Monday, June 20th, 2016
I got Wet
It seemed a big decision in the beginning. Should I or shouldn't I?
I had been walking along a piece of paradise for the first stretch with Uttama, along the Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail (I&M Trail) and loving it. We were shielded from the sun. Trees were lined along the trail. The Great Blue Heron was ever present. You never see them in a flock, but every so many meters you can spot a single one in solitude. It would be perched on old drift wood in the canal. An egert, also, like a lone yogi, would be there contemplating-- on fish.
The canal boasts a rich history. Dug mostly by Irish settlers, it became a major system of water locks (15 to be exact) that moved boats of cargo such as grain, lumber, coal, limestone, and even people. Maybe thirty boats a day would ply through, a distance just shy of 70 miles, tethered and towed by a team of mules; until the steamboat was introduced in 1870.
Now the canal has transformed to mainly a still-watered swamp dynamic, teaming with energy of a different kind. The bull frogs leap and plop into the waters as you walk along. It’s their defense.
The beautiful aspect of the trail can be explained as a piece of peace - no traffic - only runners, walkers, and cyclists. And we came upon it like an accident.
Now the question was, should I cool down by taking a dip in the Illinois River next to me? It looks a lot more inviting than the canal water. Yes, I will. And I did.
May the Source be with you!