Monday, October 26, 2009

Damn those Clouds!

After spending a few weekends at the beach two summers ago putting a roof on for SJ, I was amazed at the meteorological knowledge of the locals. Living in the bay behind Assateague and taking advantage of the inlet that divides the two, every fisherman passing by on their way back home would yell conditions up to us. "Waves are at 6 ft.".... "Wind at 20 mph coming out of the southwest"...."The clouds say there is somethin' comin'!"
As we raced to get his house in the dry and safe from another fast arriving mid-latitude cyclone, SJ's son would check the radar and respond to numerous detailed questions as we would immediately point our attention to the skies, taking note of the height and type of cloud as all working motions became fluent and purposeful.
Fast forward two years, add a kid and a warp speed schedule of grad classes,and yes, a demanding job, and I have learned to simply look up to know what's coming.
Sometimes I hesitate to turn my head upwards, those beautiful evening skies, feathered with cirrus clouds tell you something. They don't hang around long,..usually dropping and thickening as they fall down a slope of cold air by the morning, eclipsing the view of Orion to the southwest, and the big bucket usually situated directly over the ghetto pad in the opposite direction.....And it's Friday.
Another rainy weekend and I'm still on the injured reserve list. No bike, just long hikes far away from any trail.
It's crazy beautiful in this area as I described it before, but there were new things to be found. A few chain ring marks gave away earlier explorations, but it didn't amount to much. The terrain is navigationally hard, I've got probably 20 hours in it already,...just looking??? Sixty foot outcrops surrounded by boulder fields with small gardens of ferns implanted on top of them, a knob with a big overlook, and scree everywhere. But the trees,...they're just too big to go unnoticed by the guys in green,...too big.
I sat and rehydrated on a boulder at the base of the outcrop in the middle of the downpour. Yes, cirrus gave way to anything nimbus, I chewed a soggy but pleasantly
salty piece of jerky, not thinking of a anything.

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