|Skaggs Springs / Stewarts Point - from a former ride|
|Sam's wonderful Bonneville Black|
|Evening view from the cottage|
FROM MY MORNING VANTAGE POINT on the couch situated in a tiny cottage across Highway 1 from the bluffs and beach, I can see the Pacific and the storms that are to come. The constant rhythm of the waves on the tiny beach provides a subtle symphony for relaxation, contemplation and calm. A second cup of coffee would be nice. The rain, light though it is, curtains the horizon line. The sky and sea are one. The universe seems but various shades of gray.
I venture out to see rainwater beaded up all over the GSA. I swipe the tank with my hand, scan the sky and ponder. Riding in the rain is not a favorite activity. Still, on this layover day at the cozy house in Elk, it is probably a good idea to practice those wet riding skills, especially if a hot shower awaits. I have a rubberized suit that goes over my riding pants and jacket, but a couple of years back, I purchased a BMW “Santiago” jacket from Santa Rosa BMW. It was last years model so I got a break on the price. It came without a waterproof liner – extra at additional cost – but I told the nice lady that I had a rain suit. “Try this,” she said. “If you have a Gore-Tex® shell, put it on under the Santiago. I bet you won’t need your rain suit jacket nor will you miss the liner.”
|Note the curving center line to the upper left|
The road is wet but not particularly slick. Still, I use caution with the throttle and the brakes. Every action is gentle and gradual. I don’t want any firsthand knowledge about the coefficient of friction and the effects when one exceeds it.
AT A POINT, I am one with the weather, impressed with the subdued nature of a muted, misty world. The rain has pushed the wood smoke and diesel from the air. The honeysuckle is faint. Just as the colors have faded, so the air has become an aromatic meritage – each element indistinguishable, but the resultant blend delicious.
I battle the drippy nose, the cold hands, and the slippery pavement, deciding to ride a little further and explore a little more before turning homeward. My jacket and pants are keeping me dry and the long-gauntleted winter gloves are keeping my warm – critical for both comfort and safety.
Note: Thanks to Sam Bilbro for his constant efforts to introduce and reintroduce me to Sonoma County's coastal roads.
Church of the Open Road Press