Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blackberries and Bike Riding

I loaded up my bike this morning and headed up to Juliaetta, about 23 miles form Lewiston.  I remember seeing lots of blackberry bushes along the road on previous trips so I had a little cooler with some ice, buckets, and a long-sleeved shirt.  I found a nice place to get off the road and began picking.  Why is it the best berries are either too high to reach or sort of inside the plant?

Sometimes it seemed like I was invading the space of the plant and the sticker bushes grabbed onto my sleeve in silence.  But the words I heard were, "just what to you think you've doing here?"  Gratefully I picked in the shade and early enough that the yellow jackets were still sleeping.  I couldn't help thinking about my Mom who picked gallons of these berries down along the Salmon River.  I wish I could ask her.  "Did you go to all that trouble because you loved the challenge of the hunt for the perfect patch?  Or because you loved being outdoors in the scorching August heat, along with the yellow jackets and a few snakes?  Or because you needed some free food to feed your family?  Or because you just plain loved the berries and jelly you made?"  I thought to myself, "I could just buy these berries...why am I doing this?"
I gave up after 30 minutes and headed for the beginning of the bike trail along Potlatch Creek.
I used the restroom at this Centennial Park.  I couldn't believe how well maintained it is, with flower beds, a playground, volleyball court and baseball fields.  I think most communities in Idaho developed a park to celebrate Idaho's centennial in 1992, but this one is really nice.  Obviously, members of the community have a lot of pride and continue to take loving care of it - 20 years later.

The bike trail is called Ed Corgill Memorial River Trail.  Once a conduit that delivered new residents and new energy to the communities of Kendrick and Juliaetta, a 5.3-mile stretch of rail line fell victim to a changing economy and transportation system in the mid-1980s. It served the communities well, transporting passengers, produce, and timber products for more than 75 years. Abandoned and virtually lifeless, the path along the Potlatch River northeast of Lewiston seemed ready for nature to reclaim as its own. But members of the Juliaetta-Kendrick Recreation District board envisioned a new destiny - converting the rail bed into a path for runners, walkers, bike riders and skaters. Today, the Kendrick-Juliaetta Recreation Trail is 5.3 miles of smooth asphalt, providing a recreational and alternative transportation connection between these two communities in Latah County. The Juliaetta end features Centennial Park, and there are restroom facilities at both ends of the trail. The trail runs between Highway 3 and the Potlatch River and is fairly scenic in some spots. Bald eagles or osprey can be seen along the trail. Like many rail-trails, the Kendrick-Juliaetta Recreation Trail provides a very level surface for trail users, with no hills along the trail's entire route.

I enjoyed the bike ride and reading a little history along the way.  I chuckled when I read the last sentence - the cost to ride from Kendrick to Juliaetta in 1910 was 10 cents one way and fifteen cents round trip!  I realized how important the railroad must've been to all these little towns in the early 1900's.  I discovered lots of berries on the trail that were bigger and easier to pick, but darn it, I forgot the bucket.  The trail seemed to come to a halt at the three mile mark.
I'm not sure why this part of the trail is filled with boulders, but I had to turn around so I went back to my car, loaded it up, and drove to another spot where I could easily get back on my bike, this time with my bucket!  I picked another pint of berries!  I noticed the trail again as I drove to Kendrick, but by this time I decided to save this part of the trail for another day.  There are still lots of red berries, so I'll be smarter about picking them next time.  

The culmination of the day - a baked pie-like dessert and let me tell you it was all worth it!

Anne, Duane, and Colin came to dinner before the School House Rock performance at the Lewiston Civic Theatre and we enjoyed the warm dessert with vanilla ice cream!  Yummy!!

The joys of summer, celebrating time with family, enjoying the fruits of God's creation!

No comments:

Post a Comment