8/30/09

Midnight Rodeo

Short version:

I found a black feather, in the shadow of night, chasing ghosts on the midnight trail.




The longer version:
Salida. Ed and I saddled up the ponies late in the evening, intending to ride the ColoTrail from Blanks cabin, North, into the night. And then back. Not a large ride by any means. But a demanding one, nonetheless.

We left camp in the sweet kiss of evening light, and barrelled down the initial 5 miles high on speed and the magical energy of the last moments of the golden hour. Around mile 6-ish, we found the need to light the torches and ride the ponies rodeo style, in the thick of night.

My pace slowed, to a rowdy saunter, as darkness enveloped us.

I have 3 words for this trail, with a multitude of meanings: That Trail Rocks -- in all possible manners of the word. It is one of my favorites.

The Good news is, I can ride a messy trail of rocks, uphill and downhill, in the dark. Good, good news.

That bad news is: 12 days of 2 different types of antibiotics, a completely compromised diet and all the disorder that creates within the body, have absolutely killed me, any energy store I might have had, and 99.5% of my spirit. Period.

Thus, it was a slow ride for me, chasing Ed, whose black cape feathered behind him, leaving me encased in the liquid night. Alone. And solo. And finally (for once), very, very comfortable. At last! I have found comfort on the pony, in the Wild (and sometimes terrifying) West, in the secretive places of the night-forest.

I won't lie. There was fear. And I struggled for the majority of all that fast, furious and unruly flow, trying to pin down what it was... exactly. Turns out it had nothing to do with the potential of spending 16-20 hours out there alone in a few weeks. Nope. And, it had nothing to do with the depth of the night. It had nothing to do with the rocks or the woods or the eyes flashing in my lights from somewhere deep in the chaotic and black forest. Nope.

Turns out I was simply afraid of riding this section, this night, backwards ... as in: we got ourselves out there, and it was a rollicking, mad hoot to do so. In my mind, and with what I could tell was an absolutely empty inner tank, I had to haul my butt, my pony, my lights, my pack, and my heavy brain back up that rodeo to get to camp. That scared me, because I knew I had less than nothing to give.

The good thing about this section is that in truth, it's not really that long. So, all I had to remember was: no matter what, I would make it back to camp, back to a nice cool shower in the dark, and into my fluffy, cozy sweet bed ... at some point.

I walked a lot of the steep (and not so steep) stuff. But I rode all the chunky stuff. That success alone lit a fire just big enough to get myself back to camp, out of my soaking wet riding clothes (apparently I was sweating like a horse), through the cool midnight shower, and into my pillowy clean bed.

Along the way the universe provided two additional gifts: I saw a baby owl on the trail. And I found my black feather off the side of the trail, settled in a mess of rocks and sticks. And then somewhere in the witching hours that night, as I lie lost in dreams, the coyotes started a mad, mad howl.

For those of you who know what I'm talking about, I hereby pronounce that Section 2 bears the name of: Midnight Rodeo. I also request that all who shall ride it the night of September 12th listen to Beck's, Black Tambourine while riding rowdy through the rocky sections.

I'm just sayin'.

jj

10 comments:

Cellarrat said...

Did you find my chain from 2007?

Glad you found some mojo up there!

Like the name!

Carey said...

Sorry to hear you've been unwell..take some high quality probiotics and some kambucha if you aren't already..nice write up!

calGone said...

Rolling that section of the CT at night builds confidence.

Get your rest and stay positive...for you will become the VT125 Diva.

Tom Purvis said...

Yeah, riding that section at night always gasses me up. I've always thought of it as "the enchanted forest". How about those little owls?

Beck's High 5 (Rock the Catskills) is the track that I associate with that trail at night:

"High 5, More Dead than Alive! Rocking the plastic like a man from the Catskills!"

Pablo said...

Way to get out there and do it. I know how hard it is to ride when your body is in rebellion.

JenyJo said...

Fixie: Nope!! No chain found, sorry ;-) Heal up, yo!

CalGone: No Diva Status for me;-) IF i line up, I'm just riding to finish (and enjoy). The BigGunsGirls are going to out in full force anyway ;-)))) It will be fun to see them battle it out. I'm certainly not going to get in their way.

TOM! HAHAHAHA... that is funny! yup, that song, too. In fact, I just played Beck over and over and over again... it was so perfect.

Pablo: Yikkers... that hurt. I felt like someone ripped my uppper body from my lower body and then beat the hell out of each arm and each leg. Very strange. Hopefully that part goes away in the next few days ;-)

Jj

ScottM said...

Loved the imagery! Thanks for the post.

Hope you get over the ailment... quickly.

Kevin aka. PBR said...

Well even that .5% spirit is waay more than most could ever hope for! Keep after it and cant wait to hear your write up from the VT! Thanks for this post! It is what night riding is all about it is challenging, scary and exciting! Seeing the world in a completely different way!

We have some huge owls behind our house and go to sleep almost every night hearing their screeching and you know when they are close you get a chance to watch them!

take care!

cynthia said...

glad you lost that demon you were carrying that one night a couple of years ago.

i remember that chunky being quite *demanding* in the daylight - can't imagine what it was like at night.

good work girl.

cyn

The Evil MGE! said...

Way to push through it all. Poe came to mind, If he ever rode a bike.