Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Peru, Illinois

Farewell to the I & M

Our last day on the ‘I and M Canal State Trail’ had its own power.  There were images and impressions worth remembering.  The canal itself appeared and disappeared, that is, filled with still water or none at all.  Giant reeds were invasive, yet they provided shade.  A magnificent rock wall cut through like a gorge to our sight.

Uttamananda and I viewed the intensely cardinal-red colour of one bird.  During a chanting session we had, a song, in honour of the guru, I spotted two stellar blue birds that went in a flit and a flirt.  Solitary deer came out of thickets to feel the freedom enjoyed on the trail, but upon seeing us they would dash away timidly.

A plaque informed us that Wild Bill Hickok began his nefarious ways along the canal when he was a teen.

Beginning from the city of Ottawa, the trail seems unfrequented by pedestrians.  Of course that might be because we started trekking early.  By the time we got to where the trail cuts through Utica and La Salle, the presence of people picked up.

“Hey, that was you on TV wasn’t it?” asked one elderly man who stopped and dismounted his bike.

Fishermen and fisherwomen began to dot the edge of the canal, some successfully reeling in fish, mostly bass.

Kamlesh, a 59 year old, successful Gujarati businessman in the area decided to join us and even arranged rooms for our night-time stay at the Tow-Rest Motel.  But, before sleep, I was invited to the proprietors’ home for kirtan and a message from the Gita, chapter 8, verse 6, about preparation for positive thoughts at the moment of death.  This is what we dwelt on.

It was a glorious day, but I’m sad to see the trail leave us.

May the Source be with you!

21 miles

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