Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Whereupon things take a turn for the better. At least for a while.

It occurs to me that based on the last blog post, any faithful readers I have left have surmised that I’m still riding around blithely in the Malheur forest in Burns. Which might not actually be such a bad thing, really. I could become a legend, like the Yeti, spoken of in hushed whispers and appearing out of the shadows only when a hard cider or pez or some other delectable is available. But I digress.

Given that it’s been longer than I thought since my last post, and I have NOT in fact been in the forest all this time, I thought it would be wise to write the conclusion to my tale. Behold.
* * * * * * *

Now, if this were a romcom or if my life were anything other than the clusterfuck that it typically is, this would be where my bleary eyes would see someone on horseback coming towards me, off in the distance, but first I’m startled by a rampaging herd of….baby goats, say…….who knock me into a shallow pond which is not all muck and mud, and I’m sitting there adorably disheveled when who should ride up but Hot Cowboy himself.

This is not what happened.

Instead, I honest-to-god see up ahead Rage Cows. Unfettered. Out in the wild. The first one sturdily goes from the trees on the right side of the narrow gravel road to the left side, as I stare at him, mouth agape. I at least understand the import of this: There. Are. Rage. Cows. Not. Behind. A. Fence.

A few more trundle by, like a mirage, which hey, maybe it is? It’s been a long day, after all. But then, what (or who) do I see walking down the road towards me?

Nope, yet again, NOT Hot Cowboy. Rather, it’s an old man, probably in his 80s. I assume he lives nearby or is parked somewhere and is wondering if this silly-ass person (me) is lost and needs help.

Older Man: Howdy!
Me: Hello there!
OM: So, my wife and I are lost and were wondering if you could help us out.

I…..what? How the hell did they even GET to this extremely remote spot to even BE lost?

I then see their truck off to the right, pulled off into a little gravel side area. As we walk over, he explains to me that he and his wife are from Idaho and like to go on weekend treks to look for wildlife, and somehow they wound up here with no idea where they are. They’re well-prepared, and irony of ironies, offer me WATER. TONS of water! And sandwiches and snacks and so on. We wind up chatting and it turns out they’re beekeepers, who sell honey. Yes, I’ve run into little old beekeeper couple and they’re absolutely wonderful. They show me pictures of what they’ve seen – a baby bear and bounding bighorn sheep – and I show them my Rage Cows. It seems like an even trade.
We then have the conversation that I seem to have quite a lot in this part of the state.

OM: So you’re out here all by yourself?
Me: Yeah, I like to go on long bike rides by myself as far away from people as possible.
OM: You should carry a gun.

It is at this point that I decide fine, I’m getting a gun. If the people who live here keep telling me this, who am I to argue? This, in spite of the fact that in Oregon I’ve never had problems, while in Illinois I was almost run down by the meth-crackhead lady, and in Wisconsin was almost run down by the runaway pickup truck that the guy who kidnapped his mom jumped out of before he ran into the bar called Knuckleheads and wound up tazed by the cops after he started trying to stab people.

No, I am not making this up.

And oddly enough, while we’re chatting, we see the only 2 pickups I’ve seen on this road at all (other than the police car and the firetruck), each with several sketchy-looking guys, driving past us. Did I meet this sweet old couple right before I would have been shivved? Who knows. But it’s weird.

The lovely couple, Bill and Judy, give me a ride in their truck over the few miles of gravel road, and before we part ways, they give me jars of honey! This is why bike jerseys have back pockets, so they can be stuffed full with all sorts of happy things. And I miraculously know how to direct them back to civilization 395, so all is well in their world as well.

I wave goodbye, and continue. Onward.

(to be continued)

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