You can make all the plans in the world, but life happens, and they get thrown out the window. And boy, did life happen this summer.
More than ever I was craving nature, trails, and freedom. Peace and healing.
For my own mental health, I had to get out and put some kilometers on my e-bike before the snow arrived.
When Tourism Medicine Hat invited me to join the Rotary Dine Around Tour, I immediately knew that I would go in early and spend the morning outside searching for fall colors.
I didn’t have to work very hard to find them, as it turned out to be perfect timing. Does anyone else ever make plans to chase fall colors and then suddenly the trees are bare and the only colors you see are at your feet?
Thankfully, this year, the weather was beautiful, and the leaves were every shade of red, orange, and yellow. Riding along the river under blue skies made the day even more perfect.
I started at Police Point Park with the goal of finding a carving called Old Man Buffalo Stone. It was smaller than I had expected, but the two sided sculpture was still really neat. Sculpted by Stewart Steinhauer, it represented a guardian watching over a bison heard.
As I turned this way and that at each intersection, I realized how much I missed not knowing where I was going. I had no destination in mind. I followed my intuition and went where the paths took me.
I ended up on trails right along the river. On trails high above the valley. Under bridges and through the trees.
I back tracked and redid portions that made me smile, retracing the trails over and over.
I could feel the heaviness of my summer start to lift as the number on my odometer rose.
I ventured to the Saamis Teepee to spend a few minutes on the trails over there, testing my breaks on the way down and my leg muscles on the way up. Yes, even with an e-bike, you need to put your own power behind it sometimes.
As I parked my bike and changed outfits in the back of my Escape, I took a minute to be grateful for my life. Loss can hit hard. The ripple effect can be unbearable. But, there is beauty and opportunity all around us.
The trails of Medicine Hat and my trusty e-bike were exactly what I needed that day.
And the margheritas I had on the bus tour later were a nice touch too!
(Stay tuned for a separate blog post about Dine Around)