Today the weather turned cool after a week of mid-90 degree days. Earl and I decided to go for a bike ride. We realized that we didn't need to limit our bike rides to trips to Monet's Garden -- our last recreational bike ride. And, lest you forget, that trip was full of mistakes, like missing a train and following the wrong man down the road. You can read about it here: http://paulita-ponderings.blogspot.com/2010/04/jai-trompe.html (I don't know why my links won't work in my posts, but it is frustrating.) .
From our house we rode to the bike trail that follows the Olentangy River. Workers are fixing the highway over the trail and I caught a picture of the sparks cascading down the concrete.
The bike trail leads to the confluence of the Olentangy and the Scioto rivers before it heads toward downtown Columbus. The bike trail is like a tourist guide. It leads past COSI, the museum of Science and Industry. It also goes past the Santa Maria, a replica of the ship that Columbus took on his first trip to the New World. The trail also streaks past the Ohio Supreme Court building, which has some gorgeous painting and architecture.
Unfortunately, that's where we ran into trouble and had to take to the streets instead of the bike trail because the city is building a promenade along the river. We had to ride through a construction zone then a busy street in the brewery district before we got to the park.
Earl rode on to the Audubon building while I checked out the park. If my kids were still little and we were homeschooling, this place would be my new hangout. There are sand volleyball pits, a climbing wall and playgrounds over rubber surface. I walked up to the third stage of a tower to survey my kingdom, well, the park around me.
While Earl waited for me to catch up, he sat in a chair in front of the Audubon building. That is him waving wildly. I told him it looked as if he was being attacked by the giant bird statue.
The audubon building is full of photos of birds that have been spotted along the river, wetlands and fields of wildflowers in the area. This section of the river has been known by bird watchers for a long time because migrating birds stop here every spring and fall.
The park has started growing fields of wild flowers, and birds flitted among the plants. The park also had some more orderly flower gardens, again not quite rivaling Monet's Garden, but it is the first year for the metro park.
We found a less circuitous route home and managed to avoid much of the road construction. Here's the new Main Street bridge that is not open yet, but has a sleek look to it in front of the skyline.
Trying to keep the whole vacation motif going, we stopped at a coffee shop before we returned home. Earl had an iced tea and I had a lemonade, squeezed fresh and so bitter that it made me pucker.
It wasn't a vacation day for either of us, but I'm glad we got to snatch some of the enjoyment that we find as tourists in other cities.
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