When I was a young girl I used to dream of the railways and being able to travel by train. I am not exactly sure where the dream originated from but I always had this rather romanticized notion of a train. I still dream of traveling via the Trans-Siberian Railway and I am determined to live out that dream at some point in my future. It is on my very long list of places to see and things to do, and I have no doubt that I will get there.
Yesterday I traveled round trip on the Cape Cod Rail Trail on my bicycle. It was not quite the same adventure as being on a train or the same relaxation as having the locomotive do the work but I did, at certain points along the ride, imagine myself on the Old Colony Railroad trains that used to travel this railway corridor. The CCRT is a 22+ mile paved bike path that runs from Dennis to Wellfleet MA. The trail is mostly flat with only two hills - that are really just bumps - and a few minor grade inclines. To the average New England cyclist, these things are hardly worth noting.
I had originally hoped to take a group of about 8 people with me on the ride, but one by one they all had to drop out from the ride for various reasons and I ended up going it alone. Since it was Good Friday, I didn't mind spending the time alone with God, contemplating His sacrifice, and enjoying His creation. And I ended up having beautiful weather - sunny and cool.
I took my time on the first half of the journey out to Wellfleet, stopping along the way for lunch, to take pictures, and for snack breaks. I chatted with the locals at a lunch hangout along the path and smiled with great joy to see the Chocolate Sparrow was open for business (aka Ice Cream), making a mental note to stop there on the return trip. I completed the 22.5 mile ride to Wellfleet in a leisurely 2.5 hours.
I sat down to eat my second lunch (a whole wheat ciabatta sandwich with sharp cheddar, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and avocado, yum!) and glanced at my watch. Good thing I did because it was already 1:45. Yikes! I had planned to leave the Cape to head for home at 2:00-2:30 and I still had the 22.5 miles to ride back to Dennis. So much for the ice cream stop at the Chocolate Sparrow, so much for any snacks on the way back, so much for pictures on the way back, so much for a leisurely return trip, and so much for leaving the Cape at 2-2:30.
I high-tailed it back to Dennis and made it in 1.5 hours - waving at the ice cream shop on my way. I stopped only once with 8 miles to go to retrieve a text on my phone from my son Dave and respond to it. That whole return ride was a bit of a blur, but I am glad I got in the faster ride and pushed myself just a bit. It was worth it to be able to spend the time at my church's Good Friday service last night. What a great day it was. I am looking forward to going back in May to ride the rails again. I will spend a little more leisure time on the back half of the ride and will plan to have that ice cream at the Chocolate Sparrow - make it a double!