Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

02 October 2011

close your eyes and hold your breath

October 2nd.
My birthday.

My True totem reveals itself?

Yes, my (current) totem may be the skunk with it's head in a jar. If one were to judge by the smell of my bike and clothes, anyhow.

Since no one in Monterey will ride with me, I spend lots of hours alone in the woods while pedaling. Typically, this is just fine with me but it does set the scene for some thrilling moments in the dark in the woods on the trails. I set out after work last evening to check on the shrine- it is still there, undisturbed. I'm happy with it's placement after coming upon it in situ, and with fresh eyes. It's subtle but bold.

After rambling out to the Caprock (which needs a resupply) for sunset, it was some dark trail riding back. How am I not going to take the funnest trails? No how, that's how. After MAching Gun Flats to #68 to Blair Witch and fireroads to the low entry to Freedom I found myself back at the shrine, where there was still a bottle of Basil Hayden's and a cold beer I'd left there on the way out.

A brief interlude followed, in which I summoned the spirits.

Then it was on the trail with what felt like dangerous amounts of speed. The 30% waxing crescent Hunter's Moon was juuuuust enough to throw a shadow in clear spots. I do have a small headlight mounted on my helmet (the amazingly useful PrincetonTec Eos) but I prefer not to use it. I like riding in the conditions the night gives me as long as possible. It's better.

Riding the quiet fixed Crosscheck without a cone of separating light I blend into the night and roll with the flow. It's magic.

It's also a fine way to all of a sudden come upon a skunk. At first I didn't know what it was, just a darker spot in the trail so I reached up and tapped on the light to reveal him (tail aloft) facing me. I think he'd hit the gas right then, but I'm unsure. Those damn skunks, they are so entitled. They never give up the trail, they just lift their tail and act self righteously indignant. He began waddling down the singletrack and I kept what seemed to me to be a fair distance- pressing him but not close enough to receive any unpleasantness. Like a skunk does, he just kept heading down the trail, tail lifting higher whenever I closed the gap, but not making any moves to get out of the way. I began to heckle him. I believe he was a rookie of the worst sort. I believe he sprayed his spray and had nothing left because the more he waddled and was taunted, the lower his tail got. But he never did let go the trail. That right hander? Yep. He had options, but he opted for the easy line (read: established trail) every time. I began to think he was just messing with me.
In the end, he took the main trail by all the junk and I took the sneaky line over under the tower and we parted ways. When I slowed and began walking up the steep section is when I became aware of a terrible smell. It was me. Meet the new totem, same as the old totem.

Happy Birthday! I feel the skunk with it's head in a jar is a fine summation of what I have achieved with my Life.


Gunnar Berg said...

Happy Birthday Rev. Have a good year.

Johann Rissik said...

Happy birthday and thank you for all the blogging.

johnnytrashbike said...

the skunk on the trail ain't bad. it's his buddy-off to the side waiting for you to be distracted-that you have to worry about. happy birthday.

Tom said...

Happy birthday Rev.

Have another good tour around the Sun. In lieu of a gift, let me point you here:

Fxdwhl said...

damn, now i wish i would have picked up that hamm's cyclo cap i saw at the swap meet for ya. happy belated birfday and go take a peroxide & baking soda bath as a present to the fam.

msantos said...

sorry....i almost ended up callin you back that night, i'd sobered up enough to drive, but actually didn't wanna drive, oh well i guess i do suck. almost gettin the gas face on your bday eve, shitty. i'm a libra too fwiw.

err said...

Woot! Late Happy Birfday!

Kinda funny that the skunk was into the skippy NATURAL. It IS good stuff, I guess he's a bourgeois little guy.

You know, those yoplait folks had to add a little plastic to their trademarked shaped cups in order to save these little critters? Check it out sometime, there's a flange now on the bottom so they can push the cup off their heads when theys done slurpin the good out!