The plan had been in the works for several weeks. Shawn had mapped out a route around Cobb Mt. This route would encircle the towering feature and thread through the steam wells. Seven lunatistas showed up for the event. Lindsey, once again, astounded the crowd by jetting all the way from the Orient after a hectic business week and driving from the airport to the ride. His performance was stellar, though part of his mind was still somewhere over the Pacific. Sebastian hooked up with the big bird and jetted down from Portland to attend the event. Michel motored from Berkeley to share in the monthly ritual.

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Space shuttle headed for interstellar orbit

The pack arrived at Eric’s house in Mike’s van. The one-vehicle event would make the usual car shuffle easy. After carbo loading the seven headed up highway 175 to the town of Cobb. The weather had been lousy with heavy rain punctuating the day. As the group of seven poured out of the van, it was noted that the sky was clearing. The only cloud left was a thick bank in the east. It shrouded the moon but the bright light was streaming over the edge of the receding cloud bank.

It was exceedingly cold as the fourteen wheels hummed down Bottle Rock Road. The group passed through Pine Grove and towards the security gate guarding the road that had been selected for this event. Shawn insisted that the group could simply ride past the gate. Others didn’t feel the same. Shawn, Lindsey and Sean rode quietly up to and through the gate while Eric watched from the shadows. The other three had continued down the road as per plan A.

“You there!” Shouted the raspy voice of the female guard. “You can’t go up there!”

“But,” Shawn protested, “We have to, our car is parked up there.”

“Where’s your permit, where is your I.D.?” She insisted.

That was the end of that as the three filed back out of the gate. They rejoined the group, headed down the road where the others had decided to go mountain biking in the forest. After a short cruise through the woods the group came upon a nicely paved road.

“Gee, I wonder where this road goes?” Someone asked, with a wink and a nod.

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Stealth riders in the night

The road was smooth and wide. The grade was exceptionally steep. At times it was easier to walk than grunt in the little chainring. Slowly the opposing terrain came into view as did the full moon. The clouds had completely dissipated leaving only the stars in the sky. It was another moment of moonlight serendipity. The happy bikers continued up the hill. They had to climb a major terrain feature to access the hinterlands and the planned route.

After an hour and a half of hard work, the lunatistas finally came to the top of the road. The view to the southeast was vast. Many steam wells could be seen in the distance pouring toxic steam into the air. A navigational query was convened to determine the next part of the route. It was deemed that a dirt road adjacent to the pavement held promise. The seven bikers turned on the dirt road and began another long climb. The dirt road had recent tracks and held some hope. As the road continued uphill the promise began to fade. Now it seemed that the road may go to the top of Cobb Mt. Instead of around the mountain.

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Who cares that we're lost

Finally the group came to a split in the road. One direction descended into a snowy path of white death. The other continued uphill. The group determined they were lost and the best course of action would be to build a raging fire and cook dinner under the bright stars of the evening. Wood was readily available in addition to the three packages of charcoal that had been packed along. Several bundles of very dry, thinly sliced kindling provided fuel that caused the fire to leap to life. It grew quickly to a warming blaze that was needed in the very cold night. An incredible assortment of food appeared from the packs. Fresh Salmon and Tuna cooked quickly as did the mushrooms. The beef Waddell and potatoes took a little longer. There was a abundance of wholesome food whose taste and enjoyment was greatly enhanced by the adventure setting, high on the western flank of Cobb Mountain.

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Sebastion communes with the peace and light of La Luna

The group tarried for a long time enjoying the food, fire and special company of the bikin’ fools moonlight div. Eventually the fire was daved for the last time and the bikers began to prepare for the descent. A discussion was held about the exit strategy for the gate at the bottom. Shawn insisted on blowing past the gate in a giant gaggle with the assumption of; “What could they possibly do?” Eric’s fear was; “They could call the sheriff and throw us in jail.” Shawn was out for authoritarian revenge, but the more paranoid thinking held sway.

The descent down the steep hill was thrilling and fast. It took only minutes to process what had taken over an hour to climb. When the group approached the guard shack they diverted into the woods and retraced the steps that they had taken earlier. Once back on the road they pedaled through the cold bright night back to the van. It will take more map studies and another ride to complete this plan to ride around Cobb Mountain. In the meanwhile the lunatistas will have the benediction of the memory of this ride to warm the spirit and to kindle the sense of fun and adventure under the gracious lumens of La Luna.


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Mike and Linz enjoy the festivity