mt zion road

Up in Carroll County there is a road called Mt Zion Road. For as long as I have been biking up in those parts (about 3 years), Mt Zion Road has been closed to thru traffic. There is a detour to follow that involves riding on Dark Hollow Road (scary!) and also includes some unpleasantly brutal hills. I have dutifully followed the detour every time. However, last month my curiosity got the best of me and I turned down Mt Zion Road in order to find out just exactly why a road would be closed for 3 straight years. Well, it turns out that Mt Zion Road is in fact a wonderfully pleasant road! For one thing, there are NO cars on it, which just in itself can make a road wonderful. But it is also beautiful because there are a lot of trees and fields, and only a few houses. It is also a very quiet road. Anyway, I biked on for a couple of miles or so and eventually came to the root of the problem: a small bridge only about 15 feet long or so spanning a tiny country creek. Apparently the bridge can no longer support automotive traffic. There were barricades up on either side of it. However, my bike fit through quite nicely. On the other side, grass had begun growing up through cracks in the pavement. Nature was doing her best to reclaim her rightful land. I lazily rode along a bit farther before stopping to eat a banana in the middle of the road, with tall trees on either side and birds chirping and flying here and there. I thought about how much I love abandoned roads. I also wondered if the residents were opposed to the bridge being repaired. When functional, I am sure it’s a well-used road due to its location. However, if I lived on Mt Zion Road, I’d be hoping for that bridge to be busted forever. Just the other day I rode down there again. A goldfinch led the way, and I later stopped to greet a couple of burros. They seemed quite interested in me, although they got skittish when I tried to approach the fence. So I rode on and later stopped after crossing the bridge, ate a Clif bar, and absorbed the silence and the visual beauty of a creek winding through verdant fields.

That’s all for today, but before I sign off I wanted to commemorate the passing of a literary giant. You were one of the greats, Aleksandr. Best wishes on the next leg of your journey.

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