The Moonride according to Sebastian
June 20th was the confluence of several potent factors. It was Wade's birthday, it was the eve of the summer solstice, it was two days before lily's birthday and it was a rolling, all weekend house warming for W. and L. Sebastion's original plan was to do a moonride on Friday. However, Eric noted that the moon would not even rise until midnight and suggested a late afternoon/evening event. The suggestion seemed to curry some favor. However, the crush of concentrated celebration carried the event well towards sunset. In fact the sun disappeared long before the crew was able to extract themselves from the Big Horse Brewing Company, the third of three stops in Hood River.
The seven riders (Wade, Austin, Dan, Sebastian, Greg, James, Eric) plus Rusty finally gathered at the bottom of the ride and piled the bikes on van. After a drive up the hill the riders prepared to head into the darkness. The sun was long gone and the moon was hours from rising. That did not deter the riders or Rusty. The single track was smooth and predictable even though I could not be seen. The riders had to employ the use of Void Vision to stay on the trail. No light was on the ground. Only a faint silhouette of the tree line above the riders could be slightly perceived.
The ride proceeded well despite the lack of vision. The trail was accommodating and kind. Austin was in the lead having the time of his life. He whooped and hollered as the trail provided thrills and fun. All were happy until; BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM....!!! The nearby gunshots quieted the crowd instantly. Suddenly everyone was rolling carefully and quietly. Each rider went into survival mode and coasted past the remote dwelling and attendant paranoiac who seemed to feel threatened by the joy of the riders.
The group reconvened at a safe distance down the trail and out of the woods. As they talked among themselves, someone mentioned; "Where's Rusty?"
After a reasonable wait, Wade, Austin and Eric decided to go back uphill and try to find the dog. Austin and Wade had their bikes while Eric walked. They traveled a long distance back to the house, being quiet near the residence. Once past the place, the three decided that the dog was likely not standing still anywhere. Wade and Austin would return to the van while Eric headed back downhill to the rest of the group. What seemed like a small matter would be amplified as the night played out. Wade had not brought his pack from below, so Eric suggested that Wade take Eric's pack and Eric would take Wades pack when he returned to the group.
Eric walked back downhill and eventually joined up with the others. He grabbed Wade's pack and the group began the long, technical descent downhill. Meanwhile Wade and Austin had returned to the van, found Rusty waiting and settled in for an hour and a half wait for the others to shuttle back from the bottom.
Approaching midnight, the eastern horizon grew bright as the moon neared its debut. Now with some light the riders proceeded until Dan flatted, shortly after going over the bars and leaving a significant portion of his flesh on the trail. During the break, Eric decided to take some photos. Somehow when the action restarted, the camera didn't make it back into Eric's pocket. This wasn't discovered until the next rest stop considerably farther down the trail.
Eric, again, walked back up the trail. It seemed to be a long distance and it took a while. Eventually the camera was located and Eric returned but not without some navigation issues as he tried a "shortcut".
The group reunited and proceeded the rest of the way to the bottom. Meanwhile two of the riders had split off to go do the car shuffle. It seemed like a good idea and a way to save some time. By the time all had reassembled at the parking lot, it seemed pretty much over. But wail! It turns out that Eric's glasses were missing. When Wade and Austin dug into the pack for beer, the glasses had jumped out. Another run up the hill to the start of the event was called for. The chances of finding the glasses was slim, but by virtue of the grace of La Luna, the spectacles were miraculously retrieved and the event finally came to a close around 2:00.
The hour drive back to Portland was the most tortuous part of the evening. At least the traffic was mild. The ride and the day were sensational. The waning Lady of the Night provided a couple of curves, but yielded the usual benediction and joy. It was a classic moonride, replete with lots of adventure, fun, camaraderie and gratitude for the experience.
Label seen on bike rack: Warning: Do not exceed the design load limit. Sure.
Eurovan transports the lunatistas towards chaos
Crew takes a break, dog still happy
Birthday boy Wade and brother Austin celebrate high times, dog with laser vision seeing something suspicious down the path
Seb appears out of the blackness
The Super-highway single track to the terror zone
One of numerous bonding moments for the brothers
Bad place to make a wrong turn
Moonlight on the Columbia River