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Premature Illumination


A couple of weeks before the full moon, the phone rang. It was the Frenchman, Michel; “Eez there any chance we can do zee ride on Monday?” He asked. Although it was a few days before the full moon, it seemed OK. The moon would be mostly full. So the word went out to the tribe that the ride would be on Monday. Not Tuesday, nor would it happen on Wednesday.

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Team Palisades prepares for the event

As the day approached there was a notable lack of commitment on the part of any riders. Dr. J. had suggested a Sasquatch event. But the long drive time and the seeming lack of participants caused Eric to suggest something local. It is hard to find a new ride locally since there have been something on the order of 150 moonrides over the past fifteen years.

Eventually a mini Lilac ride was settled upon. This local loop offered a short commute for everyone except Fuzzy who insisted on showing up despite all indications that this might be one to pass on. He had the most grueling drive all the way from Marin County. (Note: days after the ride, no one has heard from the man)

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Electrolyte therapy applied liberally


Monday morning, when the plan had been cemented in place, the phone rang again. “Hello, Eric,” Michel’s message said, “Unfortunately I have many obligations with school and family and regretfully will not be able to make it to zee ride tonight.”

It was too late to change plans. Five volunteers made up the group. A rare appearance from Dr. Die and Sean Large, plus Fuzzy helped to keep Eric, Mike and Miss Swift company. Except for Swift, there seemed to be a notable lack of energy and enthusiasm, though it was none-the-less a worthwhile journey into a void of modern living, where the unique offerings of Nature and La Luna conspire to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit with benedictions that are not found in the isles of Wal Mart.

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Miss Swift, always vigilant for fun and adventure

The moon rose far to the north of its summer offerings. Its reappearance into the high orbit signaled the return of the dark time of year and the waning of Del Sol’s influence on the northern hemisphere of this blue-green spinning orb. The sky was clear and the light was generous on the path.

For lack of creativity everyone drove to the start of the ride. No shuffle would be required. The five riders began the initial climb up the east side of RLS. The evening temperature could not have been nicer. There was no wind. The group proceeded to the top of the first climb and took a short break. The view of Table Rock and the Napa Valley was beautiful. No fog would be gathering on this clear night.

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Required safety rest at top of Wild Lilac

The group picked through the technical sections and eventually made it to the Wild Lilac trail. The top of the W.L. is a short distance from the Table Rock turnoff. Another respite was taken at this scenic place. Then the drop down to Van Ness creek entertained the troops for the next portion of the ride. The ride down the jeep trail to the driveways was easy and quick.

The final portion of the ride was a long climb back up to the cars. The woods, though dark offered no resistance and even seemed in better shape due to a recent, freak thunderstorm that drenched the immediate area just a few days previous. One by one the riders arrived at the top.

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Later in the ride

It was a five hour outing that graced the attendees with the usual assortment of beneficial moonride experiences. Tired grins aptly described the glorious event. It was an adventure that was slightly subdued perhaps by the premature date that didn’t allow the full development of the mysterious, playful and sensual aspects of the encounter. It may just have been a case of premature illumination.

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Stonehenge divines swirling mysteries of the universe