A Rivertrail Exclusive Interview

Following up on some of the hottest news of this season (at least to me), the Mahomet Citizen reported two weeks ago on the progress of the ‘Mahomet Rivertrail’.

Now we here at Notes from the River don’t mind occasionally being scooped, especially when it’s by our Editor, the talented Amelia Benner. But still, we’ve been working on this one for a while and were anxiously anticipating being able to make the Big Announcement ourselves.

So instead, the crack staff at Notes from the River, relying on our top-notch ‘insider’ connections, can now provide you, dear readers, with the first Exclusive Interview with Mahomet’s own Beautiful and Talented Rivertrail Chairperson, Carol Hays! (aka, my wife).

That’s right folks: I can guarantee you that you’ll only read an interview like this here in Notes from the River. Guaranteed!

Chairperson Carol and I agreed to meet at our usual rendezvous location: lying in bed on Saturday morning drinking coffee and munching on biscotti. It’s about the only time we ever slow down enough to actually talk.

NFTR: So C, you must be pretty excited about our proposed new Mahomet Rivertrail!

C: Yes, and I’ll tell you all about it as soon as you go and get me another cup of coffee.

NFTR: Yes dear, I’ll be right back, dear.

NFTR [returning with hot coffee]: So, about that Rivertrail…

C: As you know, we’ve been working on this for two years now, creating a strategic plan, working with the Village on the trail route, setting ideas for our vision, mission and goals.

NFTR: Yes, I remember the meetings well….  Can you share the Rivertrail’s mission with NFTR’s readers?

C: Can you first go and let Charlie out please?

NFTR [after returning from letting the cat out]: About that mission…

C: Yes, the mission is to preserve, promote and protect the Sangamon River corridor.

NFTR: Very nice, I really like that.

C: Of course, you served on our committee, remember?

NFTR: Well yes I know dear, but for now, I’m merely your objective interviewer, remember?

C: Oh right, I forgot. Now Mr. Objective Interviewer, will you go and let the cat back in?

NFTR [getting up to let Charlie back in, under breath]: Geez, don’t they ever make up their freakin’ minds???

C: What was that, sweetie?

NFTR: Nothing dear. I was talking about the cat. Now I understand there’s a four part vision for the Rivertrail?

C: Yes well, as you know, we want the trail to become a local and regional destination that promotes regional tourism. We want it to provide recreation and fitness opportunities and improve healthy living and our quality of life. We want to create opportunities for learning about Sangamon River ecology and natural history and to provide opportunities for learning about the cultural history of the Sangamon River area and maybe even an outdoor classroom for field trips or nature talks. Finally, we want to protect water quality and the diversity of native plants and wildlife.

NFTR: Wow! That’s a lot for one trail to do. And where will this Rivertrail go, exactly?

C: I’ll tell you, but first I need a little warm up.

NFTR: Absolutely, honey! Let’s see, I’ll just snuggle in right beside you here, and put my hand…

C: I meant my coffee.

NFTR: Oh, right, of course. Yes, dear.

Mowgli [the pibble – or “pit bull” to those who don’t own one]: BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!

C [shouting over barking]: And while you’re up, will you let Mowgli out? I think he spotted a squirrel.

NFTR: [returning with coffee after letting Mowgli out]: Now about that trail route…

C: Well it’s really perfect because it connects the termination of the current trail down through the back side of Barber Park near the Sangamon River, then it crosses the Sangamon near the railroad trestle, crosses under the rail bridge and into the Sangamon River Greenway and over to the Division Street bridge…

NFTR: …that way it can more easily connect South Mahomet road by bicycle with the Lake of the Woods bike trail…

C: …and even more, the whole area bike trail system!

NFTR: Aw, I love how you complete my sentences, sweetie.

C: Me, too [kiss, kiss, kiss, – xxx – censored!].

C: Now can you let Mowgli back in? He didn’t get his squirrel. Again. And, while you’re up, would you mind getting me a biscotti?

NFTR: Yes, honeybunch.

C: [deadpans, to no-one in particular]: He’s just great isn’t he?

NFTR: Here’s your biscotti, sweetie. Now tell me how is it we intend to go over the Sangamon River.

C: Well, we’ll have to build a bridge, of course.

NFTR: That sounds expensive. How will we pay for this?

C: The Village is applying for a $1 million grant, but you already knew that, didn’t you?

NFTR: Well, yeah. It was in Amelia’s story. So there might be a watertrail, too?

C: The Village is working on that, and we’re hoping to make an announcement about that sometime very soon.

NFTR: Yes, it would be great to have more access to the Sangamon!

C: …and something else to occupy you on Saturday mornings.

Josie: [the chi-poo, or Chihuahua-poodle mix for those that don’t own one]: lick, lick, lick, lick [in NFTR’s face].

C: Awww. That’s so sweet, Josie’s giving you kisses! She loves you!

NFTR: Pfew, pfew, pfew. Yeah. Pfew. Pfew. Blecch. Just adorable. Josie, can’t you go kiss Mommy?

In any case, (pfew!) this must conclude our NFTR Mahomet Rivertrail Exclusive interview. There seems to be too many distractions going on in this crazy bedroom.

But there’s probably much more to say about the Mahomet Rivertrail, much more to do, so please stay tuned.

But for now, I have to go get C another coffee warm up.

And wipe chi-poo slobber off my face.

Appeared as Notes from the River, Mahomet Citizen, May 5, 2016

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