This post is coming at you like a Mullet, business in the front and a party in the back, and when I say business I am talking about riding Oak Mountain, AL.
I always ride Oak Mountain in the middle of the summer. I can’t remember ever being in that park when there wasn’t lava rolling down the trails and pooling in the parking lots. This trip added a new component- a slight breeze of hot air that felt like a welding torch tickling your ears. Insane hot. Muggy like a middle school locker room in Kampala, Uganda. Hotter than the hell where people in hell go to when they die.
So I rode it at night, when the temp dropped down to 91 degrees. The experience was both wonderful and terribly disconcerting to be riding singletrack alone in the dark, very aware of the time limit of my Niterider Enduro light. Contrary to my entire expectation and world view, nothing went wrong. I felt good, the light worked, and I rode most of the seventeen mile loop, cutting off the end to enjoy gliding up the park road in the moonlight, cooling down with not a car to be passed. Turkeys, deer, and a lazy raccoon were on the scene.
I spent the week running camp activities for about 50 teenagers of the sort who don’t get to participate in a lot of “extras.” We played games like “hunker down” a variation on tug-o-war involving 5 gallon buckets. We raced paddle boats. We talked about what it looks like when grown-ups respect you and how they act when they are pretending. We made S’mores. I watched entire romantic relationships emerge and fizzle in the confines of 48 hours- swoon to heartbreak to friends in 30 seconds or less. It was both hilarious and touching. I am exhausted, and not just from the pace, but from all the connecting.
I am counting on the President to handle the two-state solution, universal health care, the development of affordable alternative energy, and our fine collection of wars and skirmishes. I, on the other hand, intend to make good on my own promise to effect change and seek more ways to get outside myself.