An epic bike ride through nature, and a new friend

Gorgeous lake and sky reflection at Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve Society / funkyjunkinteriors.net
How have you guys been doing with the purging challenge since Monday? Have you fixed up your escape yet? Remember to have a before and after pic ready for Mon AM to join in!

I’ve been a good girl! I’ve cleaned an area each day! Right now, there are 4 big garbage bags bound for the dump, and 3 for the thrift.. from a linen closet and my pantry. Things are drastically improving around here!

Well, today ended up being drop dead gorgeous… is summer back? I’m not sure! It’s been pounding rain over the last while, so there was no way I’d be caught indoors today emptying out some closet! Or cleaning up wood… ugh.

Instead, I ran away got out the bike, and went back to the train bridge and park I found last round.

train track bridge over a river with blue sky overhead / funkyjunkinteriors.net
This bridge connects my community to the next. There is a very small pedestrian area to the right. But let’s just say, you wouldn’t want to get caught there with a train whizzing by you full speed ahead.

But I was much braver this round! Aren’t you proud of me?! 

(There was a work vehicle on the tracks, so I knew I wouldn’t get run over.)

graffiti on a train track barrier / funkyjunkinteriors.net
train track bridge over the Vedder River / funkyjunkinteriors.net
I LOVE the height of tall bridges.

At the end of the tracks…

Forest bike trails through Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
… were gorgeous sunlit filtered smooth trails, softly swerving between trees and water edges.

Effortless biking.

MY kinda biking!

bell for scaring off wildlife while biking through the trails / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Last round, I was warned about carrying a whistle in case wildlife crossed my path. 

I did one better. This rusty ‘ol cowbell made the most lovely clinking. And when I didn’t need it clinking, I pinned it quiet with a clothespin.

Some things just can’t change I suppose.

Bench by the water at Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Bench by the water at Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
And then, I rounded the corner to this secret pathway, leading to a private bench with its own waterfront.

Goodness… this is where I wish I had a thermos of coffee and a picnic lunch. Next time!

bikeride at heron reserve nature park-0933
I certainly have the picnic baskets for it.

These saddlebag baskets are golden. Highly recommend! They carried a flannel shirt, bottle of water, lock, purse, keys, phone, camera… with room to spare.

Electra is the brand.

Bridge in the bush at Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Trail bike ride through Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Trails like these seem to wipe the slate clean. Not a care in the world was to be had. 

The perfect bench in front of a lake at Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
What is this purging nonsense you speak of again?!

Excuse me.. I’m busy doing nothing today.

Tower at Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Now this tower intrigued me! What kind of view would be way up there?

And once again, I was surprised at how great my shoes were on those metal grate steps. Effortless walking.

Do you have skechers? (affiliate Amazon link)

Don’t even delay! 

I bought them for Disney, got 3 more after that, and haven’t worn anything else since.

bikeride at heron reserve nature park-0954
Surprisingly, the trees were too tall for an ultimate view.

But I was distracted… my phone rang when I was at the top of the tower, and at the hilt of a most excellent, gorgeous day, just when you don’t really think things can get much better…

… they do. The call was most interesting. It was about another bucket list item that is waiting for the perfect fit and timing. Will this finally be it? We shall see. It was just neat that a neat thing transpired in a neat place.

Then I hit the road for the local grocery store, where they served homemade soup. Bringing it outside, I ran into Rusty.

Rusty was one of the fellas that encouraged me to go across that train track last round. And to bring the whistle. He was so proud that I crossed the bridge again without fear!

But when I proudly showed him my bell, he fell silent for a moment. Taking a deep breath, he told me of the endearing memories the bell stirred up for him.

That did it. So we sat together outside at the little cafe table, and shared stories. Just like a Norman Rockwell painting. He sure reminded me of my Dad. 

And then he took me to his place outdoors and showed me his love for junk in the garden. And that he had a surplus. And that I’d get a call soon.

What?!

Bike ride through Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
I may have to call this thing The Little Miracle Bike.

I can tell the trails, adventures and new friends it’ll help me meet will become invaluable.

Gorgeous lake and reflection at Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Gorgeous lake and reflection at Great Blue Heron Natural Reserve / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Because I’m pretty sure, you’re going to hear about Rusty again at some point…

and maybe even some intriguing tower news if all goes well.

And all because of a bike…

p.s. Go get a bike!

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Categories: Off Topic, Photo Shoots, Photography, Rambling, Sights where I live
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  1. I just bought a bike today!! A cute cruising style that I can pedal all around the neighborhood and local bike path. I forgot how fun riding a bike is!!

    • Well how exciting is that Debbie?! It IS fun, with the right bike! I delayed it so long because I’ve never really loved it due to being hunched over and all that. This isn’t even a bike.. it’s a rolling arm chair! haha

  2. I think we could be old friends. this post sounds like many of my days. My husband says a stranger is just a friend whose ears I haven’t talked off yet! I would love to meet you! I am in Boone, North Carolina. It is located in the Appalachian Mountains near the Tennessee Border. Its the most beautiful place EVER! Hoping that bike leads to many more great days!
    Piper

  3. What a great post! What a great ride… and happenings. Sounds like my mornings when I to yard saling. The encounters are just as fun as the sales! Blessings to you, your new bike, your new friend and that possible new news…

  4. See what happens when you tidy up and let go of some things? I hope the new things that come in are worthwhile and you enjoy them.

    That clearing out I started at the beginning of the year (with you) brought my wife a full-time teaching position where she had been currently working and a new house for us.

  5. Donna, this post is so inspiring and so well written!! God has blessed you with so much and you are a blessing to those of us who read and follow you. I would love to wander around and “stumble” into such a beautiful setting. It sounds like something wonderful is about to happen for you, and you are so deserving. Keep up the great work and enjoy all that you do…even if !!!you do “nothing” it is a good cleansing of the mind and spirit

  6. I love stories like this!
    It brings back memories of me driving my mother (she died in 2006) around
    we would just pick a road, not knowing where it headed & drive for hours. Sometimes stopping at a store & getting a picnic lunch.
    those photos are photos I would have found interesting too. I love your cowbell!
    Thank you for sharing
    Sandra

  7. Your story is just delightful! I got a bike a while ago and then promptly shattered my are so it has delayed the use of it…will do it now, thanks! I’m hooked on your story and am excited to hear more news of the conversation on the tower πŸ™‚

  8. Loved your adventure story. Sometimes a break from tasks is necessary in the process. Yours certainly seemed productive. I’m still working on my cleaning campaign and probably won’t be ready by Monday, but am committed to seeing it through! Thanks for the motivation!

  9. Oh Donna – I am forgetting the purging thing and getting a bike! What beautiful scenery! Can’t wait to hear about your bucket list news.

  10. I agree about the bike, my hubby and I have been doing a lot of riding (for us) and bought a bike carrier for the car. I have been purging, too, thank you for the gentle nudge. Less is great! Have a great weekend.

    • Ha… it seemed that every time I said something, Rusty was taken aback. And when he said something, I felt the same way. At one point, we both said, “This wasn’t a chance meeting…”

      I love how life weaves in different people and different happenings for different reasons. If one ever says they are bored with life, well… I think they should hop on a bike! haha

      The deal appears to be to continue to spread your wings, so you can fly to new locations… and grow.

      • Love it, Donna! Your bike ride to Rusty story gave me goosebumps. It’s moments like that where you stop, take pause, look up to the sky and say thank you.
        I also understand how a bike ride can become a miracle. A bike completely altered the course of my son’s life (now 25)!
        Happy biking trails,
        Marie

  11. If a bike can do all that for me, I’m IN! πŸ™‚ Sooooo happy for you that your newfound hobby is bringing so much joy and opportunity into your life and happy for us that you have decided to share all of this with us! Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous and I love your cowbell and saddlebags, too! Oh m’gosh all of that blue sky and clear water…you are truly blessed and it’s pretty obvious that you know it! Ride on, Donna, and please keep sharing!

  12. I think it looks like a lovely area to lounge the day away. Could you picnic at the top of the tower? I think it should have a hammock for relaxing with the birds.
    I am wondering if they meant watch for bears; are there any in your area? Did you seen scat (poo)?

    • Hi Rose, we do indeed have bears! The other day as I was gathering old fence wood from another’s front driveway, a bear cub was playing in the ditch beside me… yikes! I couldn’t spot his mother, so I made a quick dash outta there! πŸ™‚

      That’s the main reason for the cow bell.

      The tower sign explained it as an observation deck.

  13. Donna,
    Sounds like an absolutely wonderful day! I want a bike just for those cute baskets.
    Before your clean-up challenge, I had done that with our master bedroom. No before pictures.
    I create a lot and do have a studio in our old master upstairs but I can hardly walk in there (will take much longer than a week to clean), so things were brought downstairs and started accumulating there.
    That is my escape place and now it’s a pleasure to be in.
    Carol b

  14. Such a beautiful story, beautiful pictures and beautiful new friendship πŸ™‚
    When life gets too difficult I come here, take a deep breath and feel better…thank you

  15. You write from your heart, and I love that! I stop and talk to folks at the starbucks this morning because they had a cute little scottie named Mary Stuart. It’s the little things, the people you meet along the way that makes life special. Thanks so much for sharing a slice of your life with us….and I also have a bike!

  16. “So we sat together outside at the little cafe table, and shared stories. Just like a Norman Rockwell painting. He sure reminded me of my Dad.”

    How sweet…. I think your Dad had a hand in it for you to meet Rusty.

    xo

  17. I may not want a bike but I laughed about your Skechers. I bought one pair and now own about seven.

    Your pictures are idyllic. I enjoy your projects but your pictures are amazing, They always tell a beautiful story. Thanks for a moment in my busy day.