Thursday, November 30, 2017


*daily life irritability syndrome

·      The cat threw up sometime last night and I stepped in it in my bare feet.
·      In clearing leaves from the roof, a section of plastic gutter guard came free and while replacing it, I tore an asphalt shingle back far enough to probably cause a leak.
·      In the process of moving clean glasses from the dishwasher to their rightful shelf, two – not one, but two – ended up busted on the floor.
·      My 12v compressor chose to take the day off, so I had to use a bicycle pump to correct tire pressure.
·      And the more I read about the circumstance, the more it appears that the leader of the Free World may be, clinically speaking, about a half-a-bubble off of plumb.
·      Did I mention the cat throwing up?

It had been a couple of weeks since I’d hopped on Enrico, the Yamaha, for a personal therapy session.  Apparently, it’d been too long.  Little things were bugging me way too much.  And then there’re those perceptions about the President.  A nasty case of Daily Life Irritability Syndrome (DLIS) had me feeling like kids’ book author Judith Viorst’s “Alexander” having a string of “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.”

This November 30th was smack dab in the middle of a weeklong predicted dry spell.  Area temps in the Dry Creek / Russian River Valley viticulture region(s) were slated to be in the low sixties.  Roads would be dry.  Traffic would be sparse.  Chores could wait.

Dutcher Creek Road heads south out of town, paralleling US 101 for a few miles.  Then it angles west-southwest, undulating and turning and rising and falling on a five-mile strip of refreshed pavement.  The low sun of late autumn rests just above a westerly ridgeline even though it’s only 1:30 in the afternoon.  The vineyards at Fritz Winery, where not shadowed by that ridge, seem aflame as their leaves prepare to fall.  And Enrico is just getting warmed up.

Down to Dry Creek Road, I enjoy a couple of sweeping miles before heading south on West Dry Creek Road, a delightful barely single-lane stretch of pavement that hugs the hillside and affords glorious views of the vineyards and farm houses.  Fans of Perry Mason would probably like to know that the late Raymond Burr’s winery is out this way.  His Emmy is on display in the tasting room.  Check out this video:

Hooking onto Westside Road just west of Healdsburg, I motor past the Armida Winery – voted best tasting room by some group – the winery where my daughter cut her teeth making a delightful Zin named “Poizin.” Don’t let that scare you!  Good stuff.

Out that way we (Enrico and me) pass the historic Felta School, cross an equally historic steel bridge over the Russian River, bob this way and that on some really secondary secondary roads, dancing through shaded sections and sunny ones to find Eastside Road and head back toward Healdsburg.  That low sun lights the broad expanse of the Russian River Valley like Technicolor.  Enrico hums along deftly handling the curves and rises.   

Suddenly, about an hour in, I realize that I’ve shed any concerns about cats, roofs, glassware, and compressors and, almost, any news or views coming out of DC.

I make a quick stop at Big John’s Market in Healdsburg, a delightful full service grocery with a wide selection of organic produce, locally baked artisan breads, more micro-brews than anyone could ever taste through, wine, of course, lots of it, and all manner of foodstuffs you can’t find anywhere else.  Their meat department is extensive and fully staffed. My favorite friendly butcher helps me pick out a slab of Coho and a beef filet for tonight’s repast.

Fifteen miles to home, but I already know my case of Daily Life Irritability Syndrome had been pushed to the deep recesses of my mind.  Dismounting, I pat Enrico on his shiny black tank and say, “Thanks!”  Everything’s gonna be okay.

Are you, too, suffering from symptoms of DLIS?  Ask your doctor if a late autumn ride on a motorcycle through the loveliest of environs might be right for you.

© 2017
Church of the Open Road Press

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it great that a wee motorcycle ride can clear the head? I am glad the weather cooperated.