Since we'd gorged on turkey and stuffing and gravy and potatoes and cheesecake, et all, we decided that the "Day After" ought to consist of a nice, long walk. Oh, we could walk through our neighborhood, but we've done that; we could walk through Smallville, but we've done that, too. So, instead, we opted for the Riverwalk along the Congaree River in Columbia. It was a gorgeous day, cool and sunny, so off we went, driving the long drive from Smallville to Columbia, and then on down to the river.
They have a paved pathway up the river from the Gervais Street Bridge to the Hampton Street Bridge, and the down from the Gervais Street Bridge to just beyond the train trestle.
There are bridges that traverse parts of the trail that might otherwise be impassable, making the Riverwalk perfect for joggers and bikers, and dog walkers, Mom's with strollers, and homo's from a nearby small town.
This is the Gervais Street Bridge that crosses the Congaree River from West Columbia into Columbia. It is one of those old bridges from a time when they were considered an art form and not strictly a utilitarian venture. These kinds of bridges look just as beautiful from the roadway as they do from underneath.
The path takes you under the Gervais and then up the river toward the Hampton Street Bridge, letting you walk almost at the river's edge.
The Hampton Street Bridge is one of those modern bridges, with no inherent beauty whatsoever; we moved away from creating structures that serve our lives as well as our spirits, to structures simply built to serve a purpose.
But as we walked along we came to a covered part of the path, where vines, now nearly bare, crawled up the poles and struts and look like they'd be a beautiful shady spot come spring.But, for now, we got to see some of the last of the fall colors along the river; gone were the ruby colored leaves, and the scarlet leaves, leaving behind just brilliant yellows and oranges.
As we traveled south, I caught sight of a Great Blue heron soaring just above the water. Since there was a stand of trees between us and the water, it was impossible to get a picture of this beautiful bird hovering above the river. But then we came to a clearing and found him sitting on a rock in the middle of the river, waiting for me and my camera.
Then the path turned again, and it grew very shady and cool; as a more traditional 'mo,' this part reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, just before the Flying Monkeys arrive to whisk Dorthy off to the castle. Yes, my imagination is vivid.
We passed under yet another bridge, the Knox Abbot, and discovered a lovely mural of a riverboat heading upriver toward Columbia. The artists worked on getting the landscape just right, so that it almost fools the eye and mind into thinking it's real.Finally we got down to the train trestle and figured we'd turn around and head back; it was lovely, but we both felt we'd been walking long enough, and now had quite a reverse hike back to where we parked the car. It was a truly gorgeous way to spend an afternoon, and, when we got home, i discovered that our little walk along the river, was about 5.5 miles!
I had a slice of cheesecake upon arriving home.
I deserved it.
I desserted it?