Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Bit of Fresh Air

Sunday night I started to get a stuffy nose, and sure enough come noon on Monday I had a full blown cold in the works.  I left work early on Monday and came home and got some rest.

Today, still not feeling the best I decided to call into work. Diesel and I spent most of the morning snuggled together in bed.  He will take the spot of anyone who has left it. And besides taking up a lot of room, he's quite the cuddler.  As a matter of fact, as I am writing this, he has just awoken from another nap and has come walking down the hall from the bedroom stretching his poor legs.  Such a lazy dog if we'll let him.

Around 1 o'clock or so today, I couldn't help but notice just how awesome it was looking outside.  The sun was out, the sky was blue, and I could tell there was even a bit of a breeze.  A quick peek at the weather on my phone confirmed it.  Should we go for a walk? Will it make me feel any better? Could it actually make my cold worse? I just couldn't resist it though and I got my stuff together for the walk.

I got some water for us, and ate a quick banana while he finished his breakfast. He could tell something was up.  And sure enough, once he saw his leash he was ready to go.

I love all of the colors that come out in the fall
We took it nice and easy, and headed on down to the trail. Avoiding the millions of potholes that fill my street.  It always surprises me how many people are out on the trail in the middle of the day, but its good it gets its use.  We walked down the trail a bit and I was starting to get worried I was wearing too heavy of a hoodie, but I think it worked out ok.

The Clinton River in Riverside Park - Auburn Hills
We stopped at the Twist N' Dip and got Diesel a dog dish, which will probably be the last of the season.  I ate a nectarine I had stashed in my pocket and then we continued on.  I thought it could be a nice day to head into the park again and see how the river was flowing.  As we walked on down the road we stopped and chatted with a man outside of Duffy's that thought Diesel was a great looking dog.  Not to brag, but he is!

At the park, we walked along the river, and stopped to see some ducks.  The park was pretty quite today, with kids back to school.  The lunch crowd had started to thin out a little as well.  After we hung out there for a while, I decided that we should get on back home and rest for a bit. 

And rest we did!  Diesel took a nap while I watched a few episodes of Buffy on Netflix.  Now the nice weather has shifted to rainy and cloudy, but that's autumn for you.  At least my mums are getting water, and they'll continue to fill out my planter boxes a little more.  I love looking out the front window at all the awesome fall colors as they change day to day.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Clinton River Trail Fall Classic 2011

written 9-17-11

Burr!  It was a chilly day out there this morning, but Diesel and I got up early and headed down to Riverside Park in Auburn Hills to volunteer in this years Clinton River Trail Fall Classic. 

The CRT Fall Classic is an annual bicycle tour and 5K walk that takes place each year along the Clinton River Trail.  For a small registration fee, participants can choose either a 5K walk, or 5, 16, 24, or 40 mile bike routes.  Each participant gets a t-shirt (if preregistered), maps for the various routes and lunch upon returning.  Vendors are also set up in the park offering various goodies.

Walkers start out at Riverside Park and head west on the CRT to Opdyke Rd and back. Cyclists start at the park, but head east on the trail.  The 5 mile trail takes you to Crooks Rd and back, the 16 mile trial is to Dequindre and back.  For the more ambitious riders, you can pick up the Macomb Orchard Trail on the other side of Dequindre and either turn around at West Rd for 24 miles, or continue all the way to the Clinton River Bridge just past mile marker 12, and head back.

Originally, Diesel and I were just going to participate in the event as walkers, but I came across a posting on the Friends of the CRT Facebook page asking for volunteers.  Since we live so close by anyhow, I figured why not.  I got to wear a spiffy neon yellow vest and direct the walkers and cyclist from the park to the trail.  It was a great opportunity for us to meet so many people who enjoy the trail just as much as Diesel and I do.  We even had a chance to pass out a few of our cards and hopefully gain a few more readers to the blog.

Once I knew most of the crowds had made their way to the trail, we stopped back in at the registration table and got my t-shirt.  We browsed around a bit talking with the vendors and then headed out to complete our walk. 

Diesel and I have walked this side of the trail a few times, however we've never gone as far as Opdyke, we usually turn around at the I-75 bridge, and walk back.  I never knew just how nice the rest of that walk could be.  The section of the trail between I-75 and Opdyke is mostly wooded, and you can spot the backyards of a few houses but otherwise the trail is pretty secluded.  We saw quite a few squirrels and even a bunny while walking, and even had the chance to chat with a few more walkers along the way. 

It took us about a half hour to get to Opdyke and then another half hour to get back, so not a bad walk at all.  I took quite a few pictures that you can see by scrolling to the bottom of this page, though I wish I would have remembered to turn on my Noom so I could track my stats. 

Once back at the park, Diesel and I shared a few snacks and talked with more volunteers and participants about different routes and about the trail. It was a nice morning despite the overcast and the lower than welcomed temperatures.  All and all it was a great morning.

If you walked/cycled the Fall Classic, please feel free to share your stories in the comments below.  I would love to hear from you! 

If you would like more information on the Clinton River Trail, check out the Friends of the CRT Facebook group or visit www.clintonrivertrail.org

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall is Near

written 9/5/11 

On Friday, before Labor Day it was close to 100 degrees here in Metro Detroit. As I sit here today, this Labor Day Monday, it has been in the high 50's all day.  How the temp dropped nearly 50 degrees in 3 days... Oh yea, that's right I live in Michigan. Anything is possible.

Today was very overcast, with the sun only peeping out here and there.  I stopped by Auburn Oaks Nursery after breakfast and picked up some more perennials for the flower boxes and the front garden.  After getting those planted I figured that I should take the dog out for a walk.

We headed on out of the neighborhood as we always do and it definitely felt like an early fall day.  The leaves were crinkling as they drifted on down the road, and you could see the trees were starting to change colors.  As much as I look forward Halloween coming, I have to be sad the the end of summer is soon upon us. And after those few brief weeks comes the good old Michigan winter.

The trail was quite busy today with so many people enjoying the cooler weather.  We made our way downtown and decided that it would be nice to cut through River Woods Park, and head back around that way.  I had actually thought it would be a longer walk but it turned out to be just about the same as our other walks, 3 miles are so.

It still ended up being a nice walk and we met a few nice people along the way.  I am looking forward to more walks as it starts cooling off, though I am working on some ideas for what I will write about over the winter as I am not a huge fan of being cold. I appreciate any ideas you can toss my way.

Starting Again

Sorry to all of my readers for being a bit absent lately.  The weather has been rainy and icky these past few days and I haven't really gotten out on many walks with Diesel.  Not to mention I have been battling my allergies and it seems to be draining all motivation to do anything.  I've even skipped out on two personal training sessions!  I've been working this week on trying to get back on the good side by going to the gym every day after work, getting my butt kicked by Toria and trying not too eat too much crap. 

Hopefully, this weekend can be the start of a new healthier week.  Earlier this week I signed up with Door to Door Organics a produce delivery group.  I am hoping that the new, fresh fruits and veggies being delivered to my home every week will give me that needed push to start bringing my lunches to work. Not to mention its also getting colder out and I hate going out for lunch when its cold. 

Also this Saturday, Diesel and I will be walking a 5K hosted by The Friends of the Clinton River Trail.  The Fall Classic is a great opportunity to support the community, the local hiking/bicycle trail, and meet people who love the trail as much as I do.  Before the CRT was even a designated trail, I would walk along those abandoned railway tracks to pretty much anywhere I wanted to get in the Auburn Hills Area.  And no, the tracks back in the day were not the spooky things you see on TV.  They ran the length of the town and crossed by many homes and business and into neighborhoods where my friends lived.  The tracks were just a shortcut.

Well that's all I have for now.  Just wanted to pop in and let you know I am still around. I'll be posting an update on the CRT Fall Classic sometime this weekend.  Hope everyone is enjoying the end of Summer cool down. 

For more information on Door to Door Organics, please visit https://michigan.doortodoororganics.com.

To participate in the Clinton River Trail Fall Classic, visit www.clintonrivertrail.org

Monday, September 5, 2011

An Evening Walk

written 9/1/11

The other night I had the urge to talk a walk downtown, but Mikey and Diesel were up state and I don't do silly things like that when I'm alone. So I put it off, and decided that one night before it starts getting too cool outside, I would do it.

The moon over the CRT
Tonight ended up being that night.  Not having to work tomorrow was an added advantage because I knew I would want to come home and immediately upload my pictures and start writing. So about 8 o'clock or so, Diesel and I headed out on down the road.  It was still close to 85 degrees out, and a bit on the muggy side, but it wasn't awful.  I sprayed down with some bug spray, did a spritz across Diesel's back as well.  I was not going to deal with mosquitoes all night!

We started our walk as we usually do, crossing Auburn and heading west down the Clinton River Trail.  There was quite the serenade from all of the wild life. The cicadas were out in full force and you could hear them all over.  The bat's were flying up and down the trail so low to the ground that I could make out the detail on their bellies. 

Downtown was bright and alive despite the shops starting to close up.  There were teens on their skateboards pushing curfew as the sky grew darker.  There were kids and their parents lined up for some after dinner treats and the Twist n' Dip. Outside Duffy's tavern, a group was enjoying a cigarette and talking about the nice weather.  We walked past all of the shops, many of them new, but a few that still remain from my childhood.

Rather than walking down Grey Rd as we usually do, we circled around and walked back up the other side of Auburn.  The street was nicely lit all the way to Adams and it was a nice stroll back to the neighborhood.   And honestly I wasn't worried about anything going bump in the night, that is until I hit my own dark street and remembered that we could encounter a skunk!  I kept my eyes open and we made it back to the house without any unwanted visitors.

Downtown Auburn Hills
It was a nice walk through my old downtown.  I used to ride my bike up and down those roads as a teen, though it wasn't as nice and lit up as it is now.  And the streets are much nicer and have working walk signals now too. I probably won't do too many night time walks but it sure is nice to get out every once in a while.

When is your favorite time to walk?