But it doesn’t really rain here in the Summer. The weather was just mushy, as a strange-for-summer storm-front tried to move through. It promised rain but lied and just created drizzle and clouds and traffic-jams. And I went riding. I went dirtbike riding by myself yesterday.
Workmen were coming to tear-down and replace the staircase in preparation for a full paint-job later this summer, and there would be no access – so what to do? Go riding. It was gray and dismal and I loaded up and drove south through scattered drizzle – enough to use the wipers even.
We have rednecks here too, thank God
Metcalf looked promising but uninteresting so I kept going, down to Hollister. I felt a little anxious about that decision because I was alone and riding is a buddy-sport. You shouldn’t really go alone because the injury-risk and mechanical-failure chances are pretty evident, and self-rescue isn’t easy alone. But I was just scaring myself.
Once clear of the pass into the valley, the weather was clear and sunny and cool, with just white fluffy clouds dotting everywhere and a bit of breeze. Hollister was mostly empty with just a few campers at Walnut Camp. The Rangers didn’t collect the entrance fee and said they’d either meet-up with you to do that, or asked you to pay double next-time. It’s quiet during the week.
I realized I had forgotten my chest-protector and rode over to the little store hoping it was open. That was one reason I chose to keep driving south, because Metcalf has no such amenities. Fortunately the store was open and they had what I needed – cheap insurance at $50 or so especially since I was on my own.
Headless Horseman inspects steed
So I rode around, staying within myself except for a good blast up empty Rancho Road in 5th – and I skipped all the black-diamond trails. All the trails were burned-in with a blue-groove like at a speedway track or half-mile dirt-track – so traction was actually really pretty good – it wasn’t dusty-slippy because all the dust had been blown off.
I made a loop up to the lake where it was dark and stormy but not raining. The storm-front was trying to get over the top of the hills but was breaking up right there. While coming down a short-cut on Olive Orchard, I saw a deep series of dried-up ruts and grabbed too much front brake – and slid-out down on my left side killing the motor. No injuries – that was the only little fall. After a couple hours I packed-up and left, driving out Cienega Road to see what was there.
It’s a dead-end after about seven miles because a few years ago during an El Nino rain-season the road washed-out and they never repaired it – I guess there’s nobody living out at the end who needs it. I passed a couple wineries, (Calera among them – they make a really good, flinty, Pinot Noir) and a grade-school closed up for summer.
Driving home the weather had all blown apart and was back to Summer again. My boots still suck – they started hurting after an hour or so, I knew they would – I gotta get new boots.
UPDATE: Oh yeh, surrealism remembered: Having a snadwich around 11:30, a sudden loud noise is coming in through the treetops, and looking up right in the clear – ZOOM – roaring out of the hills flying low-over came a P-51 Mustang painted in WWII colors with the yellow stripes on the wings and stuff…and then it was past and gone. Woosh. Did that happen?