I will get back to the Itta Bena story next, but for a little fun and relaxation, I walked a leg of the South Rail Trail for the first time Saturday. I need to increase my exercise, and there is no safe place to walk unless I get in the car and drive. When we first moved here, I walked the road across the highway, but it got increasingly more dangerous as people speed on a narrow dirt road and dogs run loose. And then there was the day a woman stopped and asked, “How far you have to go, honey?” I said I was just walking for exercise and lived in the house on the hill across the road. She replied, “Don’t go too far; it is getting late” before she turned into the driveway just past me. Frankly, it was the dogs running loose that stopped me from walking on that road.
The Rail Trail is on the old Mississippi Central Railroad bed that ran between Oxford and Water Valley. It is always busy, filled with mostly students, but community folks also.
Even though it is hot and humid here, I correctly surmised that due to the abundant tree cover, it would be cool enough for a short walk. I planned 10 minutes and then turn around. There are trails that veer off into the woods from the rail bed, but I avoided those: ticks and the unknown are not my cup of tea these days.
Still, it was a pleasant view from the rail bed, and relaxing and calming, so I would occasionally stop to take a quick photo with the phone.
A small rivulet ran under the rail bed and pooled on the other side.
Other than two small patches of sunlight, under the electric lines right of way and where the paved walking trail behind an apartment complex meets the rail bed, it was shaded and pleasant the entire distance I walked. I ended up walking 20 minutes and then turning around, so a total of 40 minutes in this calming place, for a total of 1 mile since it was at the .5 marker when I turned around. It will likely take a while before I can go the entire 5 miles of the trail. Rather like varying one’s exercising routine, I will return to Itta Bena before I come back to update the rail trail visit two.