Friday, October 2, 2015

In Which Barriers Are Falling Away

Thursday afternoon--creature along the trail. Traffic in this section would have been pretty light due to trail closure at 42nd Street, maybe she or he is surprised to see bikes again. The critter just sat there and watched me. As I sat there and watched it.

Thursday afternoon, I was ready to leave campus before 5—a pretty rare thing for me. So I decided to ride around Cedar Lake and take the trail route home.

Now, I know that the trail is closed at 42nd Street, and knew that crossing Center Point road would be a bit of a challenge at rush hour, but that was all OK.

So I rode around the lake and then headed north.

When I got to the bridge where the trail crosses itself (you Cedar River Trail users know exactly what I mean, but it’s also a bridge over McCloud Run), I had a minor surprise. All summer long, since they closed the trail at 42nd Street, there was a sign on the bridge warning of the trail being closed ahead. But it was not there.

And, a bit farther on, I got to the little side street, opposite the food coop, and again, the warning sign that I was expecting was AWOL. The trail is open?

Wow—well, when I got to 42nd Street, it turns out the project is not yet done, but it has advanced to the point that the detour is much smaller. The official detour means going one block east and then coming back west on the other side. The unofficial detour is to wait until the workers are gone and just go around the signs.

Thursday afternoon at 42nd Street.

They aren’t done with the street crossing yet, so I don’t know if 42nd Street will still be the second-most interesting street crossing (First Avenue is still the most interesting) on the trail. But the project has totally eliminated a sharp turn and short trip down a very narrow sidewalk—the trail is nice and wide and has its own rail crossing, now.

Well, hooray. So I snapped a few photos and continued north. I turned to take the Noelridge Park route home.

And again, an expected detour was no longer there. An obstacle has evaporated. The sidewalk that crosses Noelridge to the middle school area had been closed while they did something to a stream. Turns out they were, among other things, putting in a prairie.

Well, that’s cool. I hope there are lots of milkweed seeds in that prairie area. And it’s nice that the main CR trail is gain pretty much open, and that I can go both north and south on it once more.

Prairie in the park.

Bridge in park. I am amused. They put in lots of new paving but carefully preserved the nice bump at the end of the bridge.

Sign in park.

Friday morning. No sneaking through today--workers on 42nd Street. And below, approaching trail again on the other side--detour is only a block now.

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