Monday, May 19, 2008

Road Ride, Road Kill

death of the slow, slow in death(click image to see big exact detail) a stretch deep in the country east of here on Oak Grove
not yet hit by a car
Rocky River shallows
Yesterday was highlighted by 4.2hrs(73.5mi) on my road bike east of the jar on a route that I had prepared earlier in the morning on the google maps. Using the google maps for route planning seems more productive to me than GPS, I sort of wish I had that feature upgrade on my phone like someone I know. I headed out 24/27 east towards the town of Albermarle before I turned south into the rolling country side and smaller more quiet roads. The ride was basically uneventful for the first 3hrs and I was in good frame of mind understanding where I was and what was going on around me. Out of Stanly County and now into Union County I recognized a road named Sugar and Wine which is where my friend and Himalayan Photographer Jeff Botz has his studio and lives on a farm property. Since he just returned from over 2 months in Nepal I decided to head that way and say hello.
Just before I made the last little turn towards his dirt road I passed the above turtle/road kill. It was a sad sight indeed. There were bits and pieces of it all over the road, including a half dozen small white eggs of which some were in tact but cooking on the hot road surface. It was a mess, total scene of amphibious carnage. The thing was ripped open completely but somehow was still clinging to life. I had no way to help it and I could not find any way to end it's misery. I watched it's one arm reach up towards the sky, pulsing upwards with an open clawed fist. All I could do was take the picture and as I did the turtle seemed to become still, quiet as it entered the light.
It was good to see my friend who made huge strides on this most recent trip to the place he loves, the Himalayas. See the short version is that Jeff is creating a comprehensive Large Format(8x10) portrait of the Himalayas and the surrounding culture. He has made 8 trips since 1972 when he went for the first time and fell in love with what he experienced. Jeff is also trying to get the name of Everest removed and replaced with the original Nepali name of Sagarmatha which means The Stick that turns the Ocean of Existence.
I rolled out of there for the last hour and a half into a direct head wind. For those of you in the area yesterday you know what I am talking about. The wind was huge and I felt like I was battling the entire time to get back to Mecklenberg County. Oh well, it was just time.
Highlight of the ride was about 2hrs in on a narrow country road at the Stanly/Union County lines. The short but steepest descent on the trip got me to 43.5mph at the bottoms! Nothing like 43.5mph on the skinnies!

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