time and distance and the steady rainfall in front of my window have worked their magic, and I can now write about riding last weekend.
I love to ride, once the first fifteen minutes or so are over. and friday afternoon those first fifteen minutes went on forever. we took off on a nicely paved, two lane road, just to ride for an hour or so. thirty minutes out, then turn around. we didn't know where we were going, so each curve and dip and rise was a surprise.
the first few bends and slight rises were fine and fun, and then came a climb. still in my getting-used-to-riding frame of mind, I wasn't prepared for a lot of huffing and puffing and 6 mph stuff. nevertheless, that's what I got. I thought to myself, how about if I just turn around and go wait by the car? bill can ride as far and as fast as he'd like, and I'll just sit there, peacefully, and wait.
but I kept going. I had approached the crest of the hill by that time, and had a little more breath to share with my brain. so the two of us, my brain and I, kept the legs pedaling.
we curved around and thrilled to a descent, then pedaled some more and came to an intersection where we headed south on SR 12.
small rises, brief descents, slight downs, gradual ups: the next handful of miles were relaxing and just right. the landscape shifted slightly with each half mile: red rock mixed itself with bleached bone, with stunted pinon crouching everywhere across the flat spaces of land. in the distance were hillsides blanketed with conifers, deep green against the ivory and rust-colored rocks.
occasional signs and houses dotted the roadside, telling us that 43 acres were available, the hansen's lived at number 389, and that 3 to 5 acres sites with improvements were located just over the hill and around the bend.
we ended up riding this road each of the three days, and on our return leg on the final day, it had become familiar enough that I could anticipate the approaching grade and terrain, the place I would pass the cattle, the graveled drive where I would ride past the decorative mailbox crafted to mimic a fancy red barn.
the sagebrush, the tumbleweeds, the jutting rock towers that make me think God created this fantastic playing board for his own pleasure: these are what will remain with me. the deeply pinkish red soil, the jackrabbits with their dark lined ears, the three bucks in the ravine, the black and white rock faces, and on saturday, the smashed pumpkins decorating the asphalt every few miles.
and, of course, the red dust on my shoes.