After traveling for hours to Northern Wisconsin to bike Bearskin State Trail, a forested trail of 26 miles that runs between Tomahawk and Minocqua, we were excited to arrive.
The dense forested trail runs along a series of lakes and has a history of being used by pioneers and loggers before it became a train track. Now it is used by cyclists and hikers. It crosses over 16 converted railroad trestles and is a beautiful and scenic trail considered to be at a beginners to intermediate level.
We pulled into the parking lot, got our bikes off the car and happily began our journey prepared to go as far as we possibly could.
At first the trail appeared to be effortless as the sound of the crushed gravel beneath our tires crunched and we peddled our way up the trail. The night before there had been some storms that passed through the area, but nothing too significant, we thought.
After a few miles, we came across a tree that had fallen on the bike path. We slowed down and rode around it. After a short distance we came across another downed tree, yet kept going as we had taken the day off of work and were looking for a fun, easy and enjoyable bike ride.
Around mile 4 we started to run into a lot of downed trees, one after the other. Most of them we were able to either ride around or had to get off our bikes and lift our bikes over, but then we started to encounter trail blockages where the trees were so large and so big that we struggled to see our way forward. Neither one of us wanted to turn back, so we made the decision to climb through the trees, dragging our bikes through, so we could keep going.
At one point, we questioned if we should continue as it appeared that we were off our bikes more than we were on them and came across one tree that was so large and no way around that we had to backtrack and go onto the busy highway to get back onto the trail, yet we persevered. After a few more miles the downed trees seemed to have ended and we found ourselves once again riding freely past the beautiful lakes and countryside.
On the way back we found the adventure of biking 20 miles and climbing over and under 41 downed trees fun. It was not what we had expected to do that day, as we did not expect any obstacles or adversities, but instead of giving up, we persisted. We turned the adversities into an adventure and had the time of our lives!
The adventure taught me many things. When life gets difficult, it’s important not to turn back or give up. By going through the adversities, life gets better and makes me stronger.
We could have turned around after the first downed tree, but then we would never have had the fun adventure that neither one of us was prepared to have.
How do you handle adversities? What has been the biggest challenge in your life? Did you give up or did you persevere?
Life continues to present us with adversities of all kinds, each day. Some are big, some are small, but we are guaranteed to have them.
Next time you find yourself struggling or facing some kind of adversity, remind yourself that there is probably a reward at the end of your journey and it may be in a way that you least expect.