Playing Hookie – A Bike Ride on the Lakeview Wildlife Trail and Beach

 

Finally got a chance to type this up. The week before last week the weather reports seemed to be pointing toward there being an extremely nice day, so I decided to just do something for myself and take a few relaxing hours to myself. I always feel guilty; there’s so much to do, so much work to do, even on weekends I’m thinking about what I could be doing. Anyway…

So the day came and it was looking overcast, and like it might be heading toward a rainy day but for the time-being it looked good.

So I attached my bike carrier to the car, secured the bike to it, grabbed lots of water and a small easy-to-carry lunch (and my camera and GPS, of course!), and drove down to the Lakeview Wildlife area. The beginning of the trial is on a small lake, and the trail curves around this and then out through the protected dune system and finally to the open beach.

Only one truck was there in the entrance parking lot, and no sign of anyone.

The trail itself was nice, cool, and the day was good for riding. The trail itself is fairly good riding, a few ruts, lots of leaves this time of year but not hiding anything big but the occasional stone.

Once through the wooded trail it was over the elevated walkway and onto the beach.

I headed down to the very edge of the water, and rode right along the interface between sand and fluid. Incredible, something I guess in the back of my mind I had always wanted to do – though I thought perhaps it would be ocean I’d be riding along.

Next time we take a trip to the ocean I’m taking my bike…maybe.

The sand was nicely packed away from the sand dunes and easy riding. I went right first, until I reached one of the Southwick Beach parking areas and then rode back in the other direction – passing where I had exited the elevated walkway.

After riding for a bit I found another elevated walkway (pic below, right), I hauled to bike up the short steps and rode down the short walkway until I reached the other end – a small very-low-water-level lake (or large pond) called Lakeview Pond. After a long look along the shore of the other side I picked out the canoe ramp and then the truck and my car in the parking lot.

I hauled the bike up the stairs and rode down and back to the beach again. Propping the bike up I took a few pics, and unstowed my lunch and sat on a large fallen tree and sat back to unwind. When was the last time I’d taken a real vacation? Years. This wasn’t the same of course, but nice for a few hours.

In the distance, in the direction I was heading, I could see a person and a dog getting closer.

After packing my lunch back up and back into my bike’s pack, I headed out again. After a bit I passed by the guy with his dog, a polite wave and a glance from the dog. He had walked quite a long ways from the Southwick Beach area or the Lakeview trail.

I continued, at times, speeding up, other time’s barely crawling. Even the seagulls didn’t really mind me, I rode through the middle of them a few times and they just skipped away without much fear or concern.

Further down I ran across a place where someone had a fire and likely a party, from the looks of it.

Above this place balanced a piece of wood on another tall piece of wood, an old tree stripped of its limbs or something. I messed around with it, trying to figure out how it was balanced. It spun, but didn’t fall off. Someone must have nailed it on, and then set the whole thing up. Strange (see pic at bottom).

Finally, I had biked far enough, I could have went miles from the looks of it. The day was perfect, not too warm, not too cool, overcast but not dark, and the water was misty enough so that I could only see a short distance – not even the Oswego nuke plant could be seen.

On the way back I rode even slower for the most part, and stopped at the walkway to the small lake again.

After getting back to the main walkway I took the dogleg left toward the Southwick Beach area, biked that, and then headed back.

It was one of those unexpectedly relaxing days, and I neither bike enough nor relax enough so it was certainly welcome. A perfect trip (after packing my stuff back in and on the car I got in and went to adjust my mirror, which promptly dropped off. Now I have to get some mirror glass glue for it, ergh).

Nice day and trail and ride, and if you have a bike I highly recommend it.

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