Rollerblading in Indiana (State #21!!!)
Last week I got to rollerblade in the state Abraham Lincoln grew up in– Indiana. Surprised by that tidbit? I was! I just assumed Lincoln was born and raised in Illinois, when in fact he did not move there until 1830 when he was about 21 years of age. My rollerblading venture taught me that– I passed a sign. I also got to read about Captain Mary Becker Greene, who got her Riverboat pilot’s license in 1896, making her the only licensed female steamboat captain on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Who knew rollerblading could be so educational?
I have the Pigeon Creek Greenway Project to thank for the history lessons. I skated between Sunset Park, along the banks of the Ohio River and a little pass the Casino Aztar. Along the route, they had a lot of signs detailing Evansville history and explaining the sites along the way. One of the signs at Sunset Park was particularly fitting:
Architect Bill Gaisser, in an interview, said that “after World War II, people had a change of attitude… They were less likely to stroll in the park. We became a modern society with automobiles, suburbs and air-conditioned houses”
I saw a total of two individuals my whole time on the river front. The weather was not optimal, but it was still pretty nice for December. I was very surprised I did not encounter more people outside.
That said, it was the isolation of the trail, that I think I appreciated the most. I parked at the Evansville Convention and Visitors Center. From there, I had to walk up a small grassy slope to get to the paved path. When I got to the top of the slope, I was right upon Ohio River. The sky was grey. The river was grey. To my right, the path was deserted. To my left, the path was deserted. And it was quiet.
The silence I will remember– I had just finished up delivering three days of training with evenings focused on demos and conference calls. That was three days straight of almost non-stop talking. And suddenly, all was quiet. Skating along the Ohio River, the only things I could hear were the whir of my wheels and the sounds of my own breath.
It was a peace I didn’t expect. It was a peace I needed.
The pavement was great. The crisp air was invigorating and I got to see lots of items along the way. They had a nice Korea War Memorial, they had a restored Riverboat, and finally, the Four Freedoms Monument gave me a chance to pay homage to my very favorite of all the U.S. states.
Rock on Virginia, I love you!
P.S. See the Virginia Creeper in the State Seal?
I had such a fulfilling journey. Even though this time around, I reveled in the unexpected alone time, I do hope more people start to take advantage of that trail.