Monday, August 14, 2006

Two hawks, two turkey vultures, one deer, one dead porcupine, one enormous spider with babies, 10 hours on a motorcycle, and one accident.

Chris and I sneaked off this weekend for a motorcycle trip. His parents watched the girls and dogs and we had two wonderful days. We headed North, destination the deep woods. In the first half hour of the ride I saw two hawks. The weather was perfect for riding with blue sky painted with fluffy white clouds, suprisingly cooler air, and no wind. It was peaceful....beautiful....serene.... and then I nearly crashed my bike. I left the highway, so I guess that counts as an accident, though I stayed upright and neither Daisy (my bike) or I had a scratch on us.
Chris and I had agreed that I would follow him for the first leg of the trip because he knew the route better. So I was just looking around, spotting hawks, looking at the blue sky painted with fluffy white clouds, enjoying the suprisingly cooler air, and thinking how pleasant it was with no wind. I was not paying attention to signs or speed, just making sure I stayed about the same distance behind Chris all the time. We were going into a curve to the right when I saw Chris brake hard because it was much sharper curve than expected. Then I noticed all of the gravel blanketing the highway. I hit my brakes hard because I knew I'd never make that curve at the speed I was going, even without the gravel. I started to skid and my rear wheel was sliding out to the side. This has never happened to me before, yet I was keenly aware that this was not a good thing. Had I not let go of the brakes and decided to go for the ditch at that moment, I would have laid her down on the highway and slid who-knows-how-far on my pretty pink leather jacket.
I picked a spot ahead of me, crossed the oncoming lane, and rode hard down into a deep ditch. I felt Daisy's shocks bottom out and my spine took care of the rest of the shock absorbsion. I raised up on my foot pegs, eased off of my throttle, rode up the other side of the ditch, apparently just missed a fence (I had tunnel vision and a little adrenaline flowing, and don't recall seeing that), over a driveway, and back up the ditch and onto the highway. Never stopped, never looked back.
Chris saw the whole thing in his mirrors. He knew I was going too fast for the curve, he knew that I'd never make it with the gravel...and was at least somewhat relieved when he realized that I'd crash on grass. I'd be plenty broken up, but I wouldn't have road rash. Then he watched me disappear into the ditch, jump off the other side, miss the fence, and climb right back onto the highway with a huge smile on my face.
We pulled off of the highway, I let out a huge scream and then laughed hysterically for five minutes. Chris thought I may have actually been hysterical. We pulled back onto the highway once I had control of my maniacal laughter and within a few minutes I was pointing to pretty birds 300 feet up in the air. He wasn't amused.
On the trip we also saw one deer, two turkey vultures, and a dead porcupine. We found my sister's new house up in the woods and visited with she and her husband and my brother and his wife who happened to be visiting, also. It was wonderful. Melia's house is a dream. On a river. Ten acres of wooded land. Beautiful house with huge deck. A canoe. Set waaaaaayyyy off of the road. Heaven.
Oh, and by the river was the largest spider I've ever seen in the wild. It was the size of a turantula....and had a huge nest with little babies running around inside. If my photos do it justice, I'll show you.

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