This morning, I rode my bicycle along the St. Tammany Trace, a path that I can access near my home. The 31-mile path is a former rail line turned into a recreational trail. I pedaled along a few miles for exercise in the brief coolness of the morning.

wildflower I was enveloped by the sights and sounds of nature as the trail is mostly surrounded by a ribbon of woodlands. One can forget, at least for a moment, that just beyond eyesight are neighborhoods and businesses, peopled by all sorts of souls. The Trace gives one the illusion that St. Tammany Parish is mostly a forested oasis nestled against the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. It is not. It’s a bustling, wealthy enclave near the city of New Orleans with only small pockets of wooded areas here and there.

But, for a little less than an hour, I rode the asphalt trail blackberriesthat lays alongside pine and oak, ferns and vines. Blackberry bushes had hints of red and ripening berries here and there. The smell of honeysuckle permeated the air.

I guided my bike back to the house. I parked my bike. All too soon, the ride was over

My phone rang, and I answered.

The reality is that I don’t live alone in the woods. I live near a bustling state highway, within a neighborhood, on the edge of a town, near the Trace. Yet for a moment, I rode along in nature, where cares slipped away.

7 thoughts on “Traces

  1. I enjoyed the ‘ride’. It was very calming, as I’m sure it really was. Did you grab any blackberries? I remember them in the rural parts of Ecuador they grew wild and plentiful. They were sweet when ripe and really bitter if not. We call them moras.
    My mom made a wonderful juice in the blender, sieving out the little pits.


    1. You know you are welcome here, amigo. However the Great Quarantine is upon us in the New Orleans area. Then, we will have the torrid summer months, followed by touch and go times with early fall hurricanes. I don’t know. 2020 is not looking so good for you to come. Maybe 2021? At least you can dream.


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