Last week I worked at Gallatin. To the good, my colleagues at that place are a congenial group of professionals oriented to reality and who appear to manifest the sort of ordinary goodwill that is growing ever more difficult to discern in the agency that employs me. Certainly, working conditions there are considerably better than those in the place my position is currently housed. Also to the good, I got to take a bike and on every one of the four evenings I stayed over, I rode from the Hampton Inn parking lot across Nashville Pike and down Lock 4 Road to Sumner County Park and back again before supper. Each evening, I rode close to deer in the park that did not appear frightened of me. I had lunch a couple of days with the man at Gallatin who performs the work I do. One day I ate lunch at Top Hog Barbecue. I finished reading a biography of William Carey. I worked with very interesting clients. My hotel’s staff was efficient and friendly, the breakfasts served were not bad, parking was free, and the hotel, itself, was within easy walking distance to a number of reasonably priced chain restaurants. To the bad, I spent the week away from my family. Also, the contrast between a normal working environment and my own office will be horribly evident when I return there tomorrow.
Because the shifters on the Razesa need replaced (and I ordered a set of Rivendell Silver [downtube] Shifters that arrived while I was gone), I took the Miyata 610 with me. I replaced the Selle Italia racing saddle with a tacky-looking Mongoose mountain bike saddle and find it improved ride comfort considerably. The Miyata appears to have all of its original Sun Tour components; they have a utilitarian beauty. I took a lot of bike pictures – click on the thumbnails to see the full-sized images.
Three Saturdays ago, my youngest nephew and I set out for Woods Reservoir with The Great Blue Heron atop Thursday, my longsuffering Volvo 850 sedan. We drove out to the boat ramp near the hunter’s check-in station off Old Brick Church Road. One other vehicle was parked nearby. We unloaded the kayak, piled our stuff aboard, rigged the rudder, and set off. We first explored down to the left of the boat-ramp, passing a duck-blind along the shore at our left. We poked around a bit in the shallows, as far in to the overhanging branches as we could manage, then backed out again. Paddling back out toward the brick pumping station near base housing, we turned right and explored down another branch, crossed to a courtesy dock intended for the use of DOD personnel where we pulled the boat ashore and sat on the dock to eat our lunch. My mom, with whom my nephew had been staying, made us sandwiches and I can’t remember what else. Because we didn’t want the sandwiches to turn, we ate our lunch around 10:00 am. After lunch, we paddled into the shallows of that branch, too, then back toward the main body of the lake. As we paddled out, the wind was at our back, so we deployed the golf umbrella and sailed a bit. The wind was much stronger the further we went, and we sailed out to Little Elder Island, a rookery for every kind of local waterfowl. Usually the island is covered with thick foliage, but it appeared this year’s drought conditions significantly diminished its growth. We saw herons, egrets, duck-like birds. The island didn’t stink as badly as it usually does, but we still probably risked acquiring histoplasmosis paddling as close to it as we did. Paddling back to the put-in against that strong breeze required real effort. We ate our generic fig-newton cookies and drank water in a sheltered inlet before paddling back to the boat ramp. Here are some pictures: