Turn off background music here, then come back up.
Sometimes the stress of the days mount to a point the only relief is a lengthy bike ride.
Last weekend needed such an event. And though the ride brought us down familiar paths, somehow things didn't look quite the same.
Perhaps, it is the openness one feels whilst perched atop a two-wheeled pedal-clad transport that magnifies a sense of difference. There is little to protect you from the world's ambiance. You get it all, in your face. The scent and taste of the air. The sounds, rushing engines, their hot breaths shooshing alongside, sticky tires crackling on the pavement. And the sweeter tunes, gentle snapping of windblown leaves. Birds, as they count your presence, with warning for others, as you enter their domain of the natural.
Life's pace slows a bit, focusing sharply on the moment.
My photos seem to capture a feeling of difference, if not oddness, about the day. Odd, though not unpleasant.
On our journey we made a stop at a new place, freshly built. Hydrous at Allen Station had its opening on Saturday. If ever we want to wakeboard by cable, we know where to go.
Pretty cool, this. Though, initially when I'd noticed the new hole being dug in our town, along with the destruction of trees and a patch of nature, I had reservations. A touch of sadness. Still, it is nice to see interesting things, such as this, coming to Allen. Incidentally, the very popular Edge Skate Park is located just across the street from Hydrous.
Fun stuff! Loads of activities for the kiddos around here. And the place just keeps growing.
We pressed on, making our way a tad deeper into the small swath of "wilderness".
As we have many times before, we stopped to view a place of mystery.
I don't know why we feel this place is mysterious. There's a strange feeling we get when visiting it. An odd energy if you will. Even so, we are drawn to it. It could be that the spot seems isolated from the rest of the busy town. Maybe the sound of the falling water drowns out the traffic of the nearby Highway 75, making it seem like we are in the middle of nowhere. Or perhaps, it is just the mere age of the Old Stone Dam that has us imagining those who were before us. In any case, we'll likely continue to visit the spot, on occasion, for as long as we live here.
Just up the hill from the apparent isolation is this:
When Cabela's arrived, there was nothing to do but smile. I love these kinds of stores. It can't be helped.
All the while, the children reminded me we had to stop at a playground. Not just any playground, mind you, though this town has several lovely ones. It must be a particular one not anywhere near the bike trail we were on. So, off we went.
Past the high school and the, quite enormous-looking, future football stadium.
Rolling on, we finally made it to "the one".
A visit to the store followed, for snacks and whatnot. Else the ride would've been incomplete.
That day, Saturday, a wrap.
Sunday came, and so did rain. To be sure, there was celebration. The extreme summer heat and drought had been taking a toll on our psyche. At last, a break.
After the hard work of the previous weekend, this one was much appreciated.
Peaceful and sweet.
Photos by Shauna Chan. Nikon D80, with circular polarizer and in-camera red filter for B&W photos.