Using it as much as I do for my regular runs, I have seen every phase of the Greenway. During the peak of autumn I have trekked through piles of wet leaves and been peppered with their many colors as they were falling on a blustery day. I have enjoyed spring — pollen and all — and the up-close bursts of color, including the 1,000 daffodils that were planted several years ago by a volunteer. “Green”-way doesn’t adequately describe it during these periods.
I have endured temperature extremes of over 90 degrees and down to 16 just a couple of weeks ago. However, when it comes to snow and ice, I have avoided running the Greenway.
Last week, the Greenway was changed to the “whiteway,” as we got one of the biggest snowfalls since the blizzard of 1993. Snow provides a gorgeous canvas on which to view the world. Unfortunately, getting out to view that canvas presents its own set of problems.
When the snow hit, my thoughts drifted to the Greenway and how it looked during this rare event. I had seen it under several feet of floodwaters, but never with 8-plus inches of snow. On Thursday morning, I was eager to get in my morning run, but was content to settle for a hike on the Greenway instead. I also wanted to capture in pictures the beauty that I was sure the snow had brought.
I had a preview when several people posted photos of their snow treks on the Greenway. When I arrived at Raider Drive Park, I decided I would take the “scenic route,” which would be north toward Tinsley Park. By this time, the sun was shining with a bright blue sky. It was gonna be a great hike.
Not seeing anyone around should have been my first clue of what was to come. When I stepped out of the car my boot sank into about six inches of slush. By the time I reached what I thought was the Greenway, I had to shake mounds of snow from my boots which were supposed to be water-tight. There were one or two sets of footprints I tried to follow, but they led me to mud.
I reached the pedestrian bridge, which was a postcard, so I got my first photo. More trudging got me to the Tinsley trail which was a hazard of melting clods of snow falling from the trees on my head and into every crevice of my jacket. Enough of that.
I was glad to reach the other side of Raider Drive onto the portion that was not so tree-covered. The snow had inspired some “public art” with two larger-than-life snow people in Raider Drive Park. I hiked on southward for about a quarter mile realizing that this hike was as good or better than a four-mile run.
My calves were beginning to ache and there was no easy way back. The slush was getting “slushier” as it continued to melt, so I thought I would shoot over to Harris Circle. The snow there was halfway up my legs so it was back on the Greenway, watching every step to avoid slush, ice or drifts. By the time I got back to my car, I was done.
Yes, I love the seasons on the Greenway, but when it comes to a nice, leisurely run I’ll take the 16-degree clear morning over 8 inches of snow any day.
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