a steep, narrow, eroded dirt track—the city (Marion) put in new culverts and a nice sidewalk, which makes getting to the trail from Cedar Rapids on the north end very easy.

Photo 5: Where the rail trail ends at the Boyson Trail.  Note the old railroad bridge at left.  Getting to the old rail line used to mean a woodsy scramble up a steep hill—now, it’s easy.  And from this end, to paraphrase Woody Guthrie, the sign that said “constructed entrance” didn’t say nothing.  I planned to use this trail on the way home, but for now proceeded south on the Boyson Road trail to the other new trail that shoots off west and north through the Frisbee golf course.

Photo 6:  Along that side trail after the gold course, a new bridge over Indian Creek.

Photo 7:  Woodsy view from the bridge.

Photo 8:  The trail comes to a T.  Menards is beyond that fence.

Photo 9: If you turn right at the T, the trail quickly ends at the Indian Creek bridge of Highway 100—but looks like they might plan to continue south of the bridge.  If you go left, the trail ends in a newish subdivision in Marion.

Photo 10: On the way back.  You pass through several nice tree-lined areas.  One of them, just west of the Frisbee golf course, is where Tristan and I saw a doe the first time I rode this trail on Father’s Day.  I was thinking of her, when I saw him.  You might have to look closely.  Antlers are peaking out of the bush.  A buck.

Photo 11:  Heading up the hill beside the old rail bridge to the brand new trail section.  No construction vehicles encountered, the trail seems to be open.  Audrey and I used it (and the north sidewalk) as a loop for our evening constitutional.  The new trail, even with its primitive Cedar Rapids end, makes for some nice biking and walking in our neighborhood!

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