The Gifts Of Summer

General view of the christening ceremonies for the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush at the Northrup Grumman Newport News Shipyard, in Newport News, Va., Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
I was in Michigan recently, up state — "up north" as they say there. We drove from Detroit, and there's a point once you get past the suburban sprawl, past the towns of Flint and Saginaw where farms dominate, and finally the farms give way to forest. That's when you know you're up north. Birch trees mix with the pines, and every car on the highway seems laden with bikes and kayaks.

Up north is a place to relax, but it is also a place to recreate. We participated, of course.

And while the countryside is beautiful at 65 miles an hour, it's even better at five or ten, on a back road on a bike.

The wild flowers were glorious and plentiful — Queen Anne's lace rising past the fire weed, blue thistle everywhere, and monkey flowers where there was a little more moisture.

The gifts of summer are there for the taking — but only if you slow down.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith