Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Stopping by the Arroyo at Night

Where I ride there are places like this

Blasting down the path and it feels like blasting because it's night, it's downhill, it's swoopy, and I'm wearing dress clothes. For some reason the dress clothes make it feel blastier. I flow up over a small rise then down into a low place where the stream crosses in flood time and there's a depth marker 1 2 3 4 5 6 so one can easily gauge how deep the waters running even though anything at or above 1 should be obvious enough to mean STAY OUT DO NOT CROSS.

I bottom out in the low point and start to ride up the small rise on the other side, when it hits me: the post rain perfume of a non-cold desert night, the plants all open and happily full of water, the creosote in particular completely exuberant in their exuding exhaling of mysterious scent of desert. I spin around and go back, point my bike upstream, and close my eyes. Inhale. Hold it in. Exhale. Breathe. It's cool and it's warm at the same moment. There are so many different perfumes and odors assaulting and caressing my sense of scent that it is overwhelmed: after-rain, and a hundred different plants, and something like coyote or other animal that scampers by, flowers just blooming, trees, cactii, wet rocks, damp earth, washed pavement, moldy leaves, apples and why would that be, or citrus yes washed down in the last rain from a yard uphill, and others I don't know just on the edge of almost-smelling. 

I stopped by the arroyo at night, and let some of its perfumes tickle my brain and seed my memory as they also winnowed it. A photo with my light on the rocks. Maybe the best moment for me of this day, and that might mean it was kind of a great day.


  1. Around Texas, such crossings also have a "Turn Around Don't Drown" sign.

    1. ...and yet people still try to drive across when the water is running.


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