Did I Do That Right?

I ate a bunch of Cheetos and Cool Ranch Doritos. I almost never eat them… and if I do its one of those little bags that come with your soup and sandwich… But not this time. I ate a whole mid-size bag of the crunchy-puffy-cheese-worm things…. and several large handfuls of the Cool Ranches. Later, I went to the bar by myself and had a couple beers and hot wings. When ordering, I knew it was going to be a mistake but I wanted something for the beer to fall on so I did it anyway. They were quite good and contributed to a delightful conversation with my bar-neighbors about which side of the wing was the better. I’ve always held that the drumstick side was the good side, but my new friend disagreed and said the flat part was the best.. This was an eye-opener, because I often suspected that the flattish part was just filler chicken to add to the plate, rather than an actual part of the wing.IMG_6265

Fortunately, this was not the entirety of our conversation and I found my two newly-engaged friends to be delightful companions for the evening out.

I think the Cheeto/Dorito thing was a moment of self destruction.. I’ve been thinking about a cigarette or even a chew lately and instead chose junk food, which I’m not convinced is any better but I know my indulgence would not cascade into a week of self loathing and regret.. Just a day or two with an entire night of short-story nightmares and restless sweaty palpitations due to the overwhelming amount of salt and fat I’d just foisted on my unsuspecting system.

Why did I do this?

Well, there’s never a good reason, but if I had to muster one, I would blame it on the hours and company I’ve been keeping at work.

My entire job is basically sitting in a truck for 11-12 hours a day for 6 days a week next to a gentleman old enough to be my father.

He might actually know me better than my own family.

Minus a couple key details.

He’s a conservative Republican Baptist, doesn’t like the drivers here and normally drives 5-10 miles under the speed limit, is fundamentally opposed to wearing a seatbelt, and is furious with all the tailgaters. He has guns. Lots of them.

I can’t convince him that Obama has uttered one intelligent word since he was elected.

“He’s an idiot. The worst thing that’s happened to our country. We’re going to Hell in a handbasket.”


He sneaky found out it was my Birthday and showed up that morning with a little birthday carrot-cupcake. He loves deer, sunsets and Canada geese.

“Look! There’s my girls!” He’ll sneak out of the truck and watch them pecking the ground. He wants some at his house because he heard they’re good warning alarms. He rents us Pixar movies and sounds like a little boy when he’s talking to his wife of twenty years. He’s still in love with her. Every minute.

…Just like family.

We don’t talk to anyone else here at the site. It’s just us. Him and Me.

Bar company and my new love-interest have been my link to the natural world.

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with getting the bike and my life ready.. I’ve had some fantastic support with donated gear and advice.

I’m doing as much work as I can on it by myself. I’ve got the thing registered here in Maryland, changed the brakes, rotors, sprockets, and chain.IMG_6301

I almost destroyed my new brakes because I forgot to tighten the caliper bolts.. I couldn’t figure out why there was a terrible noise coming from the rear until I parked it and saw the thing loose with a wide scratch in the steel where the actual caliper was grinding away my new rotor. It wasn’t catastrophic.. I got lucky.IMG_0013


I don’t have any more free time though. I’m going to have to steal some from somewhere else to get ready. My new bags need to be mounted, and I’m saving $250 on the custom racks. I’m building them myself.
Rather than buy a low seat, I’m going to shave the one I have and hope to get it low enough that I can get two toes on the ground without putting lowering links on it. My friend gave me a wooly sheepskin for it… he knows better than me about how an enduro seat feels after hours in the saddle. My BMW has given me a false sense of long distance comfort.

I haven’t flown since Summer. Every day I watch the vultures circling. I note their altitude, rate of ascent, glide ratio and where they are finding thermal triggers.

Every day, all day, we park on a grassy ridge about forty feet high and five hundred feet long. On days the wind is just right, I’ll spend hours wondering how much trouble I’d get in if I put up the wing and just flew around a little bit. IMG_6191

There’s only two days left of work after today… well, two and a half. I feel a little like a crazy lady.

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