Sunday, July 11, 2010

Out-of-the-Ordinary Moments

Riding along on US 287 through OK and CO today, I got to thinking about some special moments I've experienced while on the road. You know those moments. They're those fleeting events of mind and soul, the kind that can never be re-created and that last just a few fleeting seconds or minutes but are impressed in your memory forever.

What triggered this was coming up 287 through CO, where the views in all directions are limited only by the curvature of the planet Earth. Off in the distance, across almost 360 degrees of horizon, I was surrounded by black sky, rain, and the occasional bolt of lightning. This reminded me of a trip I'd taken coming up this same road, headed for Gillette WY and the BMW MOA rally. It was late afternoon and I was surrounded in much the same way by threatening skies, which turned to heavy rain as I neared I-80 and Sydney NE, my stop for the night. The late afternoon sunlight was other-worldly, as it sent slices down through the clouds to bounce off of the golden wheat fields below. Eventually I rode in to the rain, just at dark, and rode in that rain west on I-80 to Sydney NE and the Days Inn. A small group of Harley riders arrived just moments before I did, and we all had a good laugh at ourselves, riding in the dark, in the heavy rain and glad to finally arrive at the hotel.

Thumbing through my recollections of similar sky- and landscapes, A particular morning on the Atchafalaya Basin, west of Baton Rouge, came to mind. I rode across the causeway just before sunrise one time, heading east toward Jacksonville FL. The very low rising sun turned the water of the basin beautiful soft shades of pink, lavendar and violet and the surface was like glass, so calm and still. Numerous aquatic birds were roosting in the cypress or wading in the water, in search of breakfast. It was stunning!

On another trip across LA on I-10 in early December, friend Mike was in front of me and he noticed the sky at the same time that I did. The sky was overcast, a low ceiling of white with no blue at all, a typical winter weather day in the South. And it was filled with large V-formations of geese high up in the sky, as far as the eye could see. What a sight!

Today, coming up 71 in eastern Colorado, the undulating fields of golden wheat looked like immense and limitless sand dunes, as far as the eye could see. Cruising along, the occasional hill and curve would open up a whole new vista. For a while, the golden wheat fields were interspersed with giant squares of deep green fields of corn. The contrast between the gold and green were dramatic...and gorgeous!

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