Thursday, June 3, 2010

Benedictine University and Green Trails

About a 20-mile ride through the neighborhood this morning. Went to visit my grandmother at Villa St. Benedict, then stopped for breakfast at the Big Apple Pancake House: A Sun-Times, two eggs scrambled to death – dry! – wheat toast and bacon. After my five or 10 thousand years in purgatory, I’ll ascend to heaven where it will be a bright, sunny spring morning much like today's, and that will be my breakfast order.

The weather is just … perfect … one day each year. I think today was that day. Brilliant sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, light east wind (unusual direction), about 85 degrees F. I was in full Mr. Pither mode coming home from Villa St. Benedict: bicycling in a state of oblivious happiness.

Decided to explore the grounds of nearby Benedictine University. I’d passed by the campus a hundred times, and have attended a bunch of DuPage Dragons baseball games at the stadium, but I’d never actually poked around on the campus.
Notable discoveries:
  • There is a pretty little 10- or 15-acre lake. Panfish scattered away from the shoreline as I approached. Oh, yes, I'll be back with a fishing rod.
  • A beautiful shrine to the Virgin Mary, and a short mulched trail with the stations of the cross.
  • A well-kept cemetery on the western section of the campus includes the final resting place of Abbot Procopius Neuzil, whose most excellent name I could just say over and over. Procopius Neuzil. Procopius Neuzil.

    As I admired the cemetery, I kept hearing a strange, stacatto series of musical notes. I followed the sound to its source: the Rosemont Cavaliers marching band xylophone players were practicing nearby, working on the timing of a particular short riff.

    Heading south from Benedictine toward home, I decided to explore the Green Trails network of asphalt bicycle/walking trails. What a gem! Twenty-five miles of smooth asphalt trails wind through residential neighborhoods, along backyards and around small lakes, parks, grassy open areas and small wooded sections.

    This is not a good speed-training track, though. Lots of kids on tricycles, joggers, mommies with strollers and blind corners. Take your time and enjoy the intense suburban-ness of it all.

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