Thursday, December 11, 2008

At Least ...

...It's A Dry Cold

Kent Peterson's Mountain Turtle tale of riding the GDR ends in the desert where:

“At 8:10 AM I roll into the kitchy Continental Divide Trading Post at Separ, NM. A skeleton wearing a straw cowboy hat and sunglasses sits behind the wheel of a battered old Volkswagon that proclaims “But, It’s Dry Heat.”

A sentiment I’ve always found sort of funny. I’ve lived in the desert and in the tropics. Dry or humid are different for sure, but that dry heat smugness has always caused me to chuckle. And of course, out here in the PNW, we freakout after more than about 6 straight days of temps above 80 degrees or so. But give us a day when it is cold and clear: well now, that is worth a post or two at least!

Recently I went out for a Sunday ride. It was a version of hooky: I was ‘that close’ to finishing the work on the pond. Being the thoughtful, responsible cyclist that I am … I blew it off. The pond will be there but a decent day in December, well, that is what some would call a window of opportunity and I've always had this freaky penchant for jumping out of open windows.

As I rolled out there was an indication that there might be a little wind issue:

What the hey, it was a tail wind. Even at mid day the shadows reach across the road this time of year:

It was to be a short ride out South Bank road, my own personal chipseal garden of delights. I planned to turn and head back to the pond work when I got to the Buffalo farm. But cold as it was, it was still clear at that point and so I rolled on to Elma. It was definitely windy:

Which made for a GREAT ride out, I figured I'd worry about the ride back later. Along the way there were snow geese :

and Canadian Geese:

And lots of goats soaking up the Sun:

The goat guard dog seems to be saying "Move along, no goat molesters allowed around here."

There was a lone heron, hunched out in the middle of a pasture. He was pretty skitish, he didn't wait around for a cameo shot.

On the ride back, I had plenty of time to think because the wind was still blowing, HARD , I was working to break in to dounble digits on the speedo.

Note, we're pretty big on American Flags down here in Grays Harbor county.

So, I had plenty of time to ponder what this country was like years ago. As with most agricultural areas there are lots of old apple tress that indicate where there was a homestead at one time. They kind of reminded me of trees decorated for Christmas. Those punky soft fruits are colorful. You'll note, the windfalls in pastures get gobbled up pretty quick;

In the yard of the 'big house', not so much:

Here is a shot of an old rail road trestle. All that is left from a time when this was logging country.

Weatherman says the arctic express is on the way. We can expect a little snow by Saturday and then next week, temps in the 20's. That's cold for this neck of the woods.