Last week sometime, at a vehicle gate on the upstream River Trail, I encountered a couple, a man and a woman, in an attractive new golf cart. My first reaction as they waved cheerfully, was "What are those damned golfers doing on MY trail?"
I rode on with hostility in my heart for these transgressors. I noticed that they had been wearing blue shirts with a logo I did not recognize. I made my way on to the lakeshore, and stayed awhile, and on the way back, stopped at one of the trails parks to refill some and discard some water. As I stepped out of the rest-room, I noticed what I thought was the same new blue cart, but I feel as if the people were not the same, although their shirts seemed to be the same.
I returned to the lakeshore again the next day, and somewhere along the trail, I saw yet another new blue cart, and noticed that, as they proceeded along MY trail, they would beep their obnoxious little horns at each blind curve. OH, surely these people should be reported for bustling around in these motorized vehicles on the trail!!!
Then, on a third day, a few days later, I had just crossed the dam road at Overlook Park, and began the easy slope down toward the killer hill. I heard one of those beeps, and there, coming toward me around a curve, was one of those new blue carts with only a single occupant! The cart pulled aside to assure me room to pass, and the very nice appearing lady occupant waved cheerfully to me, and I noticed that she was wearing a vest, rather than the blue shirts with the logo. Her vest prominently displayed "Park Ranger".
I stopped and we had a chat, as I explained to her about my hostility toward those strangers I'd seen hogging the trail, but now I understood. She gently explained that she'd tried one of those shirts, and found that she just didn't like the heavy blue material what made it much too hot, so she wore the vest over her own lighter weight shirt! As I continues my ride, I told her that now, instead of my hostility, I was very happy that they were there! And I was!
I do not know if those people who patrol the trail are volunteers or of they're moderately paid for their service, but it is a valuable service they perform, even if their actions may seem to annoy us occasionally.
And so, in retrospect, I'm theorizing that swapping the heavier old green utility vehicles they had been using for the snappy blue (I'll say "Eagle Blue") carts was a practical move for the sake of economy, and probably an intentional tribute to our local high school gladiator squad.
"EPILOGUE".....The punch line.
When, earlier today, I placed the final period and posted this for all the world to see, I cheerfully went on to other things. It was hours before it suddenly dawned on me, and my mind returned to Mrs. Sullivan's eighth grade English class. I had given a book report on Robin Hood, ended my report, and returned to my seat. I was already home after school when I realized that I had not finished, and had left it hanging in the wrong place, so the next day, I asked Mrs. Sullivan to allow me to complete my report.
This morning, as I was headed out to my appointment at The Barber Shop, driving this time. I was about midway down that narrow ravine, pretentiously named "Spring Valley", where The River Trail and the road are in close proximity, when I saw one of the new blue carts coming up the trail toward me. Prominently displayed on the windshield of this one, I saw a "PARK RANGER" label.
I'll probably always wonder if that nice lady park ranger up on the upper shelf above "killer hill" had revealed my story to "the authorities", or was this new label simply something that they had always intended, but had not yet accomplished in those days before I met her on the trail.