BEFORE AND AFTER: Juneteenth

No matter what time of year, there is always something interesting to see down by the river. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I like having such a fine geographic feature in such close proximity. In fact, I’m thinking of writing a book about the relationship between MY Town and the Mississippi River. But it will be so much more than that. It will be about father-and-son relationships and about the art of casting big chunks of meat into the river, letting them sink to the mud, patiently waiting for a huge carp to take the bait, and deftly reeling in the lovely bottom-feeder. My working title is: “A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT.” Whaddya think?

Besides the big barge floating by me, I also got to see a nice dose of wildlife. There were the usual things like squirrels, geese, robins, flies, and such. And some other stuff too.

Like this turtle. The creature pulled its head into its shell despite my friendly assurances that I had no intention of causing harm.


Can you see that patch of white just below the dam and to the left. That’s not snow. It’s a large flock of white pelicans.


After last night’s thunderstorms there were lots of mosquitoes out there too, as evidenced by that welt on my arm. I assure you, there were many more welts like that all over my neck, arms and legs. (An aside: After examining this close-up, I’m surprised at how dry my skin looks.)


I noticed a congregation of vultures at the shoreline. If they were feeding on a beautiful, noble fish like a carp, maybe I could use that as material for my upcoming book, A River Runs Through It. I decided to investigate.


Bald eagle attacks and kills Barbie Doll. Barbie slips out of the eagle’s talons and falls into the Mississippi River. Fifty pound carp swallows Barbie whole. Fisherman catches carp, prepares it for pickling, and throws away bones and Barbie. Vultures move in. Such is the circle of life.

Oh, excuse me. I got lost in my thoughts about the new book. I almost forgot about the Before & After pictures.

August 12, 2019: In this one I set the timer to capture me 3/4 of the way up a nasty four-mile ride away from Hawk Creek in Northeastern Washington State. Can you detect the fakeness of my smile and thumbs-up.


June 19, 2020: This re-creation is me 3/4 of the way up an easy hill away from the Mississippi River in Minnesota. Can you detect the sincerity in my smile and thumbs-up?

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

3 response to "BEFORE AND AFTER: Juneteenth"

  1. By: Suzanne Posted: June 20, 2020

    Write that book! But don’t forget to finish the self-imposed June challenge – just 11 days to go!

  2. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: June 20, 2020

    The barbie doll circle of life…ha ha…loved it. But did barbie have life in the first place and does that invalidate your initial philosophical circle? I think you could have unwittingly discovered the meaning of life.

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