Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunday afternoon and...The Game!

The teaching schedule is winding down. I'm getting more Sundays off. You know what that means? Yeah, Sunday afternoons. Kicking back with Katie. People have a lot of different ways to relax on a Sunday. Fishing, football, a long lunch with friends, sitting quietly reading, or engaging in a favorite hobby. We have one. What else would it be but a two wheeled adventure?

Riding to work is great. Riding for work is even better. Riding just for the pure enjoyment of it with no work involved? Priceless!

Thus early PM saw us out enjoying the fall colors. You're probably feeling sorry for Katie about now. It can seem like I'm often dragging her along on these rides. You might think I have no life outside motorcycles and poor Katie has become a victim of my obsession. You'd be right on the first part but wrong on the second. This ride was actually her idea. She had a plan in mind but didn't want to be too forward about it. She's become a master at making me think her idea is my idea.

Take this day, for example. I was perfectly happy to sit and watch some football. The pile of bike magazines is growing higher. It was turning out to be an overcast but dry day. Not exactly like sunshine warmly beckoning, if you know what I mean. Katie tried her first approach.

"You could go for a ride if you want. I know you haven't had many weekends to just go out and have fun on the bike. I'm okay with it if you want to go for a ride."

Notice the self sacrificing tone here. I told Katie I had actually wanted to spend some time with her. Hunkering down on our new recliner couch would work just fine for me. I even made a suggestion for a simple evening meal we could enjoy. Going back to my magazine, I waited for her next move. Oh yes, I knew there'd be one. She turned her face away quickly but I'd seen the gleam in her eye.

That's something I really enjoy about being knowing her so well. Some married people find the predictable little quirks boring. I find them fun. The pattern might be predictable, but the game is always fun.

Sure enough, the second move in her little chess game was soon played.

"I could come with you. That way you could be on the bike and still be with me", she proceeds to offer.

I toy with her a little more by telling her we'd be together but couldn't really engage in any conversation to speak of. All of this stated with my nose still in a magazine.

Pretty soon it was quiet and she was faking interest in the football game. Don't get me wrong, she likes football. She was staring at the screen but her brain was churning on something else. It was time for the next move in the game. This time it came from the kitchen. Our kitchen window faces West. I heard her voice and looked that way. Katie had the curtain pulled back and was looking out.

"I don't see any black clouds. It's probably not going to rain for a long time judging by how the sky looks over the hills. You've been saying you wanted to see what finally happened with Grandma's house."

The hills she's talking about are the Coast Range. Our weather comes from the ocean and we often use the sky over the hills as a short range weather forecast. I had been wanting to see what happened to Grandma's house. She sold it and moved into a single wide manufactured home out on my Mother's property. The guy who bought the house is a contractor and was going to make some changes.

My reply was that I supposed we could go for a little ride. It would be about 20 miles one way. So now Katie has us both on the bike but still has one more move to make. I know it's coming. Especially since we'd just watched that Will Smith movie called the Pursuit of Happyness the night before. At the end of the movie, Will and his son are at a park near the water. It wasn't the movie, it was the water.

"If we ended up anywhere near Sweet Home we could go to Foster."

Checkmate. She had us on the bike and now I couldn't refuse her request. The ride had grown to 70 some miles round trip. Katie loves water. There's something about the look and sound that speaks to her on some spiritual level. Of course, I'd honor her request. Katie had played her chess pieces well! She could have just asked me outright. I'd have been slobbering over the chance to ride some more. The Game made the process a lot more fun, don't you think?

Foster is a reservoir. There's a big dam up river called Green Peter. Foster's a smaller dam. Foster has a big campground called Sunnyside Park. It has a boat ramp. Along the back side of Foster there's another campground and a day use area. Despite being smaller than Green Peter, Foster gets a lot more use. Mostly because it's closer to the main drag. Highway 20 runs right out of Sweet Home and along the West side of the reservoir. Eventually Highway 20 goes over the Cascade Mountains into Central Oregon and then on to Idaho. To get to Green Peter takes more time as it involves a longer trip up twisty roads. Being right out of town, Foster takes the brunt of the recreational users.

Katie likes to go to Sunnyside and look at the river just before it becomes a lake. Then we ride the back side of the lake. She gets plenty of time to fill her eyes with the scenery. I resist my natural urges and ride slowly for her sake. You gotta do that for the woman you love from time to time! As painful as the wrists cramps are from holding back.

Here's a picture of the Water Nymph looking out and thinking who knows what?

I took some other pictures while I was roaming around. When you're not in a hurry you tend to notice interesting things more readily. Maybe that's why Steve makes such thoughtful photos! A scooter makes for a relaxed atmosphere so he takes time to really see things.

We spent a fair amount of time dodging these little red spiders. They were literally flying through the air on parachutes made of silk. Dozens of four and five foot long strands of spider silk were carrying their tiny passengers on the breezes. I guess even spiders get the urge to wander!

Here's some stumps that look like spiders.

Here's someone else enjoying the peace and tranquility of the water. Only not on a bike!

We picked up a little cold drizzle by the time we got back close to home. Our dry window had closed. I couldn't resist stopping for one more picture, though. These trees are so vivid!

Sophie was put to bed and gear hung up to dry. The Game had started the ride. Now it was ending with the game. Sunday Night Football was getting ready to rumble. Katie grabbed a blanket and snuggled up to me on the couch. I'm hardened to that chill a rider gets when the day turns cold and wet. Katie, on the other hand, has a ways to go. Seems she likes to look at the water but doesn't really care for it drizzling all cold and wet from the sky!

Recapping the day, we'd had a scenic motorcycle ride. I had a woman snuggled up to me who wanted thawed out. The snifter of Southern Comfort in my hand was warming my own insides, one fiery sip after another. It's ok, I was done riding for the day, remember! A pretty cozy arrangement from which to watch the Steelers and Broncos go at it. There's certainly worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon, don't you agree?

Miles and smiles,



I'm working on two more posts this week. One's on cold weather gear and the other's on cornering lines. I know it's getting a little late for some of us to aggressively attacking corners, but not all of us are going to be cold this Winter! Stay tuned.


Kano said...

Nice photography! The weather has been cooperating pretty nicely these past few days. 74 yesterday a few miles south of you. I'd better dust off the old camera too, before the monsoons set in for the winter!

Bill Sommers said...

What a cool day! And you still got to watch a game too.

I can't believe how red those trees are. It's almost a shame that the leaves have to fall off of these beauties.

Have fun,

Steve Williams said...

Sounds like a wonderful ride.

I have to say you are a brave man confessing your tricks in writing here. I keep waiting to see a post from Katie complimenting you on your gamesmanship...*grin*

Nice pictures too. You have it in you if you just pause for a moment.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks