But one thing that I always loved about Illinois was fall out here.
The weather gets to that wonderful equillibrium where it's chilly but not too cold. Time to break out the sweaters and cuddle under blankets, but still perfect for outdoor activities. The mornings feel different. Fall makes me nostalgic and cozy and warm. I even enjoyed the recent rainy spell. There's something about the chill in the air wafting in through the window with the rain falling softly on the roof that makes you want to just stay in bed and let the world pass by around you.
This morning, I did a little of that, but then I went out to explore. Fall is just beginning, and from the looks of it...it's going to be fantastic.
Getting out there alone on the trails feels like a vacation from everything. I am so, so glad I decided to go exploring today instead of staying in. The bike ride today wasn't easy...there were some strong headwinds that you really had to push against, and the trail was pretty wet from the recent rains, so in places where the trail was particularly sandy, the wheels would either slip or kind of sink in, again making pedalling harder. But it was worth it.
I can't wait to take this ride again in a week or two when the whole forest is bursting with color. I have a feeling that will be a longer ride with more frequent stops to take it all in.
Despite the riding challenges, I made it a full 12.19 miles. It would have been a bit longer a ride, too, as I wanted to make it to a favorite spot of mine in Mettawa, Daniel Wright Woods.
I was somewhere in MacArthur woods when I saw a sign saying the underpass was closed, but I wasn't sure how long the sign had been up, so I decided to keep going.
When I got there, though, I immediately saw why...
Seems the Des Plaines River Trail is now just the Des Plaines River.
Initially I thought there was an easy way to get me and the bike around it, but there was heavy fencing for about a half a mile, and the workaround would put me about a mile out of my way in the end, so I turned back. I'm hoping this opens back up in a week or so, so I can see the rest of the trail.
It was an absolutely amazing trip, and even as my legs ache some from the long ride, I can honestly say I want to do it all again. The best part? This is all in my own backyard. Literally.