Left or right?
Okay fine, left.
The turn signal went on and we ended up by the lake.
I have been here before and you seem surprised. You say with a shrug we should have gone right instead. We go hiking, leaving the coffees in the truck. You regret this decision, but I don’t want to drop trow and have to pee on the side of the trail because of a double shot vanilla iced coffee made by a girl with gold earrings and a pretty smile. With my luck I would end up peeing down my leg and into my sock. Note to self: practice peeing in the shower. This is a necessary skill.
I keep thinking about the day I came here swimming. The exact spot was like the photographs but without the familiar faces; only ghosts and the lapping of the waves. We create new memories.
I cross a stream equivalent to a puddle and you mock me playfully about requiring help last time. Naw I am good now I have combat boots on. I pose modelling them, and we are amused. I chose the worst underwear to hike in.
The scenery was idyllic, forest edge and rocky cliff to the lake. The storm breaks up against the horizon and blue skies peak through the canopy.
The trail was three miles to a dead end. 6 miles round trip.
We have to turn around?
It ain’t so bad, it will look different going the other way.
You seem sceptical as we head back and mumble about wanting it to be a loop like on the map.
Will you fetch the truck?
I laugh and offer to piggyback you.
The lake wants me to jump in just like the recurring dream I have but the sun won’t be setting for hours yet and it is the moonlight I want to swim in.
We head back to the parking lot and you admit you have been thinking about your coffee nonstop since we started out. I scoff and finish mine off and it was worth the wait.
It seems that Mount Baker is calling you too and you want to go back.
We talk about camping and mountain bike trails and my thoughts drift off to places I see only with your descriptions.
I confide about not being sure I am good enough, I have not biked much in the last years. You are fine with where you are at. I am rather competitive with myself. I had an offer for Bear Mountain or Squidline but both need a brain bucket. We agree off road yes, downhill not now. I know my limits, even if they are ever changing.
Go to the trails over there you say, some people will pass you, some will be behind you, and that is where you are at. Nothing more, nothing less. 50 miles nestled in 3000 acres; yes please. It feels like a spiritual quest rather than something matter of fact.
Or you could do that Vancouver to Seattle bike ride you suggest. That is a two day 200+ km ride. I laugh and we drive to the ocean. Outriggers and Industrial land usage. The area is desolate and the scattered cars; all have bike racks and roof racks and they are eyeing up the same possibilities as us.
We wander through landmarks and find ourselves satiated at a table for two tucked in the back of a trendy eatery. The joint is full and then so is our bellies. You salt your beer every time and I am abstaining again. I am starting to fantasize about just a sip or crawling into one tall sleeve. Heady would not even cover the way I would be afflicted. I should just slip your glass across the table and get it over with. Then maybe I would stop thinking about it.
My mind is racing lately or at least wandering over uneven terrain.