T. Dean’s List: Notes from a Sunday bike ride on Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, South Carolina

Sharing my process here of quick writing to get thoughts down when they are fresh. Much like morning writing that’s a stream-of-consciousness of whatever bubbles up, the unedited, listing of observations builds attention to detail, and helps demystify the writing process. I have always loved lists, so that’s what works for me. Not always complete sentences. Not a format for submitting for formal publication, but lots of content to return to and expand on. Writing about everyday life supports non-fiction, fiction, poetry, songwriting, etc.

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  • The trail is super shady and green with lots of sweet spots to stop and rest (and write!). After ten years in Texas it felt down-right exotic to be exercising in the shade on an August afternoon with temps in the 80s.
  • Also, no traffic noise, no cars nearby except at a few street crossings.
  • Hardly any litter.
  • Only once did I see evidence of a community member living homeless near the trail.
  • Overheard 3 languages other than English. #yeahthatgreenville
  • Saw only a few dogs – one dog in a basket and a couple in trailers behind bikes.
  • Mostly bikers, a few joggers and walkers, one person on roller blades.
  • 20180812_123557.jpg“We rise by lifting others” mural on a trail stop for air, repairs and water
    I took an, um, awkward dismount in a moment when I was distracted by the beauty all around me … as in small wreck – landed in the leaves and got a few branch scrapes which bled a lot and looked dramatic. Felt pretty happy that no one saw me run off a flat trail and tumble over! I looked much worse than I felt. All the dirt and leaves stuck to the sunscreen I’d slathered on out of habit after years in Texas. Lost count of the folks who stopped to help, though the first Mom had all the first aid supplies needed.
  • Note there is no photo of my injuries because no one wants to see that on social media. Always so jarring to scroll through a mixture of posts and suddenly see blood!
  • No one waves like they do in passing in cars on smaller and country roads, but almost everyone says hello or nods.
  • 20180812_131312.jpgJust as I arrived at Furman University the bell tower was chiming. I spent a lot of time in my middle and high school years there at cheerleading camp, music camps, concerts by the lake,  and oboe, trumpet, marimba, conducting and drum major lessons. It was my first choice for college, and I got in, but didn’t get enough scholarships to cover the private college tuition. Hmmm … maybe it’s time to get a masters.
  • I love the gardens and lakes and mountains in the background. My high school ring is somewhere in the lake. My high school sweetheart took it off his pinky finger and put it in a shirt pocket to be extra careful, then leaned over to pick up a rock to skip across the water and my ring tumbled out and into the lake before he could catch it. Still love the sentimentality of swapping high school rings.

  • This train car at one of the repair / water / air stops had that abandoned interior that would be great for a photo or video shoot. (Email me if you’re interested.)

  • My friends at Edible Upcountry magazine collaborate with Greenville County Rec to produce The Carrot which lists place to eat and drink within a mile of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Check it out online or pick up a copy wherever you find Edible Upcountry. One of my favorite gluten-free, vegan decadent desserts is a sponsor this year – check out Holmes Sweet Home. She ships yummy brittle and more nation-wide!
  • See you on the trail! XO

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