Dirt trails, Rail trails, cat’s tail’s, 2 tracks, single tracks, train trax, dirt roads, access roads, forest paths and game trails.
Study maps, ask around, look around town, think like a weirdo, and keep yer ears open and yer eyes peeled. Since I am held captive by the urban sprawl, this is what I do. I seek out places where most do not; I look for the paths and trails that, for the most part, at least in these parts, follow the waterways of the Sacramento region and it’s rivers and Delta area’s. There are horse trails and fishing paths leading to rivers, sloughs, ponds, creeks, tributaries, and ship channels galore.
A usual start and off to Old Soul coffee house and Edible Pedal bicycle shop. Eat tasty quiche and croissants and Java for breaky. Catch up at the shop to find out about more trails up between Auburn and Folsom for another day perhaps. It is in my registry now. Today however, I am drawn back to the west side of the city and into it’s key river’s upper Delta area’s.
Meandering through urban alley’s and backstreets; a side route through the ghetto; across said river and through a minor forest to find muddy fishing trails. Finally hitting open pavement if you will, and bolt for the wild west beyond the combatant city, where most there are fighting for supreme survival in automobiles. Paying a pretty price to do so in fact; lining up at filling pumps, all the while spewing their poison for all to become intoxicated with in this metropolis of bliss…
I head out West Jefferson Blvd, a known, fast route out of said Madness, and planning an escape route on the Clarksburg Rail Trail, but instead, spy an alternate: The Sacramento deep water Barge Canal has a levee on it’s side with a gravel surface that begs to be ridden fast; which I do.
There are many fisherman here; many on bicycle, who have ridden in from adjacent neighborhoods, accessing the canal via trails, paths, and streets as I do. They fish, seemingly for 3-headed Sturgeon, and perhaps Catfish with feathers and legs. I do not know for sure.
I do know this: Snake Pliskin did not have a bike, but I do. Henry David Thoreau did not have an ipod, but I do. Bike + ipod + dirt paths = a whole shit load of urban fun. I am quite certain of this.
Looking back upon the Madness, beyond it’s factories, and skyscraper temples of commerce, I begin to see a rare and hopeful sight unfold before me: some 50 miles to the east, the clouds are parting along the edge of the massive Central Valley, to reveal the greatest asset California has to offer.. The Sierra Nevada Mountains, covered in snow, and standing as a monument to a time before the Madness was constructed. I spy an electrical cabling tower perhaps 150 feet high. This tower, I presume is to carry mind control signals to the workers in the Madness, to keep them artificially subdued (sub dudes), so as they will not wish to escape, as I have. I decide to climb up the said tower a bit in order to catch a better view of these monuments of a time forgotten. Nearly 30 feet up, I realize that the ladder pegs, and my shoes are quite wet, and decide to descend, Before I do, however, I see the Mountains, far beyond the city, and dream of them.
The levee continues, but between said levee and Barge canal, an area opens up with some light forestation and a nice singletrack splitting it in two. Meandering in and out of Oaks and thickets, it finally ends, and I am forced back upon the levee, where mud becomes thick like gooey cake batter. This is practice for the Dalton and Dempster highways, I think.
Eventually, the levee too, ends, and I am forced back onto West Jefferson, and ultimately, the City. As I near the State Capitol, I spot a protest ensuing. I cannot make out what most are saying, but judging from the signage they carry, these are Native American Indians, protesting for their Native Brothers in Canada, against Canada’s recent opening up of it’s river’s and lake’s to massive demolition by way of methane/coal extraction. This practice will destroy rivers, destroy the Salmon, destroy the Bears, and destroy the native peoples there who rely on said natural resources.
I feel for you all, and all of us, Brothers and Sisters…