Sure there is “Detroit River Days” happening along the riverfront this very weekend. But for those of us not inclined to travel to Detroit to worship the river, there are plenty of walkways along the water Downriver as well.
Today, I got up at the crack of dawn … well, once again it rained last night and I peered outside at daybreak and the cement was still damp, the grass was soaking wet and it was rather gloomy looking. So, Wyandotte became my destination for the day. As I got dressed and ready to leave, my intention was to walk all the way down to Biddle Avenue to get a glimpse of the Detroit River after hearing about all the hoopla happening at River Days. What I didn’t know was that Trenton and Ecorse and their waterways were also in the cards for me.
I left the house about 8:30 a.m. and was moseying along, checking out a tree that literally looked like it was covered in polka dots because its bark was peeling off, when suddenly, I saw a car slowing down. It was my friend and neighbor Marge. She was headed to Wyandotte, breakfast beside her on the seat, to just relax and watch the world go by from her favorite primo vantage point near Bishop Park. Now Marge often goes down to watch the sun rise in this very picturesque setting, and we had planned a “date” of sorts for some time, but the rain and other things seemed to always interrupt our plans. “Hop in” Marge said and I was happy to do so. Our mouths were running a mile a minute catching up on unfinished e-mail chatter and soon we were in downtown Wyandotte and at Bishop Park. Marge waived off strolling on the sidewalk that runs parallel to the Detroit River, electing to enjoy her breakfast from the comfort of the car, so I took off for a brief tour of the early Sunday morning setting along the Detroit River. I hopped out of the car almost as soon as it stopped because a huge heron was perched on the guard railing. His silhouette was striking in the very gloomy, darkish sky. Figuring he’d spy a fish and take off on me, I snapped a few pictures of him from afar. He looked like a still and solemn sentry watching over the waterfront. Before I could get any closer, and just as I predicted, he flew off, huge wings helping to propel him off that railing and glide effortlessly in the bruised-looking sky. The pier was abuzz with several fishermen stationed along the guardrail. Most were casting and re-casting their respective lines, while simultaneously being mindful of a second fishing pole, which, in most cases, was propped up between a tackle box, a five-gallon bucket of water and a makeshift bait container. Those “virtual fisherman” likewise patiently waited for a nibble. I do think most of the fishermen were strictly there for the sport of it this morning, as I didn’t see any small or big fish being reeled in, nor did I see a pile of silver bass being anyone’s catch of the day. After meandering along the river’s edge sidewalk, I headed back to the car where Marge was enjoying the view while savoring that last sip of coffee.
She then asked “how about if we go to Elizabeth Park?” Well I was game for that as well, so off we went, winding our way along Biddle Avenue which morphs into West Jefferson Avenue, until we drove through downtown Trenton and straight through to the entrance of this very scenic park. By now, the sky had brightened and people were arriving in their cars or atop their wheels – be it bicycles or rollerblades. There were walkers and joggers galore as we made our way slowly around the perimeter of Elizabeth Park. Looking down by the water, we saw many ducks and geese had congregated under beautiful large weeping trees which cast stupendous reflections upon the clear water. It was so scenic and peaceful and my head swirled around and around as I tried to take it all in. My digital camera was overworked as I sought to capture the beauty of Elizabeth Park, and, in reviewing my many shots, some which I will share with you in later posts, those photos simply do not do justice to this pretty place. After we travelled once around the Park’s perimeter, we started on the journey along Jefferson Avenue toward home.
Then Marge said “it is also pretty at Ecorse Park and sometimes there are swans there” so we just kept going and going until the road twisted and turned and we arrived in the City of Ecorse. Marge pulled over and the same ambiance was at this Park – many families and more fishermen, all out enjoying the first full day of Summer 2014. We drove through Ecorse where Marge was born and raised and she shared some stories about the people she knew back in the day and we drove past their houses before we headed home.
I enjoyed my unexpected sojourn today to these beautiful Downriver parks which border the Detroit River. There is something soothing about seeing the buoys bobbing amongst the waterfowl in the sparkling water and hearing that water lapping up in waves as each power boat zooms by in the distance. Time is forgotten while fishermen while away the hours, patiently waiting for a tug on a line, and if that wait takes several hours and produces no fish … well, … so be it. A trip to the river’s edge makes us all richer for our time is well spent enjoying any one of these natural gems.
Downriver Daze – Part 2 will happen next weekend when our 15th Annual Cruisin’ Downriver takes place next Saturday, June 28th. I plan to walk the length of the Lincoln Park portion of the route that day.