Date: March 3
March mileage: 28.7
Temperature upon departure: 31
Tough ride today, for a town ride. It included:
1.) three miles of ice bolderfield
3.) 5.0-magnitude earthquake (OK. That actually happened while I was still at work.)
4.) random, balance-threatening blasts of sidewind off the Bay
5.) more traffic than usual (The Salty Dawg Saloon opened for the season today. I don't understand the big deal, as this is the first time it has actually been open since I moved here, but the number of vehicles parked in the vicinity of that little shack made me wonder if the Academy Awards moved north.)
7.) slush trail
8.) nearly endo-ing after plowing into a deep snow drift at 15 mph (I just assumed it was fairly solid. But ... it wasn't.)
10.) arriving home looking like I took a swim in a coal-mining tailings pond.
There were also a large number of state trooper vehicles lurking around. It was a grim reminder of tragedy, which, even without the air of sensationalism, violence and questionable judgment, always hits a small town hard.
And as a resident of a small town, it hits me hard. I know these cops. They stop into my office. They joke with the reporters. The wheel their kids around Safeway. To imagine them locked in the crossfire ... arms outstretched ... guns drawn ... high school choir students gathering at the airport window ... the wide-eyed gaze of the toddler in the passenger's seat ...
It takes observers to a level that's far away from the Channel 5 top story or some overblown episode of CSI. It's not loud or fast or filled with fire. It's quiet - eerily quiet - in the aftermath, and beneath the silence are answers no one will ever find.