April 15, 2005

Beginning of the Road

By Dane Sorensen


We were not surprised. We first spotted snow at the border of Minnesota when we returned from our brief winter respite on March 3. I have come to the conclusion that Minnesota is the Galactic Center of Winter and Ely is its capitol. From California to the southern border of Minnesota it was snow free. Two weeks ago I had to drive to Minneapolis and pick up inventory. At that date Minneapolis was snow-free. Now as we enter the third week of April, we are thankfully 99.999% snow free. All that is left are a few specimens deep in dark places and on the few semi-frozen lakes.

It is with anticipation that we have waited for the death of Old Man Winter. By we I mean my bike and I. Those of us who have been fighting the battle of the bulge are getting tired of our bloody stationary exercise bicycles. One needs wind to enjoy biking.

The best place to get a good quick workout is the Trezona Trail. On April 9, with fully inflated tires, I set out to do my first outing around the Trezona Trail. I set out with the fervor and enthusiasm of a ten year old with a new bike. Unfortunately, April 9 was not to be the debut of biking. I had to bring my steed to a complete stop six times in order to walk across a carpet of snow and ice.

So much for my new 2005 speed record. Winter was an uncooperative corps. However, time is on my side and finally on April 14, a day before Caesar empties the pockets of working America, the snow was completely gone. It was a wonderful sunny day of 65 degrees, and with our blood still thick from last winter's grip, it felt like 75 degrees. It felt great to see all the old sights: the mining buildings, Miner's Lake, Ely's puny Industrial Park, R&R's mighty business park, and all the lovely trees.

The trail looked great to my eyes. It was like seeing an old friend. Like any long absence from a friend I was surprised to see how old the trail looked. Many of the tarred pathways are covered with sand and mud. The grass is a dead brown. The deciduous trees look like death warmed over.

However, this did not depress me. It is only a phase. Unlike humans, the Trezona Trail's elderly looks are only a pause. Soon the green will appear. In a few short weeks it will look as young as a maid dancing around a May Pole.

This is the time of year to enjoy the wonder of rebirth. A daily romp on your bike, or a easy pace on foot, is just what everyone needs this time of year. Be it early in the morning as the dew or frost is still evaporating or in the late afternoon when the shadows grow long. Day by day one can watch the progress of renewal.

Don't depend on the greening of your lawn for your progress report. That is not the way to see Nature's resurgence. It would be like having only one type of food for dinner. On the trail you can watch hundreds of different plants and animals partake the dance of Spring.

My suggestion, no matter how old you are, is to get your bike out. Go grab an old deck of cards and some clothespins, and clip than onto your bike rims. Join the clatter of life as it gets about the business of enjoying the renewed warmth of a Spring sun. It is time to get out of our caves and cast off our hibernations from winter.

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