It's not often that we have two glorious weekends in a row in October -- usually it's the start of the rainy season and life gets pretty miserable. Tony and I did some yard work this morning, raking leaves and such, and early in the day I didn't feel much like riding. However, about 2pm after Tony left to do some shopping I decided I'd hop on the bike for a bit - run down to the Harley dealer to pick up a part that came in, and maybe kill some time. The sun had burned off the early clouds and it had warmed up, although I did wear my heated gear and heavy coat. I hung around the dealership for a bit chatting with friends, and then decided to hit the road. I was glad I did. The more the miles rolled underneath me the better I felt. The sun was out, the leaves spectacular, and the traffic quiet. I had the roads to myself as I wound around eastern King County, just watching the pavement roll by and enjoying the crisp air, the gorgeous leaves in the soft fall sunlight, the hint of woodsmoke in the air, and the feeling of freedom that only being on the bike can bring. I passed miles of corn fields mowed down and pumpkin patches with kids picking out Halloween pumpkins, and forests of yellow maples and red oaks. I relaxed, letting my mind blank and fill with the lyrics of some of my favorite songs as I leaned into the curves and felt the engine growl and the powerful torque of the bike underneath me respond to my touch as I throttled up the hills. I had no destination in mind and when I came to a fork in the road, just, as Robert Frost said, "I took the road less traveled."
Fall has always been a favorite time of year, and this year we are having a beautiful one. Like a lot of things in life I'm not sure how long it will last, but I'll hang on to every moment I can. After a couple of hours of riding, and about 90 miles, I turned back towards home and while cruising down Green Valley Road between Black Diamond and Auburn I came across a small farm with some baby Scottish Highland Cows out grazing. I fell in love with these guys when Tony and I were in Scotland a few years ago -- they have to be the cutest cattle in the world, with their baby face and their "bangs" and their fuzzy stuffed animal coat. In the Scots tongue they are called "Hielan Coos", pronounced he-lan coo. They just make me smile.
The sun started to go down and it got dark damn early as does this time of year, and it chilled off rather quickly as well, so I turned up the heated gear another notch higher and headed home. It was a short but almost perfect ride this afternoon -- and a rare one for this time of year. The only thing that would have made it perfect was if I had my little guiding light riding in my rear-view mirror as I headed into the sunset and home.