24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

We took a walk, my dog and I, early in the morning Christmas Eve. The last few weeks, we have been overwhelmed with record snowfall and today looked as though it was going to be the only day with weather calm enough to let my German shepherd stretch her legs with a brief walk. Flicka’s leash in one hand, my camera in the other, we set a casual pace down a narrow lane in the first blue light of the morning; searching for a subject suitable for a holiday theme that I could post here.

This was the calm between two storms, the next arriving this afternoon, and hitting us hard on Christmas day. We will most certainly have a white Christmas this year.

There was no wind yet, not even a whisper of a breeze up in the snow covered pines that stood alongside the narrow path. I say path, it is actually a road out in the country, plowed wide enough to allow only a single vehicle at a time, a farmers access to something, most likely. The only sound, other than the crunching of the snow beneath my feet was a chittering squirrel up in the trees. An obese looking little creature with his winter fur and round belly, his athleticism was still respectable as he soared from limb to limb, dislodging the snow from the boughs with every landing. Too far away to photo, but his aerobatics were entertaining nonetheless.

As we walked, searching for a subject with a Christmas oriented theme, I thought back on the past year; of beginning this online journal with a focus towards motorcycles. I knew very little of blogging or of what to expect, therefore, I expected nothing; the only difference in respect to what I have always done with my journaling is that now I post some of my stuff here. What I discovered was a diverse community of people with similar interests from everywhere, sharing their experiences where ever they ride. What a concept.

I have enjoyed reading about new riders like Cecilie Hoffman early on when she first began her blog years ago and continued reading as she progressed in her skills and travels. I have found myself beholden to the instruction and counsel that Irondad has offered in his posts through the years, I’m always learning something there. Steve Williams and Alessandro Melillo for their writing and photography; I could go on, and I did in my thoughts as Flicka and I navigated the narrow country lane, down the side of a hill onto the valley floor below.

By now the sun had risen and as we rounded a curve in the road, we came upon a lone barn nestled up along the forest’s edge at the south end of the valley. It was here that the plowed road ended, a few hundred feet from the barn. For whatever reason, whoever plowed the way here to this valley floor had stopped, we did too. We stood there for a few minutes and watched the sunrise in this snow covered valley, at some point, a breeze developed and began to gently push on the back of my hooded jacket, I took this picture.

Lone Barn on the valley floor

We stayed a little while longer and then we turned our faces into the crisp breathe of winter and followed our tracks home.

Merry Christmas from the Palouse country to all of the new friends that I have made here in the past year, from the Turkish Coast to Canada and all points in between, God to you all.



Two Buck said...

That's a beautiful shot.

Lance said...

Merry Christmas Earl - it is great to read your journaling, and I agree, this blog community is pretty special.

fasthair said...

Mr. ET: I've enjoyed meeting you in the crazy wonderful world of the blog. You're writing and photos are truly something I enjoy and look forward to. Thank you for sharing them with us.

This picture is worth the cover of a Christmas card! And with that I wish you and Flicka a very Merry Christmas and a new year filled with great motorcycles rides and adventures.


bobskoot said...


I too have met wonderful people, and I am a recent entrant in the world of Blogging. We have been travelling the backroads of the Pacific Northwest for many years and I thought it time to share our adventures, whether it be by motorcycle, scooter or car, however with a greater emphasis on anything with only 2 wheels. Keep up your good work.

R.G. said...

I enjoy your blog immensely. I recall your post about riding through the stifling heat. One extreme to the other I guess.

Heinz N Frenchie said...

What a wonderful image you have given us along with inspired writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and travels with us this past year. Wishing you a healthy and happy 2009 with many good rides.

Steve Williams said...

I hope Christmas found you and yours in good spirit. Reading your post reminded me of how much I enjoyed walking my dog Essa through snowy woods and fields. Time has rendered her back legs weak and our walks are short now. She did get a pair of shoes for her back feet with lugged Vibram soles for better traction though.

Your photograph is serene. Now I just want to see pictures of Flicka...

Have a great New Year!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. E.T.:

I found the link to your blog compliments of Bobscoot's Wet Coast Skootin'. I ride a 1995 BMW K75 and am based in southeastern Pennsylvania. The snow has yet to hit us like it has whacked you, but we have had ice, freezing rain, or very cold temperatures for the last month.

The first case of cabin fever has been reported here, with symptoms of vampirism becoming manifest in my significant other.

I just read you most recent post -- with that great picture of the barn -- and was soothed by your philosophical approach to winter. I used to live in Lake Placid, Ny, where winter is a six-month affair, and learned to love the cold and blowing snow. But I didn't any better then.

I have discovered I can do with less shoveling and more riding. I have met some very interesting friends and fellow riders though blogging. I look forward to your next post.

Fondest regards,
Jack Riepe

irondad said...

Thank you for the kind mention. Thanks, especially, for writing about the squirrel. I've always said it was possible to have a round belly and still be athletic!

Best wishes for 2009.