When my family moved to our current home in Sacramento we were excited to be closer to the bike trail. "We will go every weekend now its so close," we said. "We can even bike to the lake," we said.
But the thinking of going biking all the time is very different from actually doing it. We constantly ran into excuses. "My bike has no air in it." we said. "It's too hot" we said. "We're too busy," we said. "I don't even have a bike," I said.
As we reached the bike trail, the sounds of the city faded away. Long gone were the sounds of cars whizzing by on the pavement. Lost were the sounds of kids and their dogs. We left the scent of freshly cut grass and boiling asphalt behind. We had barely walked half a mile and the only trace of humans was the bike path and the neat yellow line running down its belly.
Along the trail we saw wild flowers bursting through the grassy meadows, dear grazing and pausing to see who was passing through their emerald lands. We heard the calls and chirps of finches, crows and magpies, working a symphony with the ra-ta-ta-tap of woodpeckers and the constant wushing of the river.
As we reached the river we were greeted by the uneven and smooth stones under our feet, the cold tickle of the water under our toes, the smell of fresh earth in our nostrils, and the sight of this beautiful oasis tucked into the outskirts of suburbia.
Since then my family and I have made the short trek to the river many times. During the summer its our weekend ritual to walk down to see the sunset, and feel the cool breeze as we escape from the heat of Sacramento.
This summer is different. I decided to spend it in Chicago to continue my studies, and I am working for SAIC as a Summer Resident Educator. (its like being an RA, but for the high school students who are studying here for the summer) So i've been missing the escape the river had always brought me.
-Its named for a Chicago native Milton L. Olive III, who served in the Army during Vietnam. He gave his life for his fellow soldiers when he threw himself over an enemy grenade he was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart.-