During this year of 2020, we have headed out more and more on road biking adventures. This trip took us to Monterey, MA in the Berkshires, to Beartown State Forest, to see if what looked like a road through the forest was rideable on our adaptive tandem. Turns out, it was!
Summer for me means getting outside on our adaptive tandem bicycle. Outings during Covid-19 have increasingly become road biking since our beloved rail trails are so well-loved they are more crowded than we feel comfortable visiting. We headed out recently to Dudley, our second try. The first attempt my cooling vest clogged and the trip was aborted because of the heat. This time, the day was cooler, and we also have another cooling vest in hand.
We have done little kayaking in the last number of years because of a serious shoulder injury by the one who does the heavy lifting to get our kayak into the water. We have become adept at figuring out how to continue doing what we love, regardless physical abilities. We are back to being able to use our tandem kayak, with the helping hand of a small trolling motor that reduces the strain on shoulders.
The morning was overcast, and we started relatively early. Both are great strategies for finding fewer people on trails that have felt overcrowded in these days when we are still rather limited in our activities due to the ongoing pandemic. Sure enough, only one other car was in the parking lot when my friend and her children arrived to meet me for a physically distanced walk along the SNETT in Bellingham.
As “Stay at Home” orders proliferated throughout the U.S. in early 2020, busy Americans who had been everywhere except home suddenly found ourselves in the unaccustomed position of being “stuck at home.” We are a contrary people. Tell us to exercise, and we will persist on being couch potatoes. But tell us we have to stay home, and many of us suddenly can think of nothing we want to do more than to get outside—now! And yet…
We are getting out very little these days hoping to avoid interacting with the Covid-19 virus. We are working from home, and making few social plans. After supper we headed out on a quick errand, and ended up doing a little exploring close to home. As we turned onto Mellen Street, off Grove Street in Bellingham, we hoped to find an access to the Upper Charles River. The sign said, “Bridge Out.” We stopped the car and continued on foot to see how close we might get to the river.
For many years Marjorie Turner Hollman has been seeking out Easy Walks throughout southeastern Massachusetts, where she lives. She’s written a series of local trail guides detailing multiple small and larger trails within these areas, and shares helpful information about how to find trail heads, describes trail surfaces and items of interest, indicates where dogs are welcome, and notes how long trails are. Those with mobility issues are her primary audience, but included within that audience are older folks, younger parents with small children, and those recovering from recent injury.
An imagination is a terrible thing to waste; I practice using mine every day. At times well-intentioned people have advised me to “just relax.” If it were so easy, I would have become calm and serene long ago, unruffled as I anticipate life’s challenges.
For the most part, I’ve been surrounded by caring people who have been patient with my timidity, encouraging me, while staying nearby throughout the process of coping with change. Always alert to instances of “creative hand-holding,” I store these memories away, never knowing when they might be of use. Perhaps because of this, I’ve been drawn to beginners, fascinated by the transition from “I can’t” to “Hey, look at me!”