This morning, K and I were having a glorious ride through the damp but sunny forest. The scent of wet pine needles drying in the sun mixed with the sweet nectar of wildflowers and berries was heavenly.
We were in sync, both of us feeling happy to out on the trails together.
At one point, I stopped in the forest to adjust my bike, and looked behind me to see K 'covering my back'. I'm so lucky to have K's love.
A little later, we were still both flying high. We were on a little-known trail where I haven't seen anyone else on an early morning ride in at least four years... and then another mountain biker appeared directly in front of us on the ledge-like sinuous path.
Fortunately, I was riding cautiously and so was the other rider. Only for that reason, we avoided a head-on collision on the blind curve. K erupted in fear as brakes screeched, sprinting toward us with the same furious nervousness that she exudes when bears visit our clearing at home. As she approached, she yelped and stopped, holding one front leg off the ground. She continued crying piteously and not weighting the limb.
The biker, a stranger to me, was a wonderful person. He was off his bike with me, both of us trying to help and comfort K. At first, it looked like she wouldn't even be able to walk home but as we petted her and palpated the limb, trying fruitlessly to pinpoint the problem, she miraculously recovered. After about 10 minutes, she stood and walked normally. Eventually, I said good-bye and thanks to the other biker. I began walking toward home with K, thinking that she couldn't run. But, when she accelerated into a gallop ahead of me, I realized that she was, at least for the moment, truly okay so I started pedaling again. She still seems fine now. I'm mystified.
You have no idea how much fear that little episode struck into my heart. Riding with K is a highlight of each day for me. I know that a day will inevitably come when she'll be too old to go on my rides anymore but it shouldn't be yet. And, thank goodness, it seems as if we'll be on the trails together tomorrow. I know that it was a tiny event compared to what many of you have faced or are currently facing in life. But, it scared me.
Here was K running toward me after her 'injury'. Her gait looked normal to me, and she seemed upbeat and happy.
Let's hope that it was a glitch that I'll completely forget in no time at all.
Later in my ride, I had the ironic twist of having some acquaintances tell me all about my blog and that I ought to check it out. They had no idea that it was my blog. I was very flattered and 'fessed up...
Because I was feeling a bit unsettled after my ride with K, I focused on visiting some gorgeous wildflower spots. On a ridge, a Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum) had blossomed with some delicate flowers pointing skyward and others nodding.
Next to a creekbed, cone flowers, taller than me, were holding a party.
As I climbed up a steep slope out of the creekbed, I spotted a bush covered with unknown berries that looked like ripening blackberries. Based on my research, I think that it was a Boulder Raspberry bush, and my books say that the fruits are "decidedly not delicious". At least it's pretty...