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Biking on the Trail

After work I can’t think of a better way to burn off some stress than hitting the Rivers Edge Trail on the bikes. I can burn down a few residential blocks and hop on the trail without crossing any major streets. From there I can reach the entire length of the Missouri that passes through Great Falls with one street crossing. This crossing is located just north of the Milwaukee Depot adjacent to the skate park. There is Just one note on this crossing that I wanted to share. It can be a dangerous crossing due to the signage provided. For the trail traffic there is a stop sign provided that tells the pedestrians and bikers that they need to stop and wait until it is safe to cross. The vehicular traffic is also provided a sign that says there is a pedestrian crossing ahead. However there is no communication on who has the right away. The danger comes when a vehicle stops giving up his or her right away leading the trail traffic into a false sense of security. The vehicular traffic traveling the opposite direction may not be paying attention or willing to give up their right away. If you have a longer train there may be some miscommunication on whether or not it is safe to cross. I watched this last week almost turn into a tragic accident. Myself I let the courteous drivers that stop to allow me cross keep their “right away”. It is only until it is clear that I attempt to cross (OK! On with the rest of my blog). This is about the third of fourth time I have blogged about the Rivers Edge Trail and I can Promise it won’t be my last. Every time I am on the trail the scenic view is different than the day before.

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The Blarney Experience

Today I was reflecting back (day dreaming :-)) on my recent trip to Ireland. That trip was one of those trips that when I am day dreaming every now and then I will reflect back on. The town of Blarney and the castle property specifically was truly a magical experience. Everything from the weather to the castle, blarney house, the lake to Lunch was memorable. The weather could not have been more perfect. It was about 65F with just a breath of wind and the billowy clouds just seem to float across from one horizon to the other (perfect for Pictures). It is a little bit of a hike to the castle but when you come in the gate the direction to go is obvious. The castle stands proud above everything around for miles. When I was standing at the base of the castle I was lucky enough to catch the sun peeking through a window at the top (this turned out to be an amazing photograph). Looking at the rays of light peeking through the window they remind me of the Celtic cross. Inside the castle it is a maze of rooms and stair cases to get to the top where the famous Blarney Stone is located. Looking down from the top you can see where the three floors below used to be. When looking around the country side from the top you can see for miles. One of the best features is the Blarney house. The Blarney House is a beautiful Scottish Baronial style mansion that was built in 1874. As you take the walk to the lake that is in the front yard of the Blarney House you are taken back in time. There are horse pastures, off buildings and ruins scattered about the property. As I stood at the base of the castle and walked the estate I felt a true connection to history. These are buildings that were conquered by kingdoms and taken back by another. We are looking at going back some day sooner than later. Ireland is still on my “Bucket list”.

>>For more Images from JLR Images CLICK HERE