When I first heard the hawk’s call, I was biking at a pretty good clip through a long wooded section of the Wild Goose Trail. I glanced up and saw two red-tailed hawks, flying side-by-side just over the trees above me. I kept pedaling, and about 30 seconds later, one of them called again. Looking up, the same two red-tails were following my pace, flying along directly overhead. Another minute or so down the trail, I heard a third call. Sure enough, both hawks were maintaining their flight position above me. I kept on pedaling, but didn’t see or hear them again after that.
About an hour and a half later, I was biking through that same wooded section of trail, on the way back to my car. My body was beginning to tire quickly, and I wondered if I had biked a little too far before deciding to turn back. Just as I needed some motivation, there in the middle of the trail was a hawk’s feather. I stopped and decided it was left there for me as a memento of the experience, and I thanked the hawks for their gift (of the feather and their brief companionship). It was all the inspiration I needed to finish my ride.
Panorama from the Wild Goose State Trail.
A perfect day for a bike ride in the country. Wisconsin’s Sugar River State Trail.