Wednesday, September 2, 2015

While I've Been: The Bike And Breadery Make For A Perfect Excursion With Friends, Dog Or Toddler

Challah from The Breadery in Oella
The trolley trail from Ellicott City remains one of the great local adventures -- and the Breadery at the top of the hill in Oella remains its great payoff.

Lil' Chow and I spent three days together this month while his daycare shut down to organize for the new year.  One morning, we clipped on the new toddler bike seat and rode from Main Street up into the green shade of the Trolley Line #9 trail.

Down the shady Trolley Line #9 trail
I'd strolled the trail before.  I'd extolled it as a gorgeous excursion -- especially to beat the summer heat.  But this is the first time that I'd huffed and pedaled up the steep hill.

This is part of my "While I've Been Out" series to restart the blog.  Late last year, the blog got some serious competition.  I'm still working out how to keep writing while I'm doing so many other new things as well.  Thanks to everyone who has kept reading, emailing and commenting. 

Up is doable.  We went slow, and, when getting on the bike, I looked for fallen stumps that could help my short legs get up and around the toddler seat to the pedal.

Down is a joy.  Gravity swept us along past dog-walkers, green trees, and a squirrel that we compromised and called a "bunny."  I held the brakes to extend the free trip down, enjoyed an extended stop to climb down and explore the stream that runs along the path, then loved the dramatic final gorge with the metal bridge spanned above.

Lil' Chow loved the snacks.  Near the top of the trail is the Breadery, a bakery, wine and gourmet store whose parking lot literally touches the trail.  They have a few tables where you can lounge in the sun.  When we pulled into sight, Lil' Chow could smell the ovens, and he called out "Challah!"  (Thanks Bet Yeladim!)

So we bought challah.  Then he sampled Michelle's granola.  When he wanted seconds, it seemed polite and smart to buy a bag as well.  The Baltimore company has a seasonal granola made with apples.  You could buy a light lunch, a snack, coffee and other drinks.  You could also check out their selections of wine, oils and vinegars.  We ate granola and some packed snacks.  Then I carried the challah and granola down the hill in my backpack.

Challah buns
The Breadery is worth the travel whether you bike or drive.  They make challah buns that I have held out as the best hot dog bun available and are really good for burgers as well.  I recommend any of their crusty breads and the topped flat breads that make an easy lunch or dinner.  They also carry Zeke's coffee and several brands of jams and spreads.

The bike ride is pretty accessible as long as you expect to pedal uphill.  You can park at the bottom of the trail in a parking lot that is sort of behind the Trolley Stop on Oella Avenue.  Note that you have to carry the bike up stairs from that lot.  You can also follow our lead and park in one of the Main Street lots, then pedal down under the railroad bridge.  If you turn left on Westchester Avenue, there is a "no stairs" entrance onto the Trolley Line #9 path.

I heartily recommend the Trolley Line #9 trail for strolling or biking.  It's a long way up, so I'd have a stroller for little kids.  But kids get a huge payoff in puppy sightings, and it's a terrific long peaceful walk for friends, couples, or dog-walkers.  A bonus payoff would be to go on a day when the BrickNFire pizza folks are baking pies in the Breadery's parking lot.  Follow their Twitter feed to see where they're bringing their portable pizza oven.


Marcia said...

I used to go regularly to The Breadery to stock up on good bread. I freeze loaves at a time. But ... I found it growing mold too soon & too often and gave up on them in favor of Great Harvest on Centre Park Drive. They always have all their breads available for a nice sample chunk with butter and jam. They do a brisk sandwich business too and have superb soups.

Pam Eidsness said...

I love that trail!

Pam Eidsness said...

I love that trail!