Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Come Walk With Me

I went on a shooting spree today...not THAT kind of shooting spree...a photo shooting spree. I was in search of color and some new views. I'd noticed a splash of color while rounding a corner near downtown last week and wanted to check it out. A large old house graces that corner, holding on to its huge lot that, if the angle is just right, belies the fact that businesses encroach upon it on all sides.

A classic cast iron fence encloses the yard on two sides.

And here is the color I spotted as I drove past. Someone is working hard on these beds so they may be even more colorful in the future.

Signs of spring show up on the fence too - accumulation of pollens.

And then there were the gargoyles on either side of the steps leading to the porch. I had not noticed them before and don't know if they are original to the house or not.

But I'm relatively sure this guy at the base of the stairs is not.

Nor that sign on the porch.

The house itself had nothing to commend it to a sketching session but the old building that houses the county courthouse next door does. But today was not a day for sketching.

No, it was time for walking, and I headed through the parking lot toward where I knew a bike trail so far unexplored begins. My route took me past The Old Power House and another thing I should be sketching, but not today. The end of the building holds some interest - I'm thinking this part must be a former loading dock.

The sides are thickly encrusted in spots with moss, some of it looking quite dead, making this green shoot appear even more stark against that background.

The bike trail in question heads under the bypass that opened in 2012. I was instantly drawn in by the underside of the elevated roadway, the gentle curving lines. Sucker.

And then I was standing "between" the bypass and an exit ramp, an interesting symmetry. The water there is Sand Creek, not far from where it empties into the lake.

Once it has wound under the bypass, the trail heads south, sandwiched between the highway and the railroad.  I am so grateful for the bypass committee member who lobbied for this decoration of mountains incised into the concrete along the off-ramps.

Eventually, the train tracks head over the lake at a point locally known as dog beach. Dogs aren't allowed in City Beach, although a surprising number of people think that doesn't apply to them and their precious pets. But dog beach has always been the place where you could bring your dog to swim.

Once I got this far, I started seeing a bench here and there, places to rest and enjoy the view. But this one was not like the rest and must have a story behind it. Not only its unusual shape caught my eye but also the branch shadows across its surface.

And nearby attached to a rock was a bit of art.

The next bit of interest soon appeared on the beach near the trail, a long stretch where people's names and intentions were spelled out in rocks.

As I looked down the trail, I could see that before long I'd be at the place where the trail crosses the lake on a portion of the old long bridge right next to the current one in use. That bridge is about a mile long and I'd love to walk across it. But I guessed I'd already walked a mile and a half and needed to turn around and head back. But gosh, isn't this a beautiful view? Still lots of snow in our mountains, some fresh from yesterday.

Sadly, there were no flashes of color along the bike trail, but I knew where to find another infusion on a side street on my way home. Thanks for joining me on my walk, and happy spring!

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