Most of y’all who read this blog know than I am an avid reader. With the invention of a Kindle app I am even more so! I carry the iPad or phone with me everywhere, and when I have to wait for something for more than a minute or so, I bust it out and read for a bit. I’ve been a reader since the 4th grade when my dad handed me a Louis L’Amour western, The Sackett Brand, to read as my first chapter book.
I went on to read each and every one of his books, most of them twice. In them I learned many many thing. “A man saddles his own broncs and fights his own battles”, “There is no stopping a man who knew he was right and kept on a comin” and, one that has saved my bacon more than once, “Always turn around and look at your back trail. A trail never looks the same on the way back as when you are on the way out.” There were many, many others, but who knew I’d find one that applied to today’s ride…
Last week sometime, I saw this on Facebook:
Don’t get me wrong, when I crank out 200 miles in a day, I for damn sure let people know I rode 200 miles. My legs and butt have earned some bragging rights. However, there are many riders I know from Facebook that only talk about the miles, how fast they went, and how high they climbed. When I am on my rides, I see these folks as well. Heads down, nothing but speed matters.
There’s nothing wrong with this attitude, they get enjoyment on the bike, and are healthy, and for Damn sure faster than I am. However, with my point and shoot camera, I make sure to stop and share what I see. Sometimes, I will admit, there are rides that are not stop worthy. My 40 miles training loop is honestly not that scenic. So rarely do I stop. Today’s 25 along the river made up for it…
With the Manchild up with us, I didn’t want to be gone all day, but the rains had stopped and it wasn’t icy, so I didn’t want to waste the morning. It was almost warm at the house, but down by the trail near Lake Washington, it was a cuttingly cold wind! Really glad I bundled up!
It was hard to get started though, because 1/2 a mile into the ride, I spotted this guy in a tree right next to the trail
I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I didn’t see my first Bald Eagle (outside of a zoo) until I was almost 30. Now hardly a week goes by when I don’t see one, but every time I can I check them out in air or in trees. I decided this was a good omen for the ride!
Less than a quarter-mile later though, imagine my surprise when I spotted this.
Yep if you look close this is two more sharing a tree. Seeing one isn’t that abnormal, but 3 this soon in the ride doesn’t happen! I was a happy boy. While stopping to take the pictures, at least 15 riders went past. Not one stopped…. Oh well, to each their own.
I was just going out and back along the Burke Gilman/Samamish River trail system. I had dressed well, and even though it was cold, I was feeling pretty good.
As I dropped down into the Bothell area, and crossed the river, I looked to the left, back across the river, and saw
OK, we are now at 5 and twice I’ve seen two in one tree! This is shaping up to be a memorable ride. The bird geek in me is all a twitter.
The trail was hopping today, a ton of joggers, plenty of riders, dog walkers (including our friend Sue and Fenway the chocolate lab) and baby strollers. All looked cold, but we all had the same idea to get out before the rains hit.
As I cruised further along, I saw a good sign of spring, flocks of geese flying north! Longer days and more bike rides are a in the near future! Looking at them, I almost missed this guy across the river.
SIX! Holy crap! Eaglepalooza along the trail. Now the river was running high, so I am not sure if this means the fish are easier to find, but whatever it was, I am not sure I have ever seen that many in a day.
I had been fighting a bit of a headwind the whole way out, so I was happy to reach the turn around point and get the wind behind me. I am not fast by any means, but being able to kick it up to 17 mph when I was at 13 all the way out is a good feeling!
On the way back, I passed #6 again, and we nodded at each other, but right past him (or her?) I came upon
Yep #7! By far a new record! I know it was dumb luck that I saw these today. An hour later, they could all have been having breakfast back at the nest. If I was heads down rider, there could be 20 up there and I wouldn’t see a thing. I prefer my way.
And because I was looking for more, I rounded the corner to see glowing trees, I had to share
No lie people timing is everything. By the time I put the camera back in my pocket, the sun had gone behind a cloud and the glow was gone. I lost 30 seconds of time, and got a great picture to share!
Moral of my story? Riding, driving, walking or rowing. Look around, see what there is to see. Bring a camera. If you see nothing worth snapping a picture, then you carried it for nothing. But, if you don’t have it, sooner or later you will wish you had!
Like the wind folks!