Sunday, March 18, 2012

American River Parkway

They have funny road signs in Sacramento
The irony is that while in Sacramento to visit family (my oldest granddaughter, Leticia, was celebrating her 15th birthday), we spent a day away from family. We did have good reason, though, as the American River Parkway was calling our names. So we packed the bikes, snuck out of the house full of snoring relatives and drove over to Discovery Park, located at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers.

Dollie on the American River Parkway
The ride began under mostly sunny skies, prompting us to wear shorts and light windbreakers. Oops. Within several miles, dark clouds blotted out the sun, blue sky, and any thoughts that spring might have just arrived. Just to hammer the point home that Madame Winter was in charge, the heavens opened up and pelted us with raindrops fatter and colder than a side of hand-fed pork hanging on a meat hook in a walk-in freezer. 

What is this, Oregon?

Just when I thought I was bordering on out and out discomfort, the hail started. That did it: we were officially miserable cyclists.

From personal experience, the rat-a-tat-tat sound of hail on a cycling helmet is really loud. Fortunately, a bridge materialized on the pathway, providing shelter from the watery barrage and we were joined by several other cyclists seeking similar protection from water in all its solid and semi-solid states.

Within a few minutes the onslaught let up and we cycled the rest of the way under intermittent cloud cover and rain squalls. But enough about the weather, the scenery on this ride was pretty terrific. The path was pleasantly level, if unpleasantly rainy, as it meandered alongside the substantial American River and through oak savannahs. 

Canada geese at the Pond pond

We stopped at the William Pond pond and observed the ducks and geese swimmng around, hoping for handouts. I pondered the question if the word "pond" was coined because William Pond was the first human being to witness one. Just think, if I had discovered a pond, everybody would be going to the Duck Richard behind Fred Meyer's. 
More wet weather coming in
We had originally intended to cycle the full 65 to 70 miles of the bike path but it was obvious that all the rain squalls we had endured were aqueous foreplay for an impending storm system. A wall of black clouds was coming in, casting random thunderbolts, and we had enough of this Oregon weather in California.  So we headed back the way we came for a 33 miler, filing this ride away for another time on a better day.

Sunny, rainy, sunny, rainy...

I didn't take a lot of pictures because I normally don't take as much when cycling, especially when my camera would get mad at me for subjecting it to the elements.  

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