My husband and I enjoyed Sunday brunch recently at the Spring Mill Cafe in Conshohocken, followed by a bike ride along the Schuylkill River Trail.
A kid at heart, he likes to make a game of our rides and hikes, often suggesting we track down something unusual along the route. Last winter, for instance, we played a game of seek-and-find with the statue of the Lenape chief along Forbidden Drive. (We played that same game in September with friends, the hunt made harder by the canopy of leaves.)
On this sunny Sunday we had a new goal: finding huge wind chimes my husband thought he had seen a while back, somewhere along the river.
"Somewhere along the river" covers quite a stretch, but we were optimistic. His instincts told him to get off the path and head down River Road.
"Off the beaten path" is a good way to describe this less-taken road, nestled between the river and the train tracks. I got a '60s feel as we pedaled past gardens, yard art, plant-covered porches and peace signs.
As we approached a wide green lawn leading to the riverbank, my husband spotted the chimes. There are three of them, huge indeed, hanging from tall trees in the center of the grass. An inviting hammock rests below.
Earlier he had said it might take a hurricane to make those chimes ring, and he just may be right. The light breeze that day did nothing to move those pipes, some of them over 4 feet long.
"Should we ring them?" I said, already knowing the answer to that question.
I looked around.
No fence, no sign saying "Keep out," no one else in sight.
"I'll hold your bike," my husband said.
Feeling like a mischievous kid, I ran to the first set of chimes and gently swung the wooden clapper. Low, harmonic tones sounded.
I turned to the center set -- the Big Ben of the group -- and did the same. Even deeper tones gonged.
I set the smallest set to ringing, adding to the chorus, then ran back to my bike, feeling giddy and happy.
As we pedaled away I shouted, "Thank you!" to the unseen owners of those beautiful instruments.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to give in to that irresistible impulse; I'm also sure I won't be the last.
I may have to go back for an encore.
|Phone cameras do come in handy.|