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Cricket Creek Trail Story by Debbie Dolecki

Anticipation. Years of reading my local newspapers and Dupage County Forest Preserve District bulletins were now accompanied by more recent sightings and sounds of tree-trimmers, jack-hammers, and asphalt trucks. These were all contributing to my wonderment of what the portion of the Salt Creek Greenway Trail near our Elmhurst, Villa Park neighborhood would look like.

It is Spring, 2011. The portion of the Salt Creek Greenway Trail from Manor Lane to Lake Street is now complete.

The beginning, for me, starts downhill, directly to the creek and makes a turn, taking me due north and under the congested and diesel smelling traffic above at North Ave.

Another 20 revolutions or so of my bike's pedals and North Avenue, it's hurried frenzy and hard edge is behind me. The smooth black path directs me through "the woods".

After the first month of the trail section opening, and trying it out at different times of the day, I have come to find that mornings and evenings will become "my time" with the Salt Creek.

Arriving at Cricket Creek at sunrise is a daily rejuvenation. Not only do I think through the plans for my day, but I watch as our little stretch of Dupage County wakes up as well. Sunrises, especially on partly clouded mornings are magical over the ponds. On every dew kissed morning there are the dozens of spiders and their glistening webs. How much effort these itty bitties put into their beautiful and functional creations, only to have them disappear as quickly as the morning sun rises. Cottontail bunnies as well as red and gray squirrels scamper across, along and in front of the trail before me.

As morning turns to day, so does spring into the dog days of summertime. The pastel colored meadow flowers of May and June have relinquished their time on the meadow stage and have given way to Milkweed, Thistle and Queen Anne's lace as the stars of the summer seasons show.

Photos by Debbie Dolecki

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