By the time I started today, the recent freeze had converted the trail into a series of rutted ridges. I started at Lawrence Ave and hiked back north to my last turn-around point along the frozen and snowy floodplain to the junction with the Red Trail. Despite the stark isolation of the landscape, animal tracks leading to the still liquid water of the river gave mute testimony that life still continued in these icy conditions .
As I turned about to start the hike back, the southerly sun cast its weak reflection on the frozen trail . After crossing Lawrence Ave, I continued south. The trail crosses an old three-arched bridge in Robinson Woods.
North of Belmont, Illinois there is a public golf club next to the trail that is enclosed behind a chain-linked fence. I presume that this is to keep the deer away from the fairways. A forlorn attempt, because many deadfalls have already breached the enclosure .
South of Belmont, I am in familiar territory. Belmont is the northerly limit of my day walks from my home in Oak Park and the old Railway Bridge and the frozen ephemeral pond are old friends. I passed the weir and was soon at Rainbow Bridge and the official end of the Des Plaines River Trail.
On my return walk to Lawrence Ave, I passed a lonely fisherman still trying his luck in the icy river waters.
Even though I have reached the official end of the DPR Trail, I still have to complete my circular route by closing the gap between Rainbow Bridge and my start at the Illinois Prairie Path. That will be my task on my next – and final – day of this particular journey.
Thought for Today:
“Growing old beats the alternative – dying young”
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