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

Del Valle Regional Park
Del Valle Regional Park
It’s difficult to not take it personally when you get kicked out of a National Park. Especially when you’re someone who adores National Parks as much as I do. It soon became clear that the debt ceiling crisis was not going to resolve itself any time soon.
The High Sixties
The High Sixties
It certainly hasn’t felt like February lately. We’ve had a generous stretch of mild weather and it feels more like spring than … what’s the word I’m looking for? Winter! Yes, that’s it.
Approaching Sky Pond
Approaching Sky Pond
After two weeks of work-related turmoil, I find myself in desperate need of a break. I take the day off and venture up to the Glacier Gorge area for a day of hiking. It being late June, I expect the trail to be snow covered at higher elevations.