It’s early and I’m already up. My body is still on Mountain time and I’m awake as very early melts into early. I have to be on the road in a couple of short hours, an eight hour drive across a still sleeping, unconscious, Washington State.
I’ve already surveyed my motel room twice. I can’t shake the feeling of sleeping in a somewhat unfinished basement, the kind that you would have sleepovers in as a kid. The bright floral blanket on my bed clashes with the monotone, grey, futon next to it, and neither fit with the walls’ wood trim. The carpet might be red too, but it’s early enough that I can’t tell. My mind isn’t tuned for details this early in the morning. I have coffee brewing in the yellow kitchenette. The coffee machine is sitting next to an electric boot drying rack and a Park bicycle repair stand, complimentary in every room. While the coffee machine gurgles I pour over a trail map, also complimentary. I can say one thing for sure; this motel sure knows what its priorities are.
A Clif bar and a swig of motel coffee later I’m out the door. The trailhead to Drakes starts right behind the motel. Literally right behind it. As I said, this motel knows where its priorities are. Rolling on Drakes, there’s nothing that I would consider overly challenging, but this early in the day I don’t think there needs to be. I’m looking for fun, not hard, and that’s what I get.
Rolling up a small rise on your mountain bike as the sun crests the mountain in front of you is a pretty good way to wake up. At the next intersection I take the right towards Doukhobor Draw. Taking the left would bring me to Tamarack, and I have the feeling that doing so would get in the way of this fun ride. There are days when I would much rather ride fun and moderate over challenging and technical. I’m having fun on Doukhobor so why mess with a good thing? And besides, I like the name. Doukhobor Draw turns out to be a series of switchbacks over slightly rocky terrain twisting in the forest. Very fun.
And then I end up back at that road. That long, long road. I put my head down and settle in for a 30 minute spin back to the motel. In this particular instance I don’t mind the extra climb. On a day like today any extra time on the bike is a blessing. I still have a long drive ahead of me, but my day has started out right.