Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Hammer of Doom

We've had an extraordinary string of days this June, windy, but so cool and beautiful up here in the mountains.  Days in the low to mid 70's, nights in the 50's.  Of course, true summer was always there, God's own blowtorch poised, the magnifying glass about to focus the beam on us miserable little humans.  I've been watching the coming heatwave predicted to kick in tomorrow and stay for a solid week.  Up here at over 4,000 ft. we'll be in the mid-90's, maybe one day of 100.  I can tolerate the heat, but I don't like it.  We'll have to drag our butts out for very early AM exercise.  Fortunately, we've got a damn cat that wakes us up pretty reliably shortly after 5AM, so might as well get out and put in some miles.  The photo above is from yesterday's ride, perhaps the last day we'll see in the 70's until late September.  It was a windy but glorious ride, the air of such sharp clarity that trees and mountain ridges miles way seemed laser cut.  Oh well, the heat will keep me inside and focused on the new book.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the freedom we have to ride and hike, to move about.  It truly is a gift, especially so as I struggled through the tedium of the jury selection process recently.  Three and a half of these wonder days were lost to do my civic duty.  Day after day I sat in the audience chairs, listening to the same questions about jobs, history with the law and crime, looking at the young man accused of attempted murder.  He sat grim-faced and silent.  Did he do it?  I'll try to follow up on the case, but after escaping the jury, I discovered that bail had been set at $2,000,000 and that he'd been arrested two years ago.  I doubted he or his family had the resources to cover that.  Already two years of his life behind bars?  No rides in the sun for this fellow.  Fortunately, the passions of my youth were about testing myself in the mountains, about crossing deserts and glaciers, earning degrees and not flinging hot lead at other men in the sad back alleys of Bakersfield.  No, I'll take my quiet, strange little life of twisted bicycles, sweaty climbs, and hikes in the early morning light with Django by my side and leave the gun play to others.

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