Since we first moved to Lincoln in December, Steven and I have been itching to get on the Bike Path that we noticed just half a block from our rental house. We were intrigued by this seemingly endless trail that cut through the neighborhood and stretched out of sight both east and west. After doing a little research, we learned that Lincoln currently has over 128 miles of such trails running through and around the city, with plans for more on the horizon. No wonder Lincoln was named one of the healthiest cities in the U.S. by Men’s Health magazine!
After all the snow in December and January, we have finally been blessed with some great weather this week. With temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s, we decided it was high time we emerged from hibernation and hit the bike path to see where the trail would take us.
Poor Electra was overwhelmed at first. Too many new sounds and smells and strange people and dogs and squirrels. She pulled at the leash, eager to go. We headed west.
We got a bit of a late start, so we only made it as far as the 27th Street bridge, but we saw plenty of interesting things along the way. For instance, this pay phone. That’s right kids. A pay phone. Insert enough pocket change and you’ll be able to call your mom to tell her that you’ll be home late. This is what we old fogies used to use before we had cell phones. Believe it or not, pay phones used to be everywhere. Then, one day, they all just seemed to vanish. This one still stands proudly, but upon closer inspection, Steven determined that it is, in fact, out of order. Too bad. We thought it might be fun to call someone just to tell them that we were calling from an actual working pay phone.
Just beyond the pay phone, we passed the busy skate park, which Steven and I also love. Neither of us has ever used one ourselves, but we think they are totally cool, and wish they’d been around when we were younger. It’s always nice to see kids actually outdoors enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, and skate parks are a brilliant way for kids to stay out of trouble and get some exercise. Electra wasn’t too keen on all the noise, but Cadence was intrigued, and had a few good laughs at the boys doing tricks as we passed by.
The Bike Path that runs near our house is the Mopac Trail West–a 5.08 mile stretch that goes from the UNL City Campus to the East Campus, past Peter Pan and Bethany Parks, and on west to 84th Street. It literally runs though neighborhoods and behind houses. A few homeowners got creative and thought maybe the people on the Bike Path would appreciate some artwork. Here is one of the beautiful handpainted fences we passed on our way.
Darkness was falling quickly as we headed toward home. We’d been walking for nearly an hour and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Suddenly Electra pulled hard on the leash behind Steven. He stopped and looked back, expecting to see her eyeballing a squirrel. No such luck. She was dropping a big, steaming pile of poo smack in the middle of the path, and like idiots, we’d forgotten to grab any plastic bags on our way out.
One of the best (and worst) things about having kids is that you never really travel light, no matter where you’re going. Hell, once you have a baby, just walking to the end of your driveway to get the mail requires a fully-packed diaper bag and pockets filled with overflow–extra pacifiers, tissues, a teething ring, etc. Luckily for us, a couple of baby wipes and a diaper worked brilliantly to clean up Electra’s handiwork, and after tossing it in the nearby garbage can, we were on our way home.
Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to the geniuses behind Lincoln’s Bike Paths. Thank you for making exercise a much greater adventure!