Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tripping On Vultures While Projecting...

I took a nice ride last Sunday morning up into a local valley rift where the Illinois River winds alongside a one lane road. The road itself is either going up in steep fashion, or down in steep fashion, so the twelve miles in and thirteen miles out (or so it seems toward the end) is a great workout. There are a few really good swimming holes along the river, so a few cars will come by in either direction, making the ride safer (in the sense that if you crash and burn, someone will come along eventually and help you out) and a little hairy (in the sense that there are quite a few blind corners on steep grades to meet cars along).

At a good distance in, the road actually comes down and meets the river in elevation. This is where a good cyclists will stop, strip off his/her clothes, and take a cooling dip in the river before heading back home.

There is something about being all lathered up from a workout, stripping down, and swaggering your way down to the water's edge for an oh-so-cool dip into a deep hole in the fast moving river. I mean, it looks epic in a Charlton Heston sort of way, one would imagine...

Trouble is, the river's edge is lined with fist-sized round rocks that roll over when you step on them. Rocks roll up and strike your delicate ankle bones. Your feet get crushed between two such rocks and you find your whole foot assaulted as you try and do the Charlon Heston epic walk to the water...

"Ooooh oooh oooh ouch! Mother #@$%&**@" is what you utter from your cool and epic lips...

You hope nobody is watching.


I've taken up my old habit of starting too many projects at once. I thought I had the problem beat, but alas! I'm at it again. My recently passed sister Sandy was a collector of "cool stuff". She loved yard-saling and flea-marketing and often brought home items with "potential" which she planned on working on. She had a garage full of such items and I grabbed a few that had some internal meaning for me. This was an aluminum and red vinyl chest of drawers that she had.

The aluminum had roughened up from weather and the vinyl was faded and full of paint stains and the like. I took the whole thing apart, sanded up all the aluminum, then mink oiled it, and recovered the top and drawer fronts with faux leather fabric.

Someday, I'll redo the drawer guides so they work smoother than they do now.

But at least my socks and underwear are now happy.


This time of year, there is life everywhere as all the little creatures scramble to get fat before winter.

Which also means there is much more road kill than usual.

They are ugly, but without animal control scooping up carcasses, I am thankful for the job these Buzzards do around here.

They make an evening's ride on the bicycle all the more pleasant...


Jeannie said...

Beautiful spot but I don't envy the ride.

Cool dresser.

yum - roadkill

kario said...

I love your biking stories! As for the buzzards - ick. I appreciate them, too, but damn they are ugly birds!

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