Riding to the river

This week we’re getting record-breaking heat. Not just breaking the day’s record, or even the month’s record, but THIS IS THE HOTTEST WEATHER EVER. (In western WA anyway.) 100 is not a number I really ever want to see on a thermometer. (That’s 37 for y’all in the metric bits of the world.) At the same time, the overnight lows aren’t really all that low either…records are being set for highest lows as well.

The one really great thing about our house is that it has amazing sun exposure. In record-breaking heat, this is also the really horrific thing about it.

Which is to say that yesterday after work, instead of biking north towards home, I biked south and met C at the river. Said river being the Deschutes, which briefly runs alongside the trail about 5 miles south of the office. I discovered this spot either last summer or 2 summers ago, I can’t remember which, on a long random ride out to the middle of nowhere. The trail crosses a road (I don’t know which one!) near there, so it is a bit of a gathering place, altho more obscure than the very popular Pioneer Park, farther down the same river.

I rode reeeeeaaaallllyyyyy slowly; once I got away from development, the surroundings definitely cooled, but it was still quite hot.

The river, on the other hand, was delightfully cool. Most of the waterways around here are damn cold most of the time. Yay glaciers? The spot of the trail was mostly very shallow, a foot or so, and just nice to paddle about in. C had a little spot set up for us on the bank with towels and snacks and beverages. Then I found a deep spot and just bobbed around in the water until I was nice and cool.

While I was there, I had some odd social encounters: a former co-worker, first of all, who didn’t quite recognize me (weight loss, haircut, and HUGE sunglasses); then as we were talking about growing up in So Cal, I met someone from Duarte who knew a bunch of people that I knew in junior high & high school, including someone I hadn’t even really thought about in probably a decade. (K: you remember Margaret B?) It was nice, if weird. Nah, scratch that: it was all nice. One of those moments where remembering was pleasant in itself, and being in my current life felt pretty damn good as well. Sun & trees on the river is always a good thing.

However…when I first got in the water, I took off my bluetooth headset and tossed it towards our stuff, and that was a mistake. The girl with the worst aim in the world strikes again: some lucky squirrel (or whatever) has now got himself a nice little bit of technology. I’m trying to remain philosophical about it. After all, the headset wasn’t that expensive, and I know exactly what model it was. So I suppose sometime soon I’ll get a replacement. Or I’ll buy a cheap little phone that actually works as a phone, as compared to my mega-brick with the mostly-dead screen.

On the surreal side, we stopped at Carl’s Jr on the ride home. It is, weirdly, convenient to the trail, and we both have become fond of their taco salads, I suppose because they have the deep-fried shells. (mmmmm, deep-fried tortilla….) Only it took FOREVER. I got my shake, C got his “extra” sandwich, then eventually the manager came & apologized, and (I think) said they were out of beans. So he gave us a refund. Only while we were finishing up, he appeared with fresh taco salads! Huzzah for free dinner.

The ride home was lovely, right as the sun was setting, although as we came back into civilization, the heat cranked back up. There are a few spots on the trail where you can just coast for what seems like half a mile or more, and then the wind just cools you off while you cruise along in companionable silence. (Or silly chitchat. Whichever.) And the one thing I will say about hot weather around here: at least there’s lots of trees to hide under.

Alas, the house was still blazing, even after sunset. It took a cold washcloth on the back of my neck to get to sleep, even after another glass of water and a tepid shower. Today is more of the same, and tomorrow after that. Planning on another ride to the river tonight. (I haven’t put the cyclometer on the xtracycle yet. At this rate, I’ll’ve clocked easily 100 miles by the end of the week.) Accuweather is saying we might be back under 90 by the weekend, thank goodness.

One Reply to “Riding to the river”

  1. Hey,
    I heard about the heat in fact for two days Olympia and Portland were hotter then us in Altadena. Sorry about the headset yes throwing might not have been the best idea but don’t squirrels need bluetooth too. 🙂 Glad you found a way to cool off.

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