Sunday, October 3, 2010


Often a thought comes to me on a ride that is meant for sharing. My post yesterday began with the flickering of light through the forest. As it was happening, I knew that was part of what I would write. On the way home, winding past farms of varying care and attention, I was aware, with certainty, of my musings. Each farm was such an expression of the owners within.

We passed many pastures littered with cars, or equipment, not quite finished what had been started. Others were pristine in red and white and matching flowers, fences and signs. I made a game of surmising the owners - their ages, nationality, and personality. I have nothing to confirm my hypothesis. It amused me to see the variations of orderly and disheveled. Orderly sometimes meant fresh paint and cut grass, and other times was just the knowing that it was cared for well. Outdated, perhaps, but tended to, loved. The farms strewn with wash tubs, rusting cars and deflated pools told another story. Often, beleaguered parents was my guess. Lots to do and kids to supervise. And others spoke of partying, clandestine operations, windows regaled in confederate flags, trucks and cars parked as close to the door as possible donning gun racks.

I never saw the humanity in any of the farms we passed. I looked, hoping to glimpse at a sweet little old lady in a checkered apron watering pansies, or a dad and kids playing football over the deflated pool. I saw a few machines threshing and a combine larger than the house in the field. For the most part, it was a day of rest out there, to leave me to my reflections.....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I feigned enthusiasm at the map again. Though we have traveled these roads, I have little opinion when he is the driver. The route was planned, the quinoa salad packed and we were on our way. The line ups at Peace Arch and Aldergrove pushed us further east, and changed our course and roads. Some were familiar. Some farms just stick in your memory. There were new paths, new bridges and a diversion through the Old Mountain Loop of which part is a packed dirt road. That was Ken's highlight...not for the speed but for the beauty and uniqueness. The trail was sheltered by old trees from which the sun would burst through every few seconds giving the effect of an old movie reel just about to end. Dark to light over and over. Clearings were dotted with trucks and cars - fly fishermen and reelers standing in the river or on the rocks. I saw a little boy's reward for a catch - his dad and brother exuded pride and elation. I couldn't hear them over the din of water cascading over rocks - communication is not words alone - it is the smiles, recognition, was head held high, acknowledgment and the bustle to admire the catch. It made me smile too.

We chose a place to picnic just past the dirt road. Again, Ken has the ability to find the most amazing spot that fills the needs for the moment. This was by the river in a clearing, sun blaring through. Idyllic. We enjoyed the quinoa and Tecate as our skin was toasting. He is back consulting the map..."We could divert here" - he shows me with such enthusiasm I cannot quell. This trip, I dare say, I was focused on keeping headphones in, less than on the verdant surroundings. Such distractions and I become tetchy and bemused. It is hard to believe that one's focus can be so fleeting when all is not right. I didn't notice many a road, nor bucolic settings, though I know we traveled them. I was relieved the dirt road was smooth, and although momentarily there were thoughts of skids, I had no scars or jarring to effect the outcome.

North west Washington has so many amazing rides. Diversions are frequent to satisfy both rider and passenger. Lakes, creeks, craggy mountains and ridges, twists and turns to amuse and soothe.....I expect it was the last ride of the season and I will have to relive the rides for the next few months.....