From Here to Eternity (okay, from here to Dog n’ Suds, but it felt like an eternity)

Bike Trail
Ah, nature.

Okay, we’re a little late to this article. In our defense, baseball got in the way and, since we’re a guy, you are required to accept “baseball” as a valid excuse from us for pretty much everything.

Accidentally pushed the red button while visiting the White House? – baseball.

Mistook the dog for a towel and used him to dry off the car? – baseball.

Today’s our wedding anniversary?! – baseb…okay we won’t push it.

Anyway, this last weekend decent weather finally descended on the geographically boring area that we here at MojoFiction call home. In honor of the occasion, we decided to go for the first bike ride of the season. Because our son was with us, we decided he should go, too.

He was not happy with the decision because he wanted to play video games. We told him we could call it “Mario Kart Bikes” and try to run each other off the path, but wasn’t buying it. We probably should have told him that before we threw a turtle at him, dropped a banana peel in front of his bike, and then furiously pedaled ahead. In our defense, it was a green turtle and NOT a red one.

After we agreed to go biking by a vote of 1-to-you-don’t-get-a-vote, we drove out to a small park in McHenry county (Illinois) called Glacial Park, which is name after a famous Illinoisan named Glacier someone or other. Probably. It sounds good, anyway. We’ll Google it later. Glacial Park is mostly known for being a park in Illinois, but it has other famous features, such as geography and wildlife. Again, probably. We’re not sure because we parked out car, unpacked the bikes, and headed out to the Prairie Trail bike path that runs by Glacial Park on its way north to Wisconsin, or, if you’re a sucker, south to Crystal Lake.

The Prairie Trail bike path is 26 miles long, which sound really long, but entrepreneurial bikers such as MojoFiction will quickly find out that if they drive the first 21 miles of it, they only have to bike for, like, 5 miles. As we pulled our bikes onto the wide gravel path just off the parking lot, a young man in a jeep pulled up and asked us if any part of the path was paved because he liked paved paths better. We’re pretty sure his bike was really wimpy and he was just embarrassed to admit it. So we pointed south and told him to head to Crystal Lake (sucker!!!).

The photo above is an actual photo of the section of the Prairie Trail bike path we tackled that day. It’s a long, mostly flat stretch of tree-lined freedom. Just get on your bike and go. Honestly, though, we weren’t sure where we were going, we only knew we were biking north. Rather than use maps and GPS and other Google spy equipment built into our phone, we decided to go until we couldn’t go anymore (or until the Blackhawks playoff game started, whichever happened first).

After several miles of biking, and telling our son about eight times that we’ll just see what’s around the next bend and then we’ll head back, we realized we had made it all the way to one of the crown jewels of the Land of Lincoln.

Richmond, Illinois.

And when we call Richmond a jewel of Illinois, we mean, of course, that we were totally thinking of something else, but Richmond is nice too, especially if you like antique shops. But Richmond does have one important, historical destination worthy of a blog-mention.

Dog n’ Suds.

Dog n’ Suds is an old-school drive up that only employs hyper-active teenagers whose freakishly positive outlooks on life lead you to believe that your order of six cheese dogs, nachos, and super-large coke is, like, the best order ever. Dog n’ Suds is also a traditional stopping point for MojoFiction and Co. when driving up into Wisconsin for some hiking. We have no idea what it is about a cheap hot dog at a drive-up on a warm summer day, but once in a while it just seems like the right thing to do.

Since we weren’t in a car this time, we coasted our bikes to the picnic tables around back and walked up to the front, where we ordered the classic American lunch of chili-cheese dogs and fries from a teenage girl who assured us that the food would be awesome, even if, scientifically speaking, it wasn’t actually food. After eating our lunch we pulled out another American classic, the dine-and-dash, by hopping on our bikes and riding away into the woods while laughing diabolically.

Ha ha! Just kidding. We actually forgot our bikes and had to go back and get them.

After reluctantly paying bill, we strapped on our bike helmets and started the ride back. At the end, MojoFiction’s legal offspring (our son) said, “The ride back felt like it only took about 30 seconds.”

Yeah, the ride back always feels shorter. There’s no anticipation. It may be about the journey and not the destination, but sometimes the journey is all the sweeter for knowing something awaits at the end.

Like chowing down on chili-dogs with your kids on the first worthy day of spring after an impromptu bike ride through the countryside.

Or maybe that was part of the journey and there was no destination. How sweet is that?

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