In the darkness, it was calm, the air barely moving, clear and frigid. The silver light glinted from the stars overhead, their cold hardness rivaled only by diamonds. It was quiet in the dark night as it wheeled toward dawn, and the temperature continued to drop. By morning, a thin skin of frost covered the grass and the leaves of trees, and a rime of ice lined the water that had pooled after the storm two nights previous. Just before dawn, it grew very cold, and for a breathless moment, in the hush before the movement toward light, time stood still.
I awoke to steel gray daylight seeping under the blinds. I stirred under the covers. I reached an arm out of the warmth to turn on the small heater next to the bed, and rolled over, entangled, my hair soft and warm, wrapping around my head Medusa-like. It and my skin smelled of vanilla, thanks to lotion made locally and provided by the motel where we were staying. I was half asleep, cradled in the fuzzy consciousness of that shadow and gold moment before wakefulness. I wanted to stay there, as I wanted to stay in Glenwood, forever.
Alas, I had to emerge from the cocoon of warmth, dress, and then have a quick cup of coffee on the porch with my riding partner before we gathered up our things and packed the car and trailer. I sat on the porch for the last time this trip, my breath blowing out in white puffs, and I was glad for my woolly hat. I put my motocross gloves on because I didn’t have anything else, and put on my shades. I wanted to at least look like a real adventure rider.
After we loaded the bikes onto the trailer, we headed north on 180 and found ourselves at Alma Grill once again, same breakfast, different day. I could get used to this really easily.
“Is it just me, or are the kids really well-behaved here?” asked Hal, looking around at the families in the restaurant. I had noticed that as well. No kids were being unruly and loud, nor were they roaming all over the restaurant annoying other people. They were eating quietly with their families, and behaving themselves.
“Well, that’s how it is in a small town,” I said, thinking of Hilary Clinton’s remark about ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and wondering why she was so vilified for making it.
Our favorite waitress, spunky little Rebecca, waited on us again today and did an excellent job for the second day in a row. We finished our food, paid, and then I went next door to Alma Store so I could buy some Creamy Vanilla lotion to take home, to take with me the scent that always brings me right back to Glenwood, at least in my heart.
Sadly, we pulled out of Glenwood at about 10:30 for the long car ride home. It was a pleasant, if uneventful, ride home, and I only regret that we didn’t stop just outside St. Thomas so I could take a photograph that I really wanted. It was of an unassuming little farmhouse surrounded by trees with gilded leaves, set back behind a field of unharvested cotton bursting from the plants and making the whole field look white. I had seen it on the way to Glenwood, but didn’t know exactly where it was, and by the time I saw it we were already past it. The sky wasn’t nearly as dramatic as it had been on Friday, so it didn’t quite have the drama it might have under the changeable overcast.
We gassed up in Globe, then went all the way home. Hal dropped me off at home at about 3:30, and I had enough time to unpack, do laundry, and clean up the bike before I put it away.
It’s always hard to come back to Earth and blend back in to normal life after such a wonderful time, but that is what I had to do. Work loomed in the morning, and the niceness of the trip seemed to disappear into the mundane with barely a ripple.
All the more reason to make the next adventure come soon.