Well, how ironic. First I complain for months about how few times I get to ride my bike, and now I’ve ridden twice in a week and a half and haven’t got the time to blog about it. It’s like rain… on your wedding day… a free ride… when you’ve already paid…
Except those things aren’t ironic.
Anyway. Last weekend, the weather was reasonably within the perimeters of “decent,” so I headed down to the Soos Creek trail to see how things were shaking. Spring has definitely arrived in full force, and that trail is so pretty that I literally refuse to ride it until the grass is riz, because I don’t want to have any memories of it being all brown and blackberry-covered like the rest of the Pacific Northwest all winter.
It is one of my theories about life-long happiness that one should avoid making crappy memories whenever possible. I will not, for instance, watch nature shows where baby animals are eaten. I realize nature is “red in tooth and claw,” but there’s limited space in my brain, and I figure that I don’t need any more of it taken up by dying baby penguins or antelopes, or whatever. It’s not that I favor denial. I favor grimly-determined, forced pleasantry!
Which is why I’m absolutely insistent that skunk cabbages smell great. They should, so they DO. Riding past these leafy monsters, I wondered if they were edible. When I wonder these things, I turn to one of my soon-to-be-former students, who is the sort of person who knows the answers to questions like “can I eat that?” She informed me that they are not, unfortunately, all that edible, but that the Indians used them like saran wrap to store their perishable foods while travelling. The large size and texture of the leaves made them well-suited for this. Considering I would have to wade into a swamp to get a leaf to test this theory, I refrained. Also, I don’t have any pemmican.
The clouds were beautiful, the light was dramatic. One moment (like above), everything would be in slight shadow, and then…
It was as if the sun was drifting slowly across the fields, rather than the clouds. As I rode, I pondered my latest obsession: a folding bike to take on my travels.
I keep thinking I’d really like a Raleigh Twenty. Supposedly, these little beauties ride much like my Sports, and in my head, would be delightfully portable.
Unfortunately, I suspect this really is all in my head. I hear they weigh a ton and don’t fold up all that small. So my fantasy about owning an entire fleet of Raleigh Twenties for world travel is probably just that… a fantasy.
I even logged onto Bike Forums for the first time in about six months to see what they thought of the Twenty, and had my bubble burst again. I was hoping someone had traveled with one, but nope. Instead, they pointed me to Bike Fridays, which are manufactured here in the Pacific Northwest. They are beautifully foldable and portable and practical. And they are about $2000. So uh… maybe later.
Perhaps I can write one off on my taxes as a business expense…
I love the sunshine hitting this person’s elaborate-lined driveway. I would love to live there, despite the massive buzzing power lines nearby. Sigh. We all have to die of something, right?
My son has been obsessed with the Titanic and I was struck the other day by the famous shot of a little boy playing with a top on the deck of the ship. He is my son’s age in the photo. He and his whole family survived the sinking, but he was killed when he was hit by a car two years later. How strange, to survive one of the greatest accidents in modern history, only to be killed by one of the most mundane. Though I suppose auto accidents weren’t as mundane in 1914. Anyway, it reminded me that life doesn’t generally favor the obvious.
The Raleigh and I were delighted to be on the trail again, and no amount of musings on life and the nature of death could shake the sense that we were living well in the moment.
The wild flowers were out in force. Some places have dramatic, showy wildflowers. The ones around here are more subtle, but no less beautiful for that. I kept having to stop and investigate small pockets of wild bleeding hearts, forget-me-nots and of course…
The occasional buttercup. We hadn’t reached full buttercup exuberance yet (that’s for this weekend… more on that later), but they were beginning to poke their sunny heads up in the swampier areas.
When I snapped a picture of a small pond, someone flapped into view. I have never been photo-bombed by a heron! Forgive the grainy nature of the photo: this is at nearly 100% resolution, which is never the sharpest way to display one’s photos. But he was so lovely, swooping in. Then he settled down to blending in with the reeds:
Moments like this, I think: I need a sharp zoom lens. Then I realize that unless I toted the camera around with the zoom lens on it, having interchangeable lenses really doesn’t do one any good for surprise heron swoopings.
I finished out with a huff-and-puff up The Hill at the Edge of the World, and a triumphal photo, which the occasion always warrants.
The Raleigh had a good wipe-down before this ride, so it’s looking especially pretty. I’m looking forward to the coming months, when I’ll be able to ride way more often. Not sure I’ll have time to always blog about it, but the point is just to ride, I think.