Another summer break has slipped by and now it's back to the role of English grad-student. No complaints here (not too many at least), but I will miss being able to slip off to Dolly Sods on short notice.
Seeing as I will be tied up with teaching and classes of my own for some time, I thought now was a good moment to take a look back at one of those nice, simple summer afternoons.
This past June I took a leisurely bike ride out the Decker's Creek Trail. This trail, like many in the area, runs along the grade of an old railroad. Known as the Morgantown & Kingwood Railroad, this particular line was completed in 1907 and supported the coal, coke, and limestone industries in the area.
These days the tracks and trains are long gone. In their place is a nicely maintained asphalt / crushed limestone trail that runs from the waterfront park in Morgantown all the way up to Reedsville: a total of 19 miles.
Like I said, this trip up the trail wasn't for a workout as much as it was simply for getting out and enjoying the weather.
Or perhaps it only turned into a sight-seeing ride after coming across these cliffs around the 5-mile marker (measured from the beginning of the trail in Morgantown).
Not too much farther up the trail (close to the 6-mile marker if I remember right) I noticed a small path going down the hillside. Walking / sliding down this little bank led me out onto the rocks of Deckers Creek.
I really couldn't have asked for a better day to sit and rest my legs next to this creek. The sun was pleasantly warm and, even though a busy, truck-filled road was just beyond the trees on the far side of the creek, you couldn't hear it over the sound of the rushing creek.
Sunshine. Warm rocks. And tired muscles: the good kind of tired.
After a little rest, I went exploring among the rocks nearby.
I found the remains of some animal's lunch: left for the ants;
and a reminder that we leave our mark on the world even after we're gone.
After scrambling around for a little while longer, it was back to the bike
and the return trip: half riding / half coasting back down to Morgantown