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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Enveloped by fog

Perhaps I should curse out the infamous Trobairitz - who asked me the following in the comments section of my last posting.  "Curious - do you find in your commute that everyone uses their headlights in the twilight hours or fog? I've noticed lately how many people can't be bothered to turn theirs on for safety."

This morning was foggy.  Although lucky for me, half (21 miles) of my morning 40 mile commute is on a two lane road.  It's more or less straight so the bracing air in the morning keeps me more awake than coffee ever could.  Generally speaking traffic is travelling with me this time of day, by the time I hit the two and three lane roads closer to downtown Tampa the fog normally is burned off.  Some try to pass me and I let them with no complaints.  It's not the day to let Kimmie flex her muscles.

Photo Copyright Steve Williams
Cars do come out of the gray on the two lane road, usually with the lights on.  Zephyrhills is a good place to live, but the population is mostly retirees.  So they either have the newer model cars with the automatic lights or are not out at all this time of day.  Unlike my fellow Pennsylvanian Steve Williams I take no joy of riding in fog.  While I will admit to a sense of otherworldly-ness and a wonder at the beauty of nature when it's wrapped in gossamer sheaths...I still prefer the safety of seeing, and of being seen when riding my bike. 

Still though, it's lovely to ride past the open fields of Central Florida looking at trees that seem to exist in a perpetual dream like state...or listen to the low bellow of a cow barely seen.  The sun is on my left, low enough to dance between the trees but not high enough yet to burn off the fog.

Is it any wonder why so many motorcyclists seem to be philosophers, poets, writers or photographers?  How do you capture beauty?  A moment?  How does time slow down at 65 MPH?  

Traffic is a little heavier than normal as I turn towards town and my waiting job.  I shiver a bit as a truck passes me and catches me in the turbulence for a moment.  I tilt my visor up some to clear the mist off my visor and the morning air smells of exhaust...ah, life in the city.  
My ride is an interesting one.  Taking me over the Hillsborough River and past the Lowry Park Zoo and I swear I hear a lion roaring every morning as I ride past.    Around a bend that somehow always seems to surprise me even though I know it's there.  I cross over four rail tracks in total.  

Tampa and it's river.  

By the end of the day I'm mentally wasted.  My new job is challenging, interesting, difficult as I use skills and muscles I've not used in years.  I'm a lot of things to a lot of people now and not just "technical support".

I look forward on getting back on the bike although it's been windy and wet most of the day.  I debate putting on the rain gear, but in the end decide not to.  I'm not on the bike long before the day fades away.  

I look forward to passing the zoo, the river (again glancing over to see boats and docks and lights glimmering off the water), those tracks.  That stupid bend...then before you know it I'm back into the green that I love.  The sun is on the other side now, low enough to dance across the fields where cows continue to bellow and a lone tree stands in resistance to the developer.  By the time I get home Susan has dinner on, we chat about the day.  We settle in with our books, games, TV, the computer or just a talk about what ever in on our minds.

We sit out on the lanai, why Floridians use a Hawaiian word for "porch" I will never know, and drink iced tea.  Tipper and Sparky, our two rescued cats, are at our feet or looking at the birds eating at the feeders.  Night comes early this time of year.  I am content.

I think about the day, the fog and rain.  Being enveloped by bad weather just means that you have to find your way out of it.  You have to be smart, safe, careful and then, you reach your goal.  You have to pay attention to the beauty on the way there.  You have to be thankful for it.  


Trobairitz said...

Oh know. Will I forever be known as "the conjurer of the fog"?

It still surprises me how many don't use headlight around here. I wish daytime running lights were mandatory on all vehicles. They have been on all cars sold in Canada since the early 80's. On our motorcycles and scooters we always have to have our lights on, but not big grey and black vehicles hiding in the fog.

Sitting on the porch/lanai with the kitties sounds like a perfect way to end the day.

Canajun said...

Good post. I think bikers, much more than car drivers, will see and savor the beauty that is everywhere around us when on the road. And not even the fog can negate that.

The City Mouse in the Country said...

A guy named "Andy" posted this and for some odd reason it's not showing here here go. Sorry about that Andy.

"I loved the fog in Central Florida, especially the straight County roads. The curves, though, are pretty scary sometimes when vehicles are coming toward you. The lights on a scoot seem paltry at that time, trying to shout, "Beware!! I am here!!!"

David Masse said...

There certainly is something universal about two-wheeled commutes. Nicely described Rob. That's my workday, right there. In fact, Susan makes our dinner too, and does a fine job.