I hope everyone has had a chance to check out the rental bikes down at Sportsmen’s Park.

I hope everyone has had a chance to check out the rental bikes down at Sportsmen’s Park.

During the quieter evenings, Odysseus and I have gone down there and rode the trail. There were some technical difficulties at first, but the bikes themselves are a good time.

I’ve talked before about the things I see about Sleepy Eye that make it a special place. The biggest thing to me is how connected the community is in a way that keeps everyone safe. Kids on bikes, walking dogs, playing at the parks––it’s almost a spiritual experience to know that things are right in this little part of the world.

So this last week, I was riding around the lake slowly, with Odie walking alongside me, and I took a minute to just let go of the day and all the stuff I had to get done. I was just there with the water and the birds and the sound of kids playing in the distance, and the gentle panting of the dog walking next to me. It was very relaxing, exactly what I needed.

Now I’ve heard of people having relaxing moments like that in the great outdoors, but I would usually dismiss it as some nonsense. After sleeping outside in tents and sleeping bags for so long, I had a hard time believing you could spend time outside and enjoy yourself. But nonetheless, it gave me a sense of calm and focus that I have not had in a while.

I know different things bring peace of mind and balance to everyone. I recommend getting a bike and losing track of time on the trail, or on a hike up a hill. The feeling you get at the peak, how connected you feel to the environment around you is worth the climb. We all know we may not get a chance once the school year kicks off and we have all kinds of stuff to do.