Monday, April 7, 2008

"Most people don't see this"

Said by Buddy Steve yesterday during a ride through some burned hills that were carpeted by wildflowers. "Getting out here is just too hard", he added.

He was right. This was no area that anyone would hike to. Can't drive to it. From the entrance of the ride, it looks like an ugly, dry canyon with the shell of an old turkey or pig farm or something scattered on the wide valley floor. The fire did not help much as the distant hilltops are nothing but low grasses with all the chaparral crispied away. If it was not for the bikes, I, or likely anyone else, would hardly give it a second thought.

But there we were, our noses to the toptubes as we pushed up one of the too steep to ride when you are tired climbs. All along the steady climb to this point we had been seeing patches of blue, purple, yellow, orange. Poppies, Lupen, little clover like flowers, and tiny blue ones that were no bigger than a pencil eraser each filled in the bare ground between the rocky soil like little sections of lace doily. As we pushed toward the top, it just got better and, from the summit, looking over the results of the Saugus fire from 2007, the hills looked like a kids watercolor, all smeared in colors with no real plan.

My heart was pounding as I swallowed the last bit of Accelerade from my water bottle, took a long, last, look, and dropped down the singletrack descent, the sides of the trail a blur of colors and scents.

Steve was right. Most people would never see this. Too hard, too far, too something.

And that, when I think about it, is just fine by me.

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