Coffee and Hammock Adventure

It's raining this afternoon so my mind is going back to last week when the weather was perfect and I went on a perfect bike ride adventure.

Last Wednesday, my friend Katy and I headed out for a bike ride from Northfield to Caron Park. Caron Park is a county park located about 8 miles south of Northfield. The route to Caron started out with a killer hill (called Question Mark Hill by the locals) and there are a lot of other hilly portions on the route as well. We managed to ride them all, though, and found our way to Caron Park.
Crushing gravel on the way to Caron Park
Zippy, my Salsa Vaya leaning on the Caron park sign
One of our plans for the ride was to have an adventure coffee like we did on our Coffee Outside Ride. I was out of fuel for my little Esbit pocket stove so Katy packed a one burner camping stove in a backpack so we could have coffee outside. First, though, we had to find an ideal location. Katy knew of a waterfall in the park so we set off on some single track (created and maintained by the local mountain bike club - CROCT - The Cannon River Offroad Cycling & Trails club). The trail was fabulous if a bit slick from a recent rain and leaf cover. Our skinnyish tired gravel bikes made for slow going and we walked portions of the trail which greatly lowered our overall average speed for the day but that just doesn't matter. Speed be damned. We were having fun!
Katy on the trail
Myrna on the trail 
We got to the end of the single track and still hadn't found the waterfall so we headed down another part of the trail system and soon found ourselves by a creek and beautiful waterfall. We walked our bikes across the creek and set up for coffee. Ah, I'm feeling relaxed just thinking about it.
The Waterfall in Caron Park
Our bikes leaning up against a bank by the creek
We made our coffee and then Katy, all smiles, said "I have a surprise for you!" I had no idea what sort of surprise Katy could possibly have. "I brought hammocks!" she said.
She was right, I was surprised - and delighted - at the prospect of hanging out in hammocks that afternoon because we had talked about setting up hammocks the last time we rode. The thing is, I don't have a hammock or really any idea of how to tie even tie one in a tree. But Katy's husband is somewhat of a hammock guro so she has access to many a hammock and knows the ropes (ha! pun!) of how set one up.

Katy took two hammocks out of her backpack and some rope and gave me a little lesson in how to pick a good hammock spot and how to get a hammock all set up. We put two hammocks side by side right next to the creek. After a bit of time getting comfortable sitting sideways in the hammock (I even managed to drink my coffee sitting there), I figured out how to get comfortable laying back. Katy did the same.
Drinking my coffee in the hammock
Hanging out in the hammocks
I'm not that good at relaxing. But that afternoon I just layed back in a hammock and Katy and I talked and rested and talked for I don't know how long. Time didn't seem to matter anymore. The fact that I had writing work waiting for me at home didn't matter, either. Instead, I soaked up the scenery. The sun shining through the trees. The sound of the water flowing over the little falls. I discovered that I was able to really be in the moment and forget about about my to-do lists back home. I truly relaxed!
My view
Katy's view
All too soon, we realized we'd better get back on the road or the kids would get home from school before we made it back to town. So we packed up our coffee things and hammocks, hiked with our bikes back up the trail then set off for the ride home.

The ride home was over way too quickly and the reality of getting back to the to-do list of the day set in once we got off our bikes. Yet, the memory an ordinary bike that turned into a grand adventure has stayed with me and even today when it's raining I remember the fun we had on our adventure bike ride.

Let's hope I can conjure up memories of laying in a hammock in the sunshine once winter sets in. Come to think of it, there's no reason I can't go for a ride, make coffee and lie out in a hammock in the middle of winter. Hmmm, I think I've got another goal!

**Thanks to Katy for sharing not just coffee and hammocks but several pictures for this blog post as well!!


k a t y said…
Best adventure!!! What a truly awesome day. Thanks for capturing it so thoughtfully, Myrna.

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