Late October Summer Gear Ride

On Sunday, we had unseasonably warm temperatures. It reached 81F (27C), which in Maryland, USA, is near record-breaking for 30 October. I worked hard all day Saturday to free up my Sunday schedule so I could meet my favorite motorcycle riding cousin and ride the eastern-most chain of the Blue Ridge mountains.

We were looking for autumn color. However, in these parts…

rp_Maple03.jpg…autumn color is still quite green. Yes, there are dabbles of yellow and brown, but few brilliant reds. In fact, the maple trees in my back yard (shown to right) have more red on them than the trees along our route.

Because it was so warm, I wore my CHP breeches with lug-soled Dehners and my white Rev’IT summer-weight riding jacket, gloves, and my new (replacement) SuperSEER helmet. This gear works for mid-range temps from the mid-60s (18C) to the low 80s (27C). Kept me warm when needed early on the ride, and cool later when it got much warmer and I opened vents for air flow.

ride20161030ablogThe lack of color on the deciduous trees did not spoil our fun and sense of adventure. We rode through back roads up to a covered bridge, which is a special spot because that is where my cousin popped the question to his then-girlfriend, who agreed to marry him last August. Then my cousin took a year’s tour of duty in the U.S. military. He returned this August, and we have been riding together as our schedules allow.

catoctinsAfter riding through the covered bridge, we got on a road that rides through the spine of the Catoctin Mountains — not really mountain-mountains, per se, but hilly enough. The road twists and turns through spectacular scenery and vistas. There were a number of “looky-loos” (minivans with families) also seeking autumn color. Only one vista had a beautiful view of a valley with colorful trees. Unfortunately, I had to remain focused on riding and there was no safe place to pull over, so I could not take a photo.

It was a very special ride with a very special guy. He is very forgiving of my navigational disabilities. However, this ride, I knew precisely where I was going and we did not get lost. Not much fun “not” getting lost, but we each had places to be in the afternoon so we could not dawdle for more adventure.

My cousin had a memorial service for a fallen hero to attend. I had to get back home to care for my spouse who is still quite sick. But for a few hours, anyway, we had miles of smiles. This ride sure helped me clear my head with the challenges I face in caring for my beloved spouse. It so hurts me to see him suffer so, and nothing I can do to remedy his situation. I have faith, … I really do. He will get better. Just not now.

Life is short: share smiles with those you love.ride20161030cblog