Monday, July 2


It was a gorgeous day yesterday so my husband loaded the mountain bikes on the car and we took off. Let me just say right now I am not very good - especially at the beginning of the season, and I have the bruises to prove it. By the end of summer, I'm brave enough to try gullies and power through super-steep inclines. Yesterday I'd have my foot ready to push the top pedal on the inclines after coming off a really steep downhill, but without enough speed going in (and the brake on as my husband pointed out), the bike becomes completely motionless and then I just fall over. (insert cartoon tree-falling sound here.) It was the most fun I'd had in weeks!

Lunch was strapped on the back of my bike, but after a quarter mile the rack took a 90 degree turn. Good for accessing food on the fly I suppose, but not for navigating spots so narrow your handlebars barely make it through! We took the rack off and left it by a tree to retrieve on the way back.

The ride through the forest is peaceful despite the bone-jarring roots, full of deciduous trees and areas of just pine. We are ambling through a fairly easy-to-navigate section when I hear scratching sounds over to my left. I look up to see three baby raccoons climbing to safety. We stop to watch. They are on the back sides of the trees hiding but after a few moments they peek there masked faces around. They are cute beyond belief and making soft purring/gurgling sounds. If memory serves, I'm pretty sure it's a similar sound to those good Gremlins make. The pictures are kind of blurry 'cause my heart is pumping from riding, and I can't get still enough to hold the camera steady!

After a few spills and walking our bikes over (and crouching under!) obstacles too much for us to handle - okay, me - we had lunch on a sloped precipice of gravely rock overlooking a gorge that looks as lush as any jungle you may see on the Travel Channel. Turkey Vultures soared below looking for something rotten as we enjoyed apples, granola bars and pudding.

We made our way back, watched the sweet raccoons again and grabbed the seat rack. My husband was hoping we had the universal tool with us that you can fix your bike with and I was like, "We do!" I knew we had it all along, but it didn't occur to me that it had what we needed to tighten the rack. He put it back on and it was fine the entire way back. I recently found hand warmers in the glove compartment of our car. I said, "You know we're going be stranded somewhere and have a hard time of it or worse because we don't know what we have with us." The hypothetical evening news: "Two mountain bikers carry their rides back for miles forgetting they had the tool with them that would fix them..."


pamela michelle said...

awww...those baby recoons are adorable! what a great find on your bike ride.

allyson said...

did you check to see if those racoons were joined at the hip? i wonder if that ever happens in the animal world?

this sounds like a great day.

Ginger said...

Hehe, they were separate before they hunkered down together. I'm betting it happens, but that they (or mom) don't live long.

Sandra Eileen - Artisan Jewelry For Your Good Life said...

The racoons certainly seemed interested in you... and they look so cute... standing side by side.