The first three-quarters of today’s ride was pretty mundane. It was just another ride in the hills and farms of Washington County just north of MY Town. Nothing to write home about, and certainly nothing to post on Cycle365 about. (Except maybe for my first flat tire of the season.)
That all started to change after I heard a familiar sound on quiet Highway 21. It sounded like the Spring Peepers (known around here as “frogs”) that Bob from Vermont featured a few days ago. I commented that I’ve enjoyed that sound in some boggy areas of the Minnesota & Wisconsin north woods. This morning I got to hear them right here in a boggy area of southeastern MN. Check it out.
I was pleased enough with that alone for a Cycle365 post. It doesn’t take much for me to do that since I don’t have my own blog for day rides. This is the only place I have to go when I think of something to say, regardless of whether it’s really interesting or really idiotic. But coming up next is the part that was REALLY interesting–at least to me.
I descended down into the St. Croix River valley where I planned to take the new bike trail that follows the Mississippi River back to MY Town. But something caught my eye near the confluence of the two rivers.
Eventually a guy came along and he was wearing rubber boots that came up to his knees.
“Do you know what’s going on down there,” I asked.
“Yeah,” he replied, “they’re commercial fishermen and they’re reeling in their nets. There isn’t much going on right now, but in about a half-hour they’ll have the nets close to shore and you’ll be able to see some fish that you might never have seen before, including some huge paddlefish.”
He went on to explain that he teaches a marine biology class at the nearby University of Wisconsin at River Falls and he brought some students to watch the operation.
At first I thought, “I’m on a roll, I can’t sit around here for a half-hour just to see some fish. I don’t even like fishing. I don’t even like the IDEA of hunting and fishing.” Then I reconsidered and thought, “Damn, this might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” So I parked my bike and hiked down to the shoreline.
At first, I was as bored as the students and other spectators. But things really did get more exciting as the nets closed in. Not as exciting as an episode of “The Deadliest Catch” perhaps, but still pretty interesting. I took about 30 pictures and five videos and now I find myself in the horrible position of having to edit them down to just a few of the most essential ones. Coming up next will be the ones that made the final cut.
At some point I noticed nobody on the beach was wearing a mask. Neither was I, for that matter. I don’t wear one on my bike rides. I hope everyone there has been vaccinated.
By the way, I have a couple more sounds for the April Challenge.
I split that scene when some sprinkling rain began. I had a half-hour race to my home in which the sprinkles turned to a steady rain. I got back home just before the thunderstorms arrived.