Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh deer!

11.25 miles
43 degrees
24 mph winds

I was much better prepared for the cold weather today but I knew I was going to be in trouble when I started flying down the road effortlessly at 27 mph. I had a nice tailwind that would turn into a strong and cold head wind on my way back to the office. I took advantage of the tailwind and got to Two Moon Park as quickly as I could, leaving more time to play at the park. Since I was traveling so fast to get to the park I wasn't about to slow down once I got there either, not until I encountered my first dog that is. It was a huge Great Dane, luckily on a leash. I was at a Y intersection in the trail an opted for the trail without the huge beast. It didn't matter though. There seemed to be dogs and walkers on every trail I took so I started taking some of the smaller, unmarked single-track trails.

I was having a grand ol' time and again burst out of the woods into a clearing and standing before me about 100 feet away was that same 4 point buck from a couple days prior. In fact, I was in the same clearing that he startled me in. He didn't seem to care that I was there and didn't budge from his location on the trail. I slowed down and saw something to the left of me. A doe, another doe, then a huge 6 point buck staring me down from thirty feet away directly to my left. I stopped to watch. The buck wasn't budging and wasn't taking his eyes off of me. He then leaned forward ever so slightly and tilted his rack towards me, not aggressively but enough for me to get the hint. 'Keep moving.' I slowly rode passed the smaller buck who longer was paying any attention to me and got out of there.

I still had plenty of time left to goof off so I headed back deep into the park jumping from trail to trail until I ended up back at the same clearing. This time I entered more cautiously. The deer had moved back behind a group of trees but I could see them quite clearly. This time I counted six deer, two bucks and four does. I moved on quickly to do one more loop of the park.

As time ran out, I decided to try the outer trail to get back. I came out into a clearing where I could see the rim wall with the paved trail on top. Then I saw it, a small dirt trail leading all the way up. I decided to try it. I worked through the rough trail to get to the wall, shifted all the way down and started up the steep climb. I was pedaling like mad when, BUMP, my back tire hit something in the grass just hard enough for me to take my foot off the pedal. It was all over. I had lost my momentum and couldn't start up again on the hill. I turned aroud to head back when I saw another small trail heading back in the general direction I wanted to go. It didn't take me long to realize that this was an animal trail an not a mountain bike trail. I soon ended up in some marshy terrain with tall grass and decided I'd had enough. Time to turn back. As I hopped off the bike to turn around I saw another doe just inside the thicket staring right at me, then slowly walk off.

I slowly worked my way back to the trail through the tall grass. All of the sudden I heard some thrashing up ahead. Something had startled three does up on top of the rims and they started racing down the hill infront of me with their white tails raised high. "That's 10 deer for the day," I thought. I finally made it back to the trail, looked at my clock and realized I was really late. I bolted back down the trail. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something. Another buck, this time a two point, with a doe. There are deer everywhere. Twelve deer today. I swear I'm going to hit one someday. Maybe I need to get one of those deer whistles you stick on the hood of your car and mount it on my helmet. I already look ridiculous in all of my bike gear anyway. What's one more accessory?

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