I'm trying to remember, but I think I missed the Annual Fat Boy Turkey Day Ride - 2012 edition. But with my riding lately (not to mention my lack-of-fitness), I resolved to ride in 2013.
And so I did. Here's the proof:
Seven of us braved the cold to ride all of the "food themed" roads in the area: Roast Meat, Blueberry Hill, etc. Even ChrisW ventured out - and took the pic (unfortunatley, that meant he wasn't included in the pic).
Good thing we took the photo when we did - shortly afterwards, some of us had to start peeling off to get to family & holiday activities. But we were able to have that little extra piece of pie later knowing that we'd been crazier than lots of others by getting a ride in on a cold Thanksgiving morning.
After a cold ride Thursday morning and a damp ride Friday morning, Saturday morning's ride was nice - albeit a bit windy. There were only three of us riding, but Chuck met us at Ashlawn Farms' new coffee cafe by the Saybrook RR station. We saw PeteA there too, serendipitously. Although our Saturday Morning Ride group has dwindled significantly since the summer, it's still great we can get out for a little bit longer at least!
Wow - 3 days in a row. First time since August(!) It was a little tough getting motivated though, especially when the temperature said 29. But I knew the sunrise would be great again, and I'd picked out another 10 mile loop last night - this time to another one of my favorite places: the Connecticut River dock at Essex.
After yesterday on the trainer, I had to get out of the house for this morning's ride. The phone said 55 degrees out, so that clinched it. As soon as I got out though, I knew my phone had lied. It was more like upper 30s. But seeing the sunrise made it all worthwhile.
My answer depends on what kind of ghosts you mean. I don't believe in the creepy un-dead or spirit wanderings of departed souls. But I do believe in the ghosts of the past - the hauntings of a place by the memories of the people who were there. Who were they? Did they have dreams and plans like we do today? While dead people don't haunt us, the spirits and memories of the past can, and often do. Especially if you're paying close attention.
During this time of year especially, if you keep your eyes open and know where to look, you can see these ghosts materializing.
As the trees shed their dying leaves, they begin to reveal the secrets they've hidden since last spring. You have only to slow down, pay attention, and keep your eyes peeled. Here's an example for those interested in the history of railroading in the Connecticut River Valley...
I passed this spot a dozen times back during the summer when I was riding my bike to work. But only recently did I spot a ghost of the old railroad line between Middletown & Berlin across this field. Do you see it there in the distance? How about if I zoom in . . .
You'll have to excuse the camera quality of my phone, but if you tilt your monitor just right, you should see, just beginning to poke out of the trees, this beautiful stone arch bridge. The railroad was abandoned and torn up years ago, and the trees have long since reclaimed much of the roadbed. But this bridge remains - a monument to the memory not only of the railroad, but to the spirit of the men who built it.
If during your travels you stop at a spot like this and imagine, even for a few minutes, how those men lived, who they loved, what their hopes were and whether they ever achieved them, you might see some ghosts. At the very least you'll appreciate more deeply what they went through and how privileged we are today.
And if you're especially quiet, you may even hear in the sound of the leaves floating by on the breeze a whisper of thanks from those men for not letting them be forgotten.