It’s a 2 hour drive from Rocky Acres to the controle. I was on autopilot, grooving to a new CD Featuring Robert Plant and Allison Krouse, until I hit Packwood. From there on the driving is hazardous: the road is littered with nonchalant elk. Hitting an elk, at any speed is really a bad way to start the day. I slowed and weaved my way through them.
In the gloam of 5 am I pulled out the saw horses and the left over piece of siding (house renovation has all kinds of bennies) and then set up the Colman stove and got to boiling water. I arranged a couple lawn chairs and was ready to play barista. Other than a little cold it was a great time to be out in the woods to watch the day wake up. The weather forecast Friday night had been for the possibility of moisture and with the temps dropping below freezing in the passes I was worried that the riders might be coming across the pass in rain, sleet, or snow.
Just as the water was starting to steam Ray showed up. He was happy to see me and I to see him. We had not crossed paths since PBP last year, sheesh, that is almost a year gone. Only a couple more years to get ready for ‘oh eleven’.
They were all cold, some much more so than others but all looked really good. And here is the thing I can never understand but always happens, unfailingly: No one complains! We had a couple get in the truck with the heater on full blast until the involuntary shivering subsided, but most were thrilled to have their choice of coffee, hot cocoa, or a ‘mocha’ (swiss miss and coffee).
The Costco muffins were a hit. After a cup of something warm and few minutes in a lawn chair most headed out to scale Cayuse and then roll on down toward the finish. There was the usual Chatter about how good the
One rider sat staring pensivly into his cuppa cocoa and said he
was thinking of seeing a psychiatrist. I thought for a moment and then counseled against it: The time for that is long past, professional help is likely to just cut into the bike budget, and, well that would never do.
I think on this ride I may have seen more riders that I had never met before than riders I knew from past adventures. Partly that’s because I rarely see people at the front of the p
I was a little stiff and achy at the control. I took Friday off and worked the controls of a shovel and rake as Dave the Dirt Guy came by with his Cat and dump truck to reshape the front of our property. He installed our septic and drainfield so is familiar with the place.
This part of the place has been in need of a ‘mini make over’ since we moved in and the flood didn’t help much. In fact this was going to be my ‘big project’ for the year. The flood rearranged priorities but we did a little creative accounting and found there was enough in the budget to do a slightly scaled down version of what we had in mind.
So the concrete driveway morphed into crushed rock , and the beautiful stone walls and flower beds out front will have to wait a year but at least it is smoothed out enough (and covered over with four loads of prime top soil) that once we get it grassed in we’ll be able to keep it civilized with the rider. It’s been a while since I was a working man and riding bicycles in not very effective ‘cross training’ for shovel work. But it’s a good kind of pain.