Ride Hard: Winding Forest Roads

Not long after we’d had our Sunday breakfast we headed off on a drive along some of the windiest forest roads I’d ever been on. The Mustang and Jack handled the roads well with both caution and relatively ease at the same time, if that is possible. Yet again I was glad we hadn’t brought the bikes because I really didn’t think I had the effort and concentration that the snaking roads really deserved.

We stopped several times on our journey, once for a mountain pass lookout which Jack said had it been a clear day we’d have been able to see nearly all the way to the city, but because of the cloud cover our visibly was down to about thirty or forty miles. We also stopped at a small town which consisted of no more than ten shops and four of them were local craft shops, which we of course visited because I wanted too!

Jack had been to the small town before and it was his choice that we have lunch in the little diner that sat smack bang in the middle of all the other shops. As usual when it came to food Jack knew exactly what he was talking about and lunch really was a wonderful meal made from mostly local ingredients apparently.

Just like Jack was usually right about food he was also right with his weather prediction, at least he was right with the bit where he copied the weather man and said it was going to rain. We could actually see it approaching from the city before it arrived.

“Rain is coming!” Jack said pointing towards the sky from where we were sitting outside the small diner enjoying what was a lovely day.

“Wow, you are better than the weather man, you do your weather reports complete with pictures!” I said looking at the direction he was pointing.

“Yeah it’s a skill. It’s also a warning that if we don’t want to get wet we probably should head back to the cabin.”

“How long do you think it’s got until it gets here?” I asked.

“Hard to say without knowing what’s pushing it but usually less than an hour.”

“And how long is it back to the cabin?”

“About thirty minutes.” Jack was already getting up from his seat with his wallet in his hand. “I’ll be back in a minute.

Jack obviously got caught talking inside the diner as he paid the bill because his minute was more like three but I wasn’t worried I was still sitting at the table enjoying the view and finishing the last of my coffee. When he finally came out I asked him if we had time to drop back into one of the stores we’d seen so I could get something.

“Sure, we’ve got time. Even if we don’t get back to the cabin before the rain it’s not like we are on the bikes, we’ve got a roof over our head!”

“Roof on not I think I’d rather be off those roads in the rain.” I said thinking about the windy roads we’d traveled up on.

“Yeah that’s a good point. The Mustang is a sure footed beast but wet roads can bring anyone undone, it only takes one idiot and even the ‘Stang can’t control other idiots!” Jack smiled as he spoke. “What do you want to get anyway? We can come back before we leave to go home. I kind of like eating at this place.”

The thing I was hoping to go back for was a little surprise I had spotted before lunch. I didn’t really want Jack to know about it and I really did want to get it while we were there in case we found something else to do during the week and didn’t return. But I also didn’t want to tell Jack what it was so that meant I had to go into the shop by myself. I decided I couldn’t just make up any excuse, excuses were just not my forte, so I told him the truth.

“I saw something before lunch that I wanted to get for you, but I wanted it to be a surprise. Just in case we don’t get back here I’m going to get it now. But you are not allowed to come into the shop and you are not allowed to peek.”

“Awe that’s not fair!” Jack’s sad act was pretty good but I wasn’t buying it.

“Promise me you’ll let me keep it as a surprise.”

Still acting well Jack offered a very reluctant okay and told me he’d wait for me in the car.

Mindful of the time I dashed into the shop which was three down from the diner, I trusted Jack so I didn’t bother looking back over my shoulder as I went into the store. Inside the store I made my selection then spoke to the lady behind the counter for a moment as I paid. The lady put my purchase inside a nice gift bag, which was bigger than the item giving the illusion that the item might have been larger than it was, I then thanked her, said goodbye and I headed out the door and to the car where Jack was waiting.

Just after we got back to the cabin as predicted the heavens opened up on us. Jack had been very diligent in getting us dry fire wood, he been very diligent in making sure that we had candles within easy reach, because apparently the power sometimes goes out in storms, and he’d been very diligent in reminding me that I didn’t need to be scared of storms.

I wasn’t actually afraid of storms and I didn’t actually remember telling Jack I was but it was funny to see the way he turned into “Macho Jack” when he spoke about protecting me. The first time I saw “Macho Jack” that afternoon when the first clap of thunder rattled the place I thought he was a bit over the top, but the second, third and fourth time I started to realize he wasn’t being serious he was being cute.

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