8/5/06

Off We Go

A few weeks ago, I took a motorcycle ride. It was a Saturday morning, the best time for a motorcycle adventure in my opinion, when the sense of being freed from the work week is still fresh in your mind. To jaunt off down the road at nine in the morning, when you'd ordinarily be settling into the day's assignments but instead you're off to wherever you want, whatever you can find to explore... when you get that to work out it's pretty hard not to feel like you're Living Right.

I went in search of a mountain, which we don't have in central Indiana. We have a large hill -- a mound of piled up earth you see off to the north as you circle the southern part of I-465 -- a hill which you, if you're like me at all, can't help wondering about.

So I pointed my KLR in that direction and motored away. As I got closer to where I thought my mountain stood, I noticed the gates to an IPL facility (our local power company). I went in, but after a half mile or so the trail dead-ended at a factory. I circled back and decided to go around.

I got back on 465 and headed west, once again looking wistfully at that mysterious mountain of dirt. When the highway passed over a river, I had a feeling I'd gone too far.

So I got off at the next exit, and kept winding in the hill's general direction. Dead end. But I was out, and in no mood to head back, so I kept searching for something interesting, and eventually I found it: a newly built golf course with a dirt and gravel service road reaching all around the course. I went behind the clubhouse, found the entrance to the trail, and took it.

The shade from the trees was calming... I coasted through at a lazy 15-25 mph, burbling along in second gear. Every so often through a clearing I'd see white-shirted golfers climbing out of little carts, teeing up their shots and glancing toward the woods to see what was making that noise.

Then it got really good. At the end of the golf course loop the trail led to another trail -- this one out away from everything. As I followed it away from the golfers it dawned on me where I was: the southside landfill.

They've got acres and acres of land there... some of it crawled by dump trucks and bulldozers in the distance but most of it set aside for future projects. The part I found was amazing -- I rode around huge grassy plains, huge birds flying over the open space... gravel paths circling a hidden lake with ducks dotting the water... the further I rode the more I saw, and the trail just kept going.

Every so often I'd pull over, take out the camera and snap a little digital imprint of my discovery.

Eventually I headed back, arms starting to sunburn. I got back on the highway, whizzed alongside the semis and sedans, took my exit and wound my way through the streets to home, where I pulled up into the garage and shut off the engine feeling very, very lucky.

It was almost perfect, my adventure.

Only missing one thing -- and I fixed that a couple weeks later when I went back... and brought Penny.



3 comments:

Sharon said...

she's on her way home....:)

jPaper said...

Awesome entry man. Nothing beats those escapes we're all trying to find.

Goddess of Leonie said...

that.is.the.coolest.story.ever.

thanks for sharing that... it's brought a big GRIN to my day!

:D