I parked my truck at the junction of the county road and the nasty two-track that leads to the easement. My plan was to ride my bike the five miles to the easement since there was no way that I could get there by truck, even in 4-wheel drive. We'd been doused with heavy rain for days and I didn't want to take any chances getting stuck.
My route followed the Pony Express and Oregon Trails.
The thing about fresh green cowshit is that when it dries it sticks to everything like cement - it's nearly impossible to spray off a bike frame. And you can't get the smell out of your nose.
I went off-road through the sagebrush prairie to avoid the worst of it. But sometimes there was just no avoiding it because the prairie was just as wet as the road.
It didn't take long for me to get to my destination on the Sweetwater River - it's all downhill. Much of the Sweetwater River in this area is part of a BLM Wilderness Study Area and it feels very remote and wild. I've never seen another human out here in all my 12 years of visiting the place.
I took the requisite photos for the easement visit and started the long slog uphill back to the truck. As I rode the sky grew darker and more menacing. I couldn't push myself to ride fast up the steep hills because of a chest cold. I was about to cough up a lung. I did the best I could - I have a healthy fear of lightening. Plus I needed to get the truck back on pavement while I still could. Even the county road would be impassable in heavy rain.
By now I was splattered from head to toe. I could even feel globs of it in my hair - it somehow got through the vents in my bike helmet. I was also chilled, dripping in sweat, and had cut my leg on something. I should get hazard pay.
There's a moment in field work when you spot your truck and know that you're going to make it - despite the fact that you pushed the envelope and/or did something stupid. And you thank the gods that you will see another day to do it all again.
Clouds + No Wind = mosquito and black fly bonanza