The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Monsoons

Sunday, June 13th, 2010 in Illinois
Monsoons

The rains are here. For five days straight, I’ve lived under leaden skies and breathed in damp air. The garden is lush, which saves me the chore of watering flowerbeds twice daily, but it also means the trails are soppy at best and impassible otherwise. But I’m happy to have a break from bright skies and paint-cracking heat.

I’ve been fitful with my bike rides. For three days straight I didn’t go anywhere and dreaded even the thought of gearing-up for a ride. Then the fourth day, I hopped on my bike and I could not seem to stop. I biked 21 miles and burned nearly 1100 calories. Simply fitful. I’m not sure how to find biking balance. I’ll have to work on that.

More and more, lately, time gets away from me. The mornings—vast—are tricksters. They make me feel as if I have the whole long day to do as I please, there’s no rush. They make me feel that I needn’t worry, I’ll get everything done that I had planned for that day, no sweat. But before I know it, the afternoon is upon me and I’m rushing to finish things for work, planning what to eat for dinner and slowing down as my energy slumps. The heat rises outside and the bugs hover at the window screens. The last thing I want to do after working is get on my bike and whip through a fog of airborne invertebrates.

But looking at these pictures, looking through all my pictures from my bike rides, I realize how important they are. They fill my days with greenery and richness that otherwise would be entirely lost to me. My office is mosquito-free, but it is also devoid of plants and chipmunks and puddles and branches. It’s missing nature, my office. And I don’t want to miss nature. So I must get out every day.

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Assortment

Fresh Air
Fresh Air
Exploring Yosemite Valley
Exploring Yosemite Valley
One of my favorite things we did during our short stay in Yosemite was to take a long evening walk through Yosemite Valley. Since few people were left in the park by this time, it was like we had traveled back in time to a less hectic era.
White Pass
White Pass
Today we rode the White Pass and Yukon Route railway from Skagway, Alaska to the summit of White Pass.