The moon would not reach its fullness until Friday, but the lunatistas determined the best night for the event would fall on Wednesday. Five of the faithful put their knobbies on the line to attend services at the Church of the Holy Spoke. Michel motored through unrelenting, bumper to bumper holiday traffic to be present for the trek. Dr. J., Shawn, Jim (the stallion) Korte and Eric made up the contingent. Jim skipped his appointment with Dr. Snips to get his balls chopped off in favor of communing with the lunar brotherhood. What a guy!
Shawn chugs up the oat
The group began the long climb up the Oat. The sky had sported a thin cloud cover at sunset and the moon was only slightly subdued. The riding was easy and laid back as the valley began to fall away. One by one the five chugged up the trail, past the Old Wedding Trail, past the view rock, beyond the saddle and to the upper section. As the really hard parts began, someone suggested leaving the bikes and hiking the rest of the way. Seemed reasonable. All five were amazed to arrive at the Holmes place having used about one third of the energy that it takes to muscle rider and bike up the punishing grade. A short hike past the orchard yielded the new and most direct path to the cave. Within fifteen minutes the hikers approached the cave. Along the way the happy campers gathered wood for the evenings fire.
In very short order the fire came to life and the food items began to cook. While waiting for dinner Eric and Mike broke out the evenings entertainment; bottle rockets. Two dozen rockets flashed out of the cave, some hitting the ceiling or exploding on the launch ramp, all to the delight of the happy campers. Unlike the previous month, this location was completely out of sight to any bystanders. The remote cave was entirely the possession of the lunatistas for this religious experience.
The raging blaze warms the spirit
Following a very pleasant repast, the group eventually gathered their items and began the long journey back to Calistoga. The hike down the upper section was unusually easy compared to riding. Once back on the two wheels, the group descended quickly. The light was generous and ample as the group filed off the mountain. It was a simple, easy visit to the Church. The lunatistas were home and in bed early after spending several quality hours communing with the spirit of the moon.