getting away is a great thing.
unpacking is an okay thing.
and discovering an unexpected memento of your trip once you're home is a truly excellent thing.
two years ago I rode in the Skinny Tire Festival in moab. it happened on the first weekend in march, and, big surprise, we were gifted with an intense, not-unseasonal cold front for our riding pleasure. I was with a friend, and the night before the ride we hit every store in town looking for booties to cover her shoes. I was fortunate to already own some, but she wasn't so lucky, and she remained unlucky, as every store was sold out of booties. my creative friend then ended up soliciting two empty plastic bread bags from the restaurant at the hotel where we stayed, and slipped those over her socks before putting her biking shoes on. when the temperature is predicted to be 26 degrees, one will try just about anything to stay warm.
I will just say that both of us were cold on the ride, but I think perhaps she was the colder of us two. at the first rest stop we spent a good fifteen minutes with her hands flipping from front to back in front of a propane heater, and she actually borrowed a pair of gloves from a woman who happened to have (??) an extra pair.
it was a beautiful ride along the colorado river. chilly, but a treat, especially after a winter of sitting inside on a spin bike. the next day we rode to dead horse point, sat at the top to eat lunch amidst the patches of snow, and raised our faces to the sun high in the pure blue sky.
the day after I returned from moab, I went to spin class. I put my cycling shoes on, adjusted the bike seat, and hopped on. I clipped one foot in, and then tried to clip in the other. I turned my foot this way and that, stood up and did another little hop, trying to press the cleat into the clip. it wouldn't go.
I unclipped my other foot, got off the bike, and turned my problem foot so that I could see the bottom of my shoe. there, embedded in the cleat was a glob of hardened red rock dust. a grin spread across my face, as the joy of riding around moab instantly returned and encompassed me. I knocked some of the red clump away from the cleat, and got back on my bike, happy as a clam.
this morning I shook out my riding clothes in the laundry room, my shorts and socks and arm warmers that were all in a bag with my shoes, and I watched red dust settle to the floor.