On the road to the autumn forest


As I packed for this dirt bike riding trip, I pulled things out of my closet, cold weather clothes that I hadn’t seen for a while but wanted to see. I happened to look down at the “shoe mess” on the floor of my (too small) closet. What was making it a mess was the plastic grocery bag of sandals that was taking up room where my boots should be. Realization hit me then. It’s October, I thought, I no longer have to wear sandals, or anything else associated with summer, if I don’t want to. Trust me, I don’t want to.

I grabbed the broken bag, let all the sandals spill out, and then stuck them all in a sturdier shopping bag. I tied the top of it closed, then took it out and threw it into a smaller hall closet. Out of sight, out of mind. This pleased me to no end, and I paired and straightened all my boots. No longer did they have to put up with the insulting presence of the sandals, at least until next May.

Why was I packing for a trip? you ask. Well, it is time once again for me to escape for a few days and return to Alpine. Yes, I marveled, I can have it all back! The dirt bike trails, the beautiful forest, the favorite restaurants, the thrift store, Western Drug and General Store, along with everything else in and around Alpine and Springerville that I love so much. It was and is a wonderful feeling.

Friday afternoon, Hal and I piled our gear into his new (to him) Nissan Xterra and drove effortlessly to Alpine. The Xterra climbed almost without any effort, and we were there in record time. It was dark and cold when we got there, too, in the 40s F. Nice! I put on almost all the warm clothes that I had brought, and I was warm.

It’s going to be a wonderful few days of riding and escape from the heat. And, I hope, some beautiful fall color to see and photograph.

Tomorrow: In search of gold

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