10.18.2010

fall colors at their peak

We liked our first ride at Governor Dodge so much, that we went back the following weekend. We didn't think it could get any better, but it did. The fall colors were peaking, as we headed out onto a path called the Woodland Trail. It included an inner loop throughout the park. After talking to some riders the previous week, who didn't think the inner loop was very pretty, I had my doubts. We knew it had several shared paths (horses/hikers/bikers) as we had biked part of the path a few years back ourselves. It made me wonder, what were we in for? Regardless, we started out and the first thing we saw was a different, yet familiar view of Twin Valley Lake. This view had peaceful fisherman on a canoe...


...soon after we rounded the bend, we started to see some Fall colors...the path was pretty...


...the colors got more vibrant the further we rode...

Nemo and one of the many red/orange trees


...the colors were spectacular...


...we could see the bluffs in the distance...


...eventually we passed a couple hikers who needed help with directions to the cave, as well as a couple who reminded me how fortunate I was. We rode over small wooden bridges, and passed a large group of nice horses that both Nemo and Koda would have liked us to join. You could see our boys think "can't we just follow them?" The winding path soon took us away from the shared path, and past yet another lovely view of the lake...


...and onto the beautiful outer loop...

Brad & Nemo
...it was hilly. When we weren't going up, we were going down...eventually it evened off. The terrain, and the views, never stopped changing. Koda had his "walk on" again, we hurried up and waited, while Brad & Nemo hurried up.  

Birch trees are everywhere at Governor Dodge, but there was one particularly bright white patch of trees that were glowing white against the fall colors, and the blue sky...


...we kept riding and saw more bluffs in the distance...


...and before we knew it some were above our heads, and these had rock climbers on them. I thought for sure that would cause confusion with our young boys, but it didn't. Perhaps because they recognized human voices. The path soon took us through other areas, and they were soooo beautiful...


...and unique. We suddenly found ourselves in the middle of bare trees as far as the eye could see...


...shortly after we started the climb back down, and around, and down...


...until we came upon one last bridge. It had no rails, leaned to the left, and you could see the water flowing underneath between the gaps in the boards. The boys wanted no part of it, and I can't blame them. We also had riders waiting for us to cross, which added pressure. However those riders turned out to be the nicest people we met all day, an older couple who encouraged us to take our time. They knew. Horses have to learn somehow, and told us they had been there done that - on that same bridge. The older gentleman had a beautiful white horse, that he brought down into the water to see if it would help ours bypass the bridge. It was too steep of a decline, with running water, for our boys to find comfort in company. He also brought his horse across the bridge, but that didn't work either. It was very nice of them to take the time to try to help us. We eventually hopped off, and walked Nemo and Koda across a couple times - and then ended by riding them across the bridge. We caught up to the older couple at the unloading area, and had a nice chat. They had been riding in the park since 1953...wow...imagine the memories. They will definitely be part of mine. We parted ways, with hopes of running into each other again.  We will make sure to pass their kindness forward, as some day our three year olds will be the steady-eddies.

We have one unexplored trail left at Governor Dodge, and it's the longest (15 plus miles)...maybe next year? I'll never forget this wonderful day, we really had a great ride!

5 comments:

Leah Fry said...

How beautiful, and those are nice trails. Very kind of those people to help you put your boys at ease.

fernvalley01 said...

Lovely area , glad the other riders were patient and helpfu;

allhorsestuff said...

Oh my wonderful God!
That is totally, royally ( my phone made that up, thought it fit) .... an incredible place to ride!
The views of the lake, the birtch trees in the blue sky, path ways of delight...through hilly, its really nice looking!

I love that you have such sensible steeds, and to ride with your hubby...blessed you are!
...It is so cool to have the constant reminder of the extreme privilege of riding in the beauty, when passerbys mention how neat it is ~to see you ride!

Wow, to have been riding that long...and at that gorgeous place...so c ool to have met those people. Nice of them to want to help too. Your training was great, just the way I would have.

Now, you do have an excellent ride ahead of you...15 mi ,is no small thing, with varying terrains. The Timothy Lake ride we do here is that milage...and it feels like 25, around that lake! Make sure to bring some "sore no more" linement...for all of you!

Awesome ride...thanks for the wonderful adventure!

Jeni said...

Oh wow Aurora !! What a truly awesome ride you and Brad had. I love the fall colours this time of year. Unfortunately no trail riding for us right now. It's deer season here and not safe to ride out on the trails.

juliette said...

Another gorgeous ride!!! You and your boys are so lucky to have such nice trails and wonderful riders to meet! That is very cool that those people have been riding there since the 1950's. They are my inspiration!!!! Thanks for sharing the photos and details.