I tried to prepare this post yesterday but I felt like I couldn't think straight. For some reason, I didn't make the connection between my mental fuzziness and the noxious odor of the glue that had just been used to install our new tile floor in the basement. By dinnertime, I was feeling truly awful and finally figured out why. We opened all the windows despite the freezing temperature and aired out the house. Now I can think again. After reading the disjointed story that I wrote yesterday, I'm glad that I didn't post it!
Here it is but hopefully I've made it clearer than it was...
It keeps snowing here, as I'm sifting through my photos from our desert trip. Early one recent morning, a pair of coyotes visited our snow-laden clearing. The wildlife are having a tough time with our seemingly endless May snow. R found a baby rabbit floundering in deep snow. He picked it up with his soft Labrador mouth and released it unharmed. I'm glad that it was R and not one of these hungry coyotes who found the baby rabbit.
We slowly ate breakfast while gazing out the windows hoping for a break in the weather. Indeed, the rain stopped around mid-morning. R and the Runner started a run and disappeared in the direction of the the fabled arches. K and I started in the same direction with me on my mountain bike. Believe it or not, I made it only 20 yards. In that short distance, the mud coated my tires so thickly that they would not turn within my bike frame. I stopped and tried to roll my bike back to the van but the bike wouldn't roll due to the dastardly mud. I tried carrying my bike but the mud must have weighed 100 lbs. My elegant solution was to drag my bike on its side, leaving a deep furrow in the mud road. I spent the next hour cleaning the mud off my bike, making it functional (although certainly not "clean"). I failed to take a photo of my mud-caked bike because my mood was horrendous at that time.
After cleaning my bike, K and I wandered around near the van. We could only walk a quarter mile from it without my shoes become 2 ton clown shoes with huge wads of mud stuck to them. I kept wondering how R and the Runner were faring in their quest to see the arches. I had a bleak vision of them stuck in the mud somewhere down in the canyon. I was also starting to ponder the notion that the roads were truly impassable and that we might be stranded in that place for a long time. Visions of "Gilligan's Island" were dancing through my head.
Despite being landlocked by a sea of mud, K and I enjoyed wandering in a brief sunny moment.
The two R's were still down in the canyon. I was starting to worry about them. K and I hung out in the van waiting for them.
I'm sure that the next part of the story will teach you that I am truly nuts. I proceeded to ride back and forth on the 0.33 miles of passable road for more than an hour. The Runner sat outside the van and shouted out my "splits" as if I was doing a high intensity workout. My best split was 3:26 for a 0.66 mile "lap" on the rough dirt road. In the end, what could have been a dismal ride was hilarious with me sprinting back and forth like a maniac, and my coach shouting encouragement. Even enticing birds watched me sprinting back and forth like this spotted towhee.
After discussion, we decided to barge through a private road with huge signs screaming "no trespassing" guarding its entrance. Our map showed that it was an easy route back to civilization. We created an elaborate story of a "female" medical drama requiring us to rush to the hospital in case anyone tried to stop us. Thankfully, we didn't see a soul while committing our misdemeanor.
We made it out, with the Runner having seen only one arch and me seeing none. But, I've never been so happy to see a paved road and the cliffs that it overlooked, especially with the angry storms still circling us!