Monday, March 15, 2021

Rail Trails: The Good (Concord); The Bad and The Ugly (Swampscott)

Wild spaces, trees, the sounds of nature
Riding the Reformatory Branch trail with
Lila and Alison running ahead

I've not been enthusiastic about Swampscott's plan for the rail trail running over our property. I've ridden many rail trails in New England, and the trail here in Swampscott, snaking through the back yards and dense neighborhoods of town, is a poor design. Still, I'm trying to make peace with it, despite several shady decisions made by town administrators. Townie politics.

Riding the Reformatory Branch Trail in Concord last weekend reminded me of the best of public rail trails - - long stretches of natural landscape surrounded by trees and wildlife. Trees. Sigh. Trees.

The Marine Corps Marathon 17.75K was virtual this year, and Jennifer, Amy, Alison, and Lila registered to run. We haven't been together since our snowy hike in October, when I hiked the same trail (unknowingly) with a broken foot. Hard to believe it's been five months. While they ran, I rode alongside on the mountain bike, happy to be out on the trails with them without having to run eleven miles.

After their run, we returned to the parking lot where Lisa and Cate were watching Jennifer's new puppy Lili. It was great to be together, despite being masked up and keeping some distance. It felt semi-normal.

And speaking of Lili...

Earlier in the week, Amy and I rode the Swampscott Rail Trail, (near me a treeless engineered gravel path -- the opposite of the Concord trail), to meet Jennifer in Marblehead and test run a puppy pack with Lili. Ha ha ha... so funny. Lili did great -- although it was a short test run. Cute puppy!

Puppy on board