June 28, 2009

Blog Header - June 28, 2009

A peaceful park at one end of
the Black Water Creek Trail

I took today’s header photo just yesterday when David and I went for a bike ride on the beautiful Black Water Creek trail. This bike trail/walking path is a flat paved trail that winds its way through the woods near our house, to the downtown Lynchburg City waterfront, across the James River and eventually ends up on an island in the river. The entire trail is about 15 miles and is gorgeous all the way.

Because the trail was originally a railroad track (circa. early 1800s), it is quite flat with very slight grades. This makes it wonderfully easy to walk and to ride bikes on. The forest all around is beautiful, and the local topography is hilly enough to give delightful contrast to the scenery. Sometimes the ground drops off dramatically on either side of the trail, making it a little scary if you look down the cliff-side as you pass. And in other places each side of the trail is solid rock face where the pathway was cut out of the mountainside in order to allow the trains to pass through.

David riding his bike along the trail

At one point the mountain was so big that they couldn’t just cut a pathway in it, but actually had to make a tunnel burrowing through the mountain. That tunnel is now lit with incandescent lights all the way through. This is good, because the tunnel is actually quite long and it curves so that when you’re in the middle of the tunnel you can’t see either of the ends. It would be quite dark without those incandescent lights.

Downtown Lynchburg - taken from the skate park
The diagonal incline is part of Black Water Creek Trail

Moss grows on the inside of the walls of the tunnel, making them look and feel a little fuzzy. Water that has traveled through hundreds of yards of earth and stone drips from the top of the tunnel and forms small pools of water along the trail. And in the summer, the temperature drops by 20 degrees or so inside the tunnel compared to the outside of the tunnel just a few feet away. It's a wonderful bit of “air conditioning” about halfway between our house and downtown Lynchburg.

We tend to stop when we get downtown becuase there’s a wonderful little skate park there that David like to watch. We buy Gatorade from the skate shop and sit and watch the people on their skateboards. Every now and then a train comes through, just a few feet from the skate park. David loves trains, so that is another bonus.

Watching the train go by

The Black Water Creek trail is part of a long-term project that plans to extend this walking trail the entire length of the railroad tracks from Peaks of Otter all the way to Virginia Beach—about 250 miles total. What a great ride that will be someday.

This trail is just one of the many things we will really miss when we move away from Lynchburg in the next month or so. We have really loved our time here. But God has new plans and new adventures in store for us, wherever he eventually takes us.

Flowers along the trail

Here’s a previous post about the Black Water Creek Trail.

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