Well, the big news here this week is that the Cinder Path is open again. OK, there may be bigger news. But that's the only news I'm interested in right now. The re-opening has restored considerable harmony to my life and that's a big deal.
Truthfully, the trail has never been closed --- it's just that we couldn't get to it this summer while construction was in progress on the Highway 34 bridge that crosses it --- short of going around traffic barricades, walking down the highway to the construction site and then scrambling down the embankment to the trail. The old wooden bridge that is the trailhead was firmly blocked and the various creeks and marshes in that part of town make other approaches impossible.
Another option, providing it was dry, was to drive about four miles to the point southwest of town where the trail intersects a dirt road and then walk or bike back toward Chariton or on toward Derby. This hasn't been a good summer to spend much time on dirt roads, however, so that approach was blocked much of the time, too.
But now everything's open again, Highway 34 traffic is no longer being detoured around north of town, and we can hike or bike up and down the path at will. The trail surface is in great shape, downed limbs and spots where high water has damaged the trail are being taken care of, September's just beginning. Who could ask for more?