Trail system a blessing

Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2003

Among the many blessings of living in Alaska's capital, our wondrous trail system surely ranks right up there. Some of the trails are very old (from "time immemorial," as the saying is). Some are quite recent. Some I shall never walk again but they remain inwardly.

Of the newer trails, the one I know best and value most I call River Trail (although I am trying to learn the proper Tlingit name). It enables me to start out on my bike from Auke Bay along Back Loop and then return home through Brotherhood Park. It's just great.

Initially, though, I wasn't sure, as I had envisioned a simple footpath, and this paved, road-like, albeit narrow path troubled me.

My mother's gentle admonition, "Go slow, dear son," comes to mind.

Yes, gradually I have come to realize and appreciate that others saw further and more clearly than I.

It's a fine addition to our world class trail system, for sure, highly accessible to young and old, to hikers and bikers, folks in wheelchairs, joggers, skaters dog-walkers, tikes on trikes.

Ay, there's the rub. With popularity comes congestion and the increased possibilities for collisions.

We can reduce the chances of such accidents by staying alert to the presence of other users and observing basic rules of the multi-purpose path. That is, to keep right except when passing to the left of others in the same lane.

Bill Dunn

Auke Bay

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