Great Western Rail Trail, St. Charles to Sycamore
June 30, 2013
The people we encounter in the journey of life serve as mentors, teaching us lessons to help guide our paths. I had received numerous warnings against making the trip, all expressing that “It is dangerous out there.” When I embarked, I chose to ignore those warnings, hoping instead to learn new, valuable lessons along my adventure.
After bottoming out for the umpteenth time with my overloaded trailer, I had spent the night stuck in the middle of the Great Western Trail, somewhere between St. Charles and Sycamore, IL.
A couple stopped, asking after my welfare, and after a few minutes, I had told them the resistance I had met while planning my trip. They laughed, adding, “Oh, there are so many dangerous people along the biking trails like ourselves.”
They were recently retired community college professors who have chosen to spend at least a few hours of their retirement biking along the trails within their own state. When I mentioned I had free-lanced as a travel writer after my position had been eliminated at my community college, their interest was further piqued. Like me, the highlight of their educational careers had been taking a group of students to Europe, where Pat had blogged weekly, a part of the job description he enjoyed immensely.
The retired couple has been just a few in a series of people I have met along the trail, and to all of them, I pay tribute, thanking them for the numerous ways they have enriched my journey.