Saturday, 25 June 2016

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Monday, June 20th, 2016
Jolist, Illinois

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!

21 miles

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