Thursday, August 07, 2008


How slow is slow enough?

I have not posted for about a month. No good answer except that we are taking a break from the busyness to enjoy the great August weather.

We did travel to the Black Hills via Farm Island and La Framboise Pierre and got in some excellent bicycle rides along the Missouri River and a ride up Spearfish Canyon with our cousins in mid July plus a hike up to the top of Bear Butte. Several things we had not done before although it is right in our home state. They were great times but could not match what happened this morning right here on our favorite bicycling route.

After we got back from the family visits on the western part of the state we embarked on a natural foods diet as it is about this time of year that the garden produce starts to roll in. We can hardly wait for the corn, beans, tomatoes, ..., but this year we decided to go totally vegan, no refined sugar (including high fructose corn syrup that is added to nearly everything), no animal products (that eliminates dairy, eggs & meats), no caffeine (no coffee), no alcohol (no beer?), no gluten (breads, pastas & flour products). Surprisingly, it has not been that hard to do.

The diet has set the basis for our vacation from the busyness. We get out every day for an outing on our bicycles, mainly aerobic but sometimes just to be out there in the fresh air and abundance of flowers and wildlife. We had good workouts yesterday so today was one of those special days.

We took our dog, Nickel, out early for an early run about 6:30. She has been limping a bit lately so it was a short one. Carol had met us on the way back and went ahead. There were raggad, beautiful clouds with the rising sun peaking through here and there, fog was drifting out of the river valley from time to time, and the birds were singing every new song they had learned. We spotted an Indigo Bunting in a shelter belt out by the lake. It was the first one that we have ever seen along our route so it was quite a treat. There were curious little marsh wren fledglings in the ditches to inspect us and a new growth of the mid summer wild flowers everywhere. Butterflies and dragonflies above our heads and all around. A doe and her twins in the bean field and geese browsing in the newly harvested oat stubble by the lake.

The entire ride was most relaxing and rewarding. Neither of us had to verbalize that it was a day for going very slow and stopping often. We just knew. Let me explain what going slow really is, 3-5 mph is approximately the speed, but the important measure is to be going at a rate that virtually eliminates the noise of the tires on the gravel. Nothing but the sounds around you meet your ears.

We were out about 3 hours and when we returned, we fixed a blender full of fresh fruit smoothies. Fresh fruit, that is almost as good as it gets and today it was the refreshment that centered that special time together that around here is called "morning coffee." We found we don't really need the coffee.

Nature taught us another lesson this morning.

posted by HL

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