Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Drifting between inversion layers

Just before sunrise--the silver is all frost

This morning brought me into the Van Morrison song "Into the Mystic".  It was my last early Wednesday morning ride of the season due to the lengthening darkness and settling cold.  I set out under a crisp, clear sky, surrounded by blackness with only a Turkish crescent moon and the big dipper to guide my way.  I knew forty-five minutes to an hour would be without any natural light--something I always find to be so serene since there are no distractions.  As I dropped into the first valley, the temps went quickly from 32 to around 25.  Although I thought I may be overdressed up high, I quickly realized my feet could have used chemical warmers (I wouldn't feel my feet again until my shower--oh the agony).

Down low, in a valley always plagued by thick fog on summer mornings, I became amused it was somewhat fog free, or at least not a wall.  Instead, where the fog doesn't normally shroud the rich, black earth, it hung so heavy, and froze mid air, and then finally collected all over me.  My eyelashes grew an inch, any hair sticking out of my hat turned white and hoar frost collected on my tights, gloves and arms.  I paused briefly to take a picture, inhaling the scent of burning wood--so sweet I could taste the remnants of sap as it collected and traveled through the ice crystals, finally landing in my nose.

I will admit, there were times I was quite nervous.  I don't like being on roads when I can only see 100 feet in front of me for fear of getting hit.  But there was something so surreal about this morning.  Other than a few short moments after sunrise, the only way I could tell if I was climbing or descending was by the gear I was in and how much effort I had to put out.  There was no way for me to tell where I was even though I've done this route hundreds of times.  I felt like I was drifting between the inversion layers.

Although I am terribly sad to say goodbye to my early Wednesday rides, this was a beautiful send off until next Spring.

Sunrise between inversion layers

This was the only stretch of road completely clear of fog post sunrise

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