At the end of my last post I mentioned that I was flirting with illness, that a sore throat had developed along with some body aches. Thankfully the sore throat went away, but the aches and joint pain have lingered on, I also bypassed the casual flirting and went right into some Trump-style heavy petting with some coughing and stomach issues. No vomit, and no flappy sphincter, but at times over the past two days I have felt that I was right on the cusp of it, with a taste in my mouth akin to licking the metal handrail of a men’s room handicap stall. As you might imagine, since Monday, there has been no riding.
Thankfully the illness seems to come and go, and–other than riding–I go about my day as usual. In all honesty, this has been a pretty good week to not feel great, because the weather has been shit. Dark as night most of the day, rain, and snow. Yes, we got our first coating of snow on Wednesday.
After a day and half of not doing much physical activity I headed out to hike some nearby trails. It was a short hike, made shorter by heavy rain and wet snow moving into the area, but I got out with my camera, took some pics, and blew the stink off me.
One of the trails runs right along some fenced off private property belonging to a propane company. I walked along the leaf covered trail, trying not to trip over the hidden roots, when I noticed a nasty pair of Tommy Hilfiger undies attached to a tree on the other side of the fence. It seems I’m not just an underwear magnet when out riding my bike, hiking also yields its fair share of discarded under garments. I’m sure there is a story there somewhere, and if the park’s past reputation as a clandestine hookup spot for men on the down-low lives on, I can take some guesses how it goes.
Beyond tree hung undies, it was nice to be out skulking about in the damp woods for a bit. I wouldn’t say that photographic subjects were plentiful, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. As I walked one trail I could hear the sound of a large Pileated Woodpecker off in the woods. I spotted it, and wanted to get a shot, so I carefully tried to make my way through the thick, swampy brush to try to get a shot. Sadly, it was not to be, I just couldn’t get in a spot to get a clear shot of it. I did get some muddy shoes and wet socks for my efforts though.
As I headed uphill near the end of my walk, a small Downy Woodpecker flew by and landed on a limb just overhead. The lighting was horrible in the dark woods, with a gray sky in the background, and rain starting to fall, but I got a few shots off, and knew that I would definitely need to do some work in Lightroom to save the image.
The photo certainly won’t be making any Audubon Field Guide appearances, but I manage to save it well enough for my liking, and continue to be amazed at how much detail Fuji lenses can pick up.
Soon after I got the shots I packed up my camera and headed home as a cold rain, that would soon turn to snow, started to fall. A few hours later most everything was covered in a layer of wet snow, and my mood sunk. Like death, the first snow is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. But, rather than be miserable about the snow, I did what I do best… I went to the store to get fixings for some Cat 5 semi-homemade chicken soup (more on that later), and picked up a sixer of one of my favorite wintertime beverage–Bell’s Expedition Stout!
Beyond the label with the horribly kerned lettering is a wonderfully rich, BIG 10.5% Russian Imperial Stout. Sure there’s roughly 980 calories per bottle (not really), and it’s a little pricey, but a good Imperial Stout is one of the only things that make winter tolerable. Well, that a fat bike, and sex on bear skin rug in front of a warm fireplace on a snowy evening.
I enjoyed some beers that night, sat in front of the fireplace (minus bear skin rug and sex), and played FIFA on the xBox as I hummed Polar Opposites by Modest Mouse before making some burritos for Wifey and myself. Not the day I planned, but not all that bad either.
Hoping the lingering body funk–along with the slush and mud–goes aways soon, I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike, hopefully with 100% less Tommy Hilfiger undies.