little fingers of smog-ridden air were pushing their way up the canyons today, reaching all the way up parley's to mountain dell. I've never seen anything quite like it, and I hope never to again. ugh. the yellowish yucch just hung over the valley, and I could almost see the wind moving it up eastward, toward the top of emigration, my bike, and an otherwise pretty blissful me.
ignoring the yellow air down there, it was a perfect day for riding, and a good couple dozen other folk agreed and were out there on the road as well.
once again, I am thankful for my flexible job that frequently allows me to sneak away in the middle of the day and go for a ride. I know most people don't have the option of working during the evenings and on weekends to free up time during the middle of the weekdays, and I am grateful that I do. it's the trade-off of always having work staring at me at home.
today I fit my ride in between work, running the dog to get cleaned, and picking kids up from school and running them to the orthodontist. I carefully plotted and schemed, and actually fit my auto-pilot route to little dell and back into a very snug little hole. of course, three hours after returning from my ride I am still trying not to stand too close to anyone, for their benefit.
before I began my ride I reloaded my pack, putting in a new tube, a new cartridge, and ~ yes, I remembered ~ tire levers. I am once again prepared, though I'm pretty sure I won't be experiencing another flat for a long time.
the canyon was much as it has been these past few weeks, in that lonely fall place of bare, scrawny trees and brown and golden grasses plastered against the hills and roadside. everything is lying in wait for the coming snow, patient and quiet. the animals are settling into silence, and I haven't seen a deer for weeks now. crushed, damp leaves crowd against themselves at the edge of the road, and that loamy smell leaps up to my nostrils when I pass. the bikelanes are liberally sprinkled with gravel and small rocks that remained after the melting snow washed them across the road, and the steep hillsides continue to send larger rocks down to their deaths as they shatter upon impact with the asphalt.
little dell is solemn and thick with waiting, the blue green water dense and unreadable. no shimmering, just an absorbing of the thick fall air and a holding on to its molecules, preparing for its coming change.
wind gusted up the canyon, pushing against me as I headed home, laughing at me and whipping tears across my cheeks. I laughed back, amazed and thoroughly grateful to be out and riding on a sunny monday during the third week of november.