Woops, I did seem to get away from myself for a little while, there, didn’t I? I hate it when I have to work at work instead of writing ride reports.
Anyway, last we saw our intrepid adventurettes, they were taking a well-deserved break on some nice big whoops in Tahuya State Forest….
I gotta admit, I was pretty intimidated. When I get nervous, I get on the throttle more than I should….which actually wound up being a good thing a few times over deep gravel. On the whoops, though, it just bounced me around and make me pretty freaked out. I asked Colleen to U-turn my bike for me and I took it much slower on the way out. In fact, I took it so much slower that the way out seemed like an entirely different ride. I couldn’t believe it was the same “super scary” stuff from just 10 minutes prior.
There was a large puddle — almost a pond — back at the beginning of the section. The puddle contained the Jeep that passed us in the whoops. “Whoops,” indeed.
“I thought I could make it,” the bearded driver, wearing a Harley-Davidson T-shirt, was explaining to another dirt rider when we pulled up to help by photographing the event. “Smile!” Colleen told the driver, waving her camera. “I think he’s smiling at you with his middle finger,” I pointed out.
Fortunately, another truck was located quickly and that driver happened to have a long segment of thick ratchet tie-down on him. I was half-expecting the front of the Jeep to rip off, but it held, and the Jeep driver and his wife were soon safely back on shore.
After everyone had gone on their merry ways, I decided to compound the excitement by wiping out in the soft sand surrounding the puddle. I’d had no problems crossing the first time, but on the return trip I didn’t gas it enough and by the time my right hand got the message from my brain, I was already horizontal. Colleen came back around and we quickly righted the KLR….but not before the obligatory crash photo.
Shortly thereafter, we left the dirt. I was getting overwhelmed and a bit grumpy…I was having a blast, but I kept stopping at tricky sections while my brain divided into two parts: “C’mon, then, just gas it and get through this gravel!” versus “How’s about we just park and stay right here forever, then?” When the latter started winning out more often than not, I knew it was time to call it a day.
Fortunately we were able to take some gorgeous paved roads back towards Colleen’s house, and even had one more stint on a muddy unpaved public road. It was pretty slick, so we went slowly.
Partway down the road, I saw a swoop, a bird in the air larger than any hawk with an unmistakable plumage. Colleen pulled over and I followed. Two eagles, one adult, one immature. The adult disappeared into the trees while the child perched nearby, preening. We got off our bikes to look for the adult. We found it in a neighboring tree…Colleen got a photo but I was too slow on the uptake. Gorgeous. I hadn’t realized bald eagles nested as far south as Seattle.
Photo courtesy of Colleen:
I did manage to get this photo, though, after the adult switched trees:
The rest of the dirt ride was wonderful. I got some great pics of Colleen, though I narrowly missed getting her right in the middle of a puddle. The scenery reminded me so much of Alaska. I miss the North; it calls me as much as the southwest desert does. Always a tug of war, it is, between Kokopelli and Inuksuk. I don’t think I could ever live anywhere but the Bay Area…halfway in between the two worlds I adore.
To be continued…