A trip with the stars

The Runtyun and I spent the night, last night, trying to watch the Perseid Meteor shower (http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=meteor+showers&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8). I got the idea a few days ago. We keep trying to go camping, but something always gets in the way. Well, this was an adventure that only rain could cancel. Clouds equal no stars.

 She was not too interested in my proposal, but she reluctantly found some enthusiasm. I fried some chicken and made potato salad. Then I did a little maintenance on the bike, packed it and we were off.

It has been a while since the Grinner has had a load on it, yet as usual that Milwaukee Iron performed. The ride up the Parkway is always smooth even though they have reduced the speed to 35 mph for 5 miles or so. The powerful engine smoothed out the curves and we flowed through the 30 miles or so to our goal. As is my want I let the worries of the day, week—life slip off my back. The needs of the moment, driving a motorcycle with a golden package riding behind me were more important than anything. While there have been times when I let the bike take over, allowing my mind to sort through daily problems, today I wanted to enjoy the power and grace the road under us provided.

We flew into turns and slid out. No cars were on the road to hinder our progress. The trees opened up around us, gracing us with vistas of watersheds and under-clouds wisping below us. I could feel the Runtyun shifting and looking around maybe even enjoying the ride too. 

We finally made it to my goal spot for the meteor show later on, but it was socked in and blowing clouds all around us. This was my first portent that we may not have the idilic star gazing I had planed. We walked around a little, but finally left. Going south, there is a visiter center at Pinnacle Mountain Gap, or something like that. It is a gap between two mountains that provides a tremendous view, yet attracts clouds and rain an occasion. This was one of those time.

Picture this though: no visibility because of low clouds, yet an orange ball floating in the middle of the sky, wind wipping around us, swirls of clouds enveloping trees and people. We watched as Mother nature danced and played around us. Always with the sun just peeking through, blue sky teasing us now and again.

We mounted the steel stallion made our way down to Craggy Gardens. Watching the clouds dance and move around, I could feel the Runtyun moving and seeing mother in motion. We made it to our dinner spot and ate and talked a little. Mostly, “Why are we here,” though there was a little about the pretty sunset and when will it begin.

It was getting dark and I wanted to set out our place. We settled and the kid started to read her book. I lay back and looked at the clouds and stars. She kept slipping down the hill and I had to pull her up. Finally we decided to find a level place—all the way across the parking lot!

We got settled about the time the stars began to fall, but so did the temperature!

We settled in and started the “I-saw-it-first game.” She was snuggled into my arms, trying to stay warm I guess, and we would watch for the melting  flashes cross the sky. What is so fascinating about it all? I don’t know, though we enjoyed the time without distractions of modern life. I wondered aloud what it must have been like to live in a world without TV and such. All they had were the stars and imagination. She got even closer to me, guess a cold breeze passed over us. Finally she ducked into her sleeping bag and I felt her begin to doze off.

Truth is, neither one of us got much sleep that night. When the sun began to rise I made my old sore body move and pulled our stuff together. The Runtyun began to stir, I could tell by the moving mound that was her sleeping nest. 

We girded ourselves for the ride home. Actually, when the engine warmed up it sent some warmth our way and the sun was beginning to warm and wake the world around us.

Wait! What’s that in front of us 4 big black dogs?! I felt the O-My-God cute reaction begin in back and a little cooing sound coming along. We saw 3 bear cubs and their mommy bear bounding in front of us. Did I slow  down because we could see them longer, or was I afraid their Mom would not take our presence with happiness? Who knows, but it was a moment I’ll remember for a long time, ending with, “That was the most adorable thing I have ever seen, Daddy!” and a big around-the-back hug.

Seeing a pack of turkeys a little later did not even elicit any response! Hot chocolate, on the other hand, warmed us both.


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