Every walk, I contemplate my purpose.
There are days I walk for my fitness – so I might vary the intensity, or time per mile or distance. There are days I walk to clear my head, get my blood flowing and spend some time in nature. Sometimes, I walk with a friend or my partner to socialize and visit.
This weekend I decided to get out to the forest preserve, with my partner Eileen to work on all of the above. Eileen and I drove 1.68 miles to the Miami Woods in Niles, Illinois. The trail we chose is part of the North Branch Bicycle Trail – south. It begins at Caldwell and Devon in Chicago and continues north for about 20 miles to Lake County Illinois. We parked our car in the lot at Oakton Avenue and picked up the trail near the bottom of the overpass bridge. This part of the trail winds along the North Branch of the Chicago River through forest, along a savannah and past some open picnic clearings. I usually always see deer somewhere around the path along the water and this day was no exception. As I scanned into the forest, I saw two large shapes camoflaged within the fall colors. About fifteen feet from us was a doe cautiously observing our movements while a young buck with a very small rack of antlers drank from the river. I love to see the deer and it never fails to leave me feeling in awe of the wild. Already, this walk is worth it.
We walked as far as Beckwith road, then turned back. This loop was about 7 and a half miles. The fall colors this particular weekend were absolutely gorgeous. We actually saw an artist out with his oils trying to capture the light and colors on his canvas. In my opinion – the Chicagoland area is having one of the most spectacular Falls that I can remember.
Interesting – In the past, I have taken a lot of road trips to see the beauty I have in my own backyard this year.