Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Curious Incidents of the Owl and the Train on the Night Ride

I stopped doing blog posts about the night rides after my first season. We ride north or we ride south same ol' same ol'. Tonight started out like all the others. About 15 of us showed up. Maria, Jean, and I were the only gals...also same ol' same ol'. 

Since it's Thursday, the route is South on the trail. Off we went. The pace was pretty peppy. We were getting close to where the Deschutes River flows alongside the trail. All of a sudden, from the right side, at the height of our front wheels, well, the front wheels of the guys on the front, there was a blur. It was a large owl that came flying across the trail! It smacked into Dave's wheel. It careened off and into Maria's wheel. There were feathers flying, people yelling, and through all of it, no one crashed! Those bringing up the rear said the owl even managed to fly off (albeit a few feathers short). Whew!

It took a little bit for everyone to settle down, but soon we were back up to speed. We got to the Y. The guys planned to go down the Yelm-Tenino Trail to Military Rd., then back to the trail. Us gals knew we'd just get dropped going up the hill on Military. We opted to turn around and go back on the trail. We knew the guys, not having to wait for us, would hammer hard, and eventually catch us.

As we were coming back to where the train tracks cross the trail, I noticed there was actually a train! Never in all the years and hundreds of times I've been on that part of the trail have I ever seen an actual train there! We stopped and watched as train car after train car slowly passed by with no end to the train in sight. stopped...blocking the trail. There was no way around. A number of vehicles were also stopped on the road that passes close to the trail and over the same tracks. 

After a few minutes, Maria starts saying how we could just climb over the train. Both Jean and I said, "No Maria! What if the train starts moving?" So, we waited a little longer. When it seemed like the train was not going anywhere anytime soon, Maria, again suggested going over.

By this time, even the guy in the car on the same side of the train as us, who had previously told us to be careful, was saying we could probably make it. Maria says she's going for it. She climbs up the ladder. Jean hands her bike up to her. Maria walks across to the other side, lowers her bike down, and climbs down so she can lay her bike down. Jean climbs up, I hand her her bike, she goes across, gives Maria her bike, and comes back to grab my bike. I climb up, walk over, and climb down the other side. Success! We got back on and rode off. The guys finally caught us just before Rainier Rd. They had also climbed over the train. Nothing like two strange incidents in one night! 

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