Day 4 of PTO
Where to ride. I've gone south on the Great Western Trail. West on the Raccoon River Valley Trail. North on the Neal Smith Trail. Saving East on the Chichaqua Trail for a ride with Mary as well as Southeast to the Summerset Trail with her, too. She had to work and I was solo again. Why not the Jordan Creek Trail?
This trail I usually reserve for commuting home. I suppose I could take it if I had a desire to go to Jordan Creek Town Center but no. As reviewed previously in this blog, the trail can be a bit confusing with its multiple tunnels going underneath many roads. Signage is improving but sometimes the tunnel one needs is the second and unseen tunnel. Today I made only one wrong turn.
It was difficult to get to the JCT. Detour at Water Works for the repaving of Flagg Dr. Bill Riley Trail close for rail road bridge replacement, too. I had to take Ingersoll Ave to bypass the closed section of the trail. Nice long climb on a single speed bike. No big deal. I think it added 4 miles because I went to WW first to check on Flagg progress.
One must cross 63rd/1st street to get on the trail. There is a light with a button to facilitate this just south of Rail Road. I noticed something different about the other side. There were shiny silver poles with branches and on them were blue squirrels. A plaque indicated that it was an art exhibit. The marker also named the squirrels Bannertail, Nutkin, Timmy Tiptoes and Ms Suzy. Nice! I recall from last year people working on the foundation for this but I had no clue as what they were doing.
At the end of this industrial stretch of trail and near the entrance for the Raccoon River Park the trail turns to the right and crosses the road and rail tracks. The second art exhibit was above the trail. Yellow hawks named Farsight, Tobias and Tiberius.
Red rabbits were the next critters on silver trees. These are located past Grand Ave along EP True just by the tunnel that leads to Jordan Creek Park. They are Peter and Thumper.
Not far from where the trail goes underneath I-35. It is a purple fox named Gary and a blue beaver called Bartholomew. The beaver is hidden in a large log instead of sitting on the silver tree like the rest. A young couple walking a dog asked if the beaver jumped out. No. They told me that during their first encounter with the art exhibit their dog looked inside the log and jumped back when he/she saw the beaver! They also said they lived near by and were unaware of other exhibits besides the previous ones I encountered.
|The best way to enhance this one is to have a sensor that when triggered would move the beaver to to opening of the log. Kids would scream!|
|No bird poop. The critics must love this one!|
The final exhibit is Hedwig the Owl who sits in solitude toward the end of the trail just past the mall.
|They must feed him or the critics here don't hold back!|
He was not the final piece of art I encountered. On my return I stopped at Hy Vee on Grand Ave to purchase dog food. The garden center had two colorful dinosaurs. Last year they only had a T-Rex. I'd love to have them but I cannot justify dropping hundreds of dollars on something that would most likely be stolen from my yard. Last years T-Rex was larger and had a price tag of something like $400 to $700 IIRC.
|I also like the I heart Iowa sign.|
A most colorful ride! I end up with 40 miles on my single speed. If there are other exhibits I did not see them. I stayed on the main trail. I tried to find the City of West Des Moines link to "Art on the Trail" but a HTTP error pops up. Down for maintenance? However, I Googled the artists and here are some links to them:
Actual Size Artworks
Actual Size Exhibits
Get out and ride!
One final note. When did they change the name of the trail? The night before Ed Wilson showed a trail during his weather report. He called it a "greenway." Mary and I were a bit confused. We never heard of a greenway in the metro. Then I saw the signs starting about at Jordan Creek Park.