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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Watching the Earth Give Birth






For a week or longer I have been torn between seeing my friends and doing the group ride or riding on my own. There are many friends I feel I have not seen in forever, but spring is such a short season and is so very lovely and the group ride is in town. It just seems like too much to bear. Friends will still be there; the last of the daffodils and forsythia will not. I make my final decision sometime while I sleep. I can't miss the spring and watching the earth give birth.

When I awaken, I sit and drink my morning coffee while the washing machine washes the sheets I will hang out before leaving this morning. I am not sure where I want to go, but I finally decide on Orleans. Early in the ride I thought I was going to get another bike when two German Shepherds came out and would not listen to their owner. I worried about flooding, but when 700 was dry figured I had it made. Somewhere on the way to Medora, I see a barn with two old, old bicycles leaning against it as decoration. I pass the round barn. But then, the flood waters before I get to the covered bridge.

Hey, it is okay. I have my handy, dandy GPS and I have always wondered where a certain road goes, so I turn around. I know if I head west I will eventually find a way across the White River. I ride and the way I want to go has a sign posted that the bridge is out, so I turn another direction only to have that road end in gravel. I pass some bee hives and stop to photograph them for my husband. I decide to see if the bridge is possibly nearly finished. Wrong. This bridge was built in 1900 and is permanently closed. While I am taking a picture, a car pulls up and a young woman gets out. She tells me she has walked the bridge and offers to hand my bike over. The kindness of a stranger warms me. She walks the bridge with me and hands my bike over the second barrier. I offer to pay her for lunch, but she declines. When she hears how far I intend to ride and where I have ridden from, she is amazed. I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

I head on toward Buffalo Bottoms. The red bud is fully in bloom and the dogwood is awakening, blinking at the sun and opening wide. Everything is still so green. Wildflowers cover the route. I have no idea where I am and it is wonderful. I had forgotten how much I love wandering when there is time and the weather is nice. In five or six miles, I come upon some roads I know and decide to consider Orleans. I have missed Medora, my first stop, and I would like something to eat. Normally I am better prepared than I am today. When I figure the miles, however, it would turn the ride into a 200K and so I modify my route. At one point I pass a pond with two logs that catch my attention. As I look more closely, I see turtles sunning themselves on the logs. When I stop, most of them slip into the water, but not all. I manage to catch a few on film before moving on.

I finally get something to eat and drink in Salem at the seventy mile mark. This does not bode well for me as tomorrow is another ride, but what was I to do. On the way home, I check out Franklin Bottoms but it also is flooded. Even this has its own kind of beauty. "~ Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. ~" Virgil Kraft

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