Frolic in the forest
DescriptionA rainy bike ride in the forest.
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There is a wet, wild, and wonderful world waiting for anyone who can learn to love the rain. After a few days of bumping around my place I would get tired of being held hostage by the weather, and begin to plan my escape. I assured the rain that it would not bother me if it stayed all day. I developed the attitude I had when I was a boy and my older brother would take something from me, and not give it back. I would just smile, and tell him that I didn't want it anyway. He would become angry, throw it to the ground, and I would leave it there, and walk away. Or maybe the rain was like my friend calling me to come outside and play. Either way, I want to go for a bike ride, and was tired of waiting. As quickly as I could I threw on some old jeans and a sweatshirt, and darted out the door on my mountain bike toward the trail. The first mile was up hill. With the wind against me, and the rain pelting me in the face I denied this faint voice urging me to return to the warm, dry cabin, and pushed forward. The next mile was a level, straight section that brought me to a dirt road. By now it was a sloppy road filled with potholes and mud puddles. About a quarter mile down I escaped into a wild on a trail that zigzagged through the field and forest for about five miles. With the wind blowing through the field, and the mountains in view beyond the trees I was feeling the adrenaline kick in. The trail went into the forest, and went gradually up and down, and around corners until it came to high bank that looked out over a large open wilderness. I stopped briefly to take in the view of this vast green valley. I could see the clouds rising from the river mingling in the trees, and the mountain peaks perched on top of them in the distance. This was my play ground, and today it was wet, cold, and calling me. With a slight push of the pedal I begin the long, steep decent down a path that is so jagged, and rocky that it causes my bike to jolt, and jump violently. I always tried to keep my fingers off the brake lever, but at some point it would become so dangerous that I had to tap it just a little. Once near the bottom of the trail it became smooth, and I was flying fast upon it. As I rode this out as long as I could my eyes surveyed the beauty of the environment. All was wet, clean, and cool. The air was like nourishment to my body. As often as I thought of it I would draw in as much of it as I could, than crush it in my lungs to force the oxygen into my blood. The reward for all this was life; my whole body was filled with life, health, and energy. No longer was I hesitant to face the rainy day, now I looked forward to them. I knew the many trails that ran through these woods, and where they would take me. I wanted to get near the river, so I had to decide which section to chose. Soon I would be at the river’s edge where my knees would hit the soft, wet, sandy shore, and my hands plunged into the clear flowing water. Coming up with cupped hands I buried my face in the essence of the environment. As I sat there on my feet, all around me stood wet, wild, green, and cold. The sound of the water flowing over and around the rocks, and the mix of the wind and rain in the trees was music to my ears. Every aspect of these excursions filled me with satisfaction, but the river had to crown them all. It would be awhile before I absorbed everything I heard, saw, and felt, but soon this voice would come to me wondering when we were going to be on our way. I took another handful of water on my face, and pretended not to hear it. It took sacrifice to get to this point, and the return trip to the warmth of the cabin would have to wait until I was good and ready. Long after I had had my fill I would rise to my feet, take one last look around, and return to my bike. The long, steep, climb out of this valley on that rocky trail marked the beginning of my journey home. I had to shift down into the lower gears to make the grade, but I tried not to go all the way down because I used this hill to help strengthen my legs. The number on the gear selector was like a way of gauging my tenacity. Usually if I could leave it in third I felt as if I had gained some small victory. The rear tire would slip a few times in the gravel, but I continued to push on until I entered the canopy of the forest. First the trail would level out, and then it gave me some more relief by sloping downward, as I began the zigzag journey home. On the long downhill sections I had a chance to coast, as I stood on the pedals to let out a loud, wild yell. Any sound that I produced would be muffled by the splashing of the bike tires through the mud, or the rain tapping in the trees. The forest soon emptied into a field, at which I had no protection from the elements. The wind would buffet me from all sides, and if the rain had let up it might do a pretty fair job of drying me out. This didn't deter me from aiming for every muddy pothole on the dirt road, and blasting directly through it. With the mud puddles behind me I was looking at the two remaining miles of black top that lay between me and home. The last mile was a downhill grade all the way past my cabin. Standing high I raced around the curves until my home came into view. By this time I was clipping along at such a rate, and so pumped with excitement that I just couldn't get myself to touch the brake. I flew by the place, and rode it out for another quarter mile, then turned around. The climb back up the road made my entrance look like that of a worn out puppy. The next destination on my mind was that of a warm dry subsistence After getting cleaned up, and throwing on some dry cloths my choice wavered between having lunch, or laying down for a nap I'm not in my cabin in the forest anymore, but I still like ride my bike on a trail alongside a river where I am at. When the sky's turn gray, and the clouds let drop the dew I get an extra sense of urgency to dig out my bike, and go riding in the rain.