Argh! What a day at work! I nearly ran out the door and was questioning my sanity for NOT having a boat in the back of my truck. I needed the soothing of my river. The melting of chi into relaxing mush. But I had made a decision to mountain bike tonight since I had spent the last four days in a row on the river. I stopped off at home and checked the radar online. Ooh the rain looked so good on the radar but why did it have to be so close on my mountain biking day?! I took a chance and headed to Memorial Bluff.
Driving through town I could see the dark clouds in my rear view mirror. Guesstimating the time I would have on the trail I figured I could always loop out to the fields and get back to my truck and only get minimally wet.
I took my familiar trail and kept an easy pace today. This week I finally started investigating the advanced trails. One loop I was familiar with and getting better. If the rain held out I was going to try another loop I was curious about.
Faster around on the trail. Checking the clouds every time I got close to the fields. The rain was so close I could see it coming down on the other side of Red Wing. Still dry on the bluff, I ventured on. The air thick with warning.
Thunder rumbled to me. I was on the backside of the bluff and still pressing on. I could see the clouds dark with lightning flickering generously across the sky. So close! I had to make a decision. I had three options. Take the field...the fast way back to the truck. Take my familiar blue trail to the end or satisfy my curiosity and take the advance trail that branched off. I picked number three.
It started off tight with lots of curves and narrow lines. This was going to be nice! Then oh wow! That was a jump I didn't quite expect! The super dip came up fast and then OMG...screetch to a stop...look at that jump...and the landing. I "portaged" thinking "oh yeah, I can so do this next time through."
I pedaled on. I came around a corner shortly after the OMG jump and stopped and stared! There are times when you come across something that not only excites your appreciation for beauty but also calls to your soul. The vista before me was like a ravine from Avatar. Trails intersected. The one from the left arched over the ravine on a rustic wooden bridge and joined my trail and headed up hill. What called to me was incredibly the other trail that flowed from me under the wooden bridge and steeply down the ravine. Tall ancient trees creating an intense dark green canopy denying much of the days struggling light. The sides of the ravine were steep and narrow, covered in last years leaves flowing down in colors of muddled bronze to the smooth vein of dirt that followed the narrow floor of the ravine descending until it was lost from sight. More thunder...surreal...quiet yet everything spoke to me on a different level. Other senses aroused. Primal. A yearning to go there and just see more. More thunder and another decision. Descend or ascend?
Ah so much to do and I want to be able to explore this reflection of Heaven when I have all the time in the world to absorb it in. I chose ascend and headed back to my truck. The lightning was closer and I could feel a few drops. I made it back to my truck and loaded my bike and headed home. The raindrops became serious as I pulled onto my block. My thoughts were of what I now call Avatar Ravine in my mind...tomorrow I'll go and see what's around the bend.