Mud was a weatherwoman in her previous life. And maybe a miniature horse whisperer too, but we're not certain of that one yet. She could have possibly been a large bird instead of a weatherwoman, but whatever the species her whole livelihood and/or survival depended on her ability to predict the weather. In this life, her husband wants to put in a large solar panel down the hill from her front porch, you know to save the planet, and she's fighting him tooth and nail to get a Doppler radar system instead. Tom Messner, our local weather geek, will be calling her for updates.
So needless to say, Katy's ability to check the weather via I phone on our way to mountain bike at Burke Mountain yesterday was a dream come true. Until Katy's report included tornado warnings, 60 m.p.h. wind gusts, strong thunder storms...and hail.
We were pulling a pop up camper.
We snuck lunch in at Willy's with thunder rumbling from the tree tops, shooing us up the hill to set up "camp" before the storm struck.
With four hearty girls, especially the she woman I am, we backed up, unloaded, secured tires, cranked up, unzipped, unpacked in a matter of minutes. Then we unfurled old smutty magazines and our bodies and listened as the storm marched up the mountain.
And then the music began.
It didn't come slowly. The sky unloaded its contents as if it were a dump truck unleashing its load of gravel onto to the top of Mud's camper.
She thought we were all going to die. Trees falling on us. Tornado whisking us down the cliff. It was a good thing she had her gin with her. Self medication is never a bad thing.
Jen was a bit baffled by the size of the hail.
It was denting our brains.
We were trying to figure out what we would have done if we were out on the trails and one of these suckers hit one of us in the face.
We survived the storm. It will be something we talk about around the campfire for years to come. It will start out just as it happened: "Do you remember that time that we were stranded in the camper in the middle of that hailstorm?" Which will turn into, "do you remember that time we were stuck in that hailstorm when we were setting up the camper?" Which will turn into, "do you remember that time we got stuck in the hailstorm when we were mountain biking at Burke? And we all had to duck down under the trees with our arms tucked in and don't you have dents still on your helmet Katy?" This night will get embellished. As time goes on. No doubt.
The crevice of blue sky, separating storm from storm, tempted us out. We came here to ride. Let's ride. Passing boulders of ice, and rock slides across the road, we climbed higher up the toll road with thunder rumbling up our asses. At or near the top we hung a left onto Dead Moose Alley. And the skies opened up again. And then lightning. And then thunder. And we moved onward and upward. And then down.
I felt like we were tiny Christmas tree ornaments riding down the tree spine, back and forth over branches. The air smelled like evergreen. My nostrils were getting a wash down. In fact, so were my eyelids and lashes. And let's go a step further and say I had a facial, and a manicure and a pedicure. And why not announce that I had a nice anal flush in the bidet of the woods. All free. All beautiful.
I was third in line. It was a good thing because Katy and Jen were sweet enough to give me the heads up when we started to hit the bottomless puddles. I saw them up ahead and heard Katy shout out, "They're deep!! Keep peddalin'!! Don't stop!!" And I plowed through and we laughed. And kept bike kayaking and winding down the alley. It was beautiful fun and dangerous (wet roots are my nemesis). And the girls waited for me at the bottom of this one pitch, which they're sweet to do. They watched me dive into the puddles at the bottom, they watched me almost go head over as I realized that the lake was up to my knees, or over my knees even, and then they laughed their asses off as I yelled at them, "You bitches!" They set me up the second time.
We wound down and around and up and over.
And we returned alive.
Jen was looking over my shoulder at it as I was talking to her. She was watching it creep up the hill. She finally moved her chair into the middle of the road and turned up her face toward it. And then she recommended we chase after it in the truck. We threw rocks in the river as it gushed past us. And we got to know each other even more.
We roasted quesadillas over an open flame and slept that night in the trees. We woke with the rain on the metal roof, some of us tired from the crappy music which played down in the valley, way too late into the night.
We threw it all, soaked through, into the back of the truck and looking like witches, and smelling like campfire, we high tailed it out of there, with the camper half hitched. Eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, decaf coffee, tea, you, and you, and you and me. It was easy. Speasy.
I love that me being me is not work around you gals. And my protest to fashion doesn't embarrass you. Nor do my loud belches. And I love that you have a purse, Mud, that you bought at a yard sale. And I love when you lay left lateral Katy. And Jen, I love that you still wear a Goretex jacket that you bought when you were a sophomore in high school. And I love that our hardiness makes it possible for us to enjoy a wet weekend, even if it was fraught with golf ball sized hail and puddles up to our thighs- cuz we all have the strength to just plow right through' em.