This is one of those Sundays when you'd like to be able to be in two places at the same time but can't figure out how to manage it.
A fall celebration of the Cinder Path, the hiking-biking trail that runs 14 miles, mostly along the Chariton River to Humeston --- Iowa's first rails-to-trails conversion --- begins at 2 p.m. at the trailhead in west Chariton and continues until 4. Along the trail, there will be presentations about the trail's history and the Iowa Living Roadways project as well as trail topics by the new Lucas County Conservation Board naturalist.
For better or worse, however, this also is the Sunday of the annual Farm Crawl --- and I'm committed to that, so we're going to hit that trail at 11 a.m. This involves eight family-farm-based operations, four of them on or just off the Lucas-Marion county line and the others a short distance north. Here's a link to the Farm Crawl Web site.
Here's how I've organized the route (keeping in mind M.E.M. may reorganize it before we're done) --- 1. Schneider Orchard (Arnie and Jane Schneider), just south of Newbern; 2. White Breast Pottery & Weaving (Sharon Seuferer and Carol Oliver), northwest of Newbern; 3. Coyote Run Farm (Matt Russell and Patrick Standley) --- organic market gardens, poultry and beef plus mules --- north of Bauer; 4. Reicherts' Dairy Air (Lois and Jack Reichert), farmstead goat cheese and more, northeast of Melcher-Dallas; and Blue Gate Farm (Jill Beebout and Sean Skeehan), organic produce, eggs and honey, on the county line west of Columbia.
That means we'll be near three other locations at the end of the trail, and can choose one or more if time permits (the crawl continues until 5, but crowds tend to be large and there's lots to do at each stop). These are Crooked Gap Farm (Ethan and Rebecca Book); Dan-D Farms (Dan Dennison) --- the major draw here is a corn maze that kids or all ages enjoy; and Pierce's Pumpkin Patch (Jon and Joy Pierce), a kind of pre-Halloween extravaganza (which will be open regular hours between now and then in case you miss it today).
Anyhow, it should be fun. The weather forecast calls for cool and sunny. Wish you were here.
Looks like it's 28 degrees outside this morning, which may or may not have dispatched the geraniums that had taken a new lease on life lately (frost took out the impatiens overnight Friday). The furnace is running again (real Iowans do not turn their furnaces on until after the first frost). So now it not only looks like fall, but feels that way, too.