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as lucky as i am

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i am lucky to be alive

to listen to music that i find pleasing

to work a job

to be physically able

and mentally capable of most decisions i have to make

i am lucky to have a good wife

good food to eat today

a dog that will come when i call

and a few friends i can depend on to top it all

i am lucky to get to go

where i wish

when i want

how i want

with the folks i choose to go with

or those that decide to go with me

or alone

and i am free to ride

for no reason at all

all of the above

or for everything

in entirety.


spoke with brother doug on friday night

we decided to make a run on one of his routes

a trip over lolo pass

it’d be new territory for me

i was eager and ready to go

early saturday morning

i remember arriving and was greeted by doug

smiling and in good cheer

as he is

it is in his nature

his hounds greeted me with much fanfare

smiling and wagging


“buddy, i need something hot and black”

i said

doug hooked me right up


i remember standing on his back deck

sleepy and swaying and spilling coffee on myself

it was grey and cool out

i even brought rain pants

all of the ridges were obscured by thick fog and mist

i said, “you lead today brother doug”

“aye” he said

we suited up and rolled out


in new canyons

along unknown spaces

through misted ridges and along roadways lost

i was totally spun around

i am so used to riding my route

used to the creases in the road

the camber of each curve

it felt very strange to be out of my neck of the woods

i realized how it must have been for brother doug

up where we ride in wa state

we stopped at a few places

and had some signs to remind us about how freedom can be lost


we rode for nearly an hour and i still didn’t know where we were

all of the hills shrouded in mist

i followed brother doug

he knew the way

up over farms and through canyons

no east

or south

or anything

just endless twisting roads

it was good


we’d been out a while and only shared the road with two other bikers

we pulled off for a moment

saw mt hood and i knew where i was

at last


a bunch of barns out there


the breeze picked up

we could hear it moan through spokes on the parked bikes

it almost sounded like it was from the barns

i figured it was my ears playing tricks on me

or an hallucination

from the voltage flowing through the high tension wires

just above our heads

crackling and sparking

electrons firing


figured we were too close to them when my headlight stayed lit up

after i’d shut off the headlight

electrical interference

might change one’s perception


the road petered out


i rode point and it was ok on my bike

doug kept his bigger bike upright

in some bad washouts

with road tires to boot

i watched for him in my rearview mirror

wondering if he’d make it

he did

would be a real chore to pick up that bike of his

if he laid it down on the rocks and washouts

we found a rickety old bridge and posed for a shot

to prove we’d been there


i messed around with my camera

took an overexposed shot of the creek


we had some lunch and i ditched the leather coat

the sun was finally out

doug took a shot of me ripping up the road


we rode up to a lake

there were all kinds of folks up there

it was clear and blue and clean

the guy at the gatehouse said he’d give us a half an hour to drop in

take a few shots and a break in the shade

we thanked him and took in the view


kids played in the creek

dogs ran and got sticks thrown for them

pretty girls floated and laughed on rafts

boys jumped off of bridges and docks to impress them

it was good

we’d used our half hour

so we motored down switchbacks and back home through a terrible wind

doug mentioned that after being “on point”

for so long through the gravel and rough road

it was taxing to have to buck a 40 knot wind through the gorge

he was right

but i’d do it again

in a heartbeat

as lucky as i am

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