Sunday, December 14, 2008

Moonlight Magic!

Two nights ago I had to run to the bank at about 10:00 at night. The moon was full, the air was crisp and clear, and it was truly a joy to be alive and on two wheels, as I indulged my recent hobby of seeking out as many mid-block shortcuts as possible between my house and West Hartford center. It was fun, it was muddy, and the only thing missing was the BBB crew, so yesterday, I got on the intertubes and sent the word out: Tonight, we ride!

As it happened, Chillwill had a party to attend in West Hartford, and Lucas was celebrating his special lady's birthday at the Spigot, so the stars aligned: A couple of folks swung by the spigot, a couple of folks came straight over, and by 10:30, Joel, Will, Brendan, Rich, and I were at la Casa Presidencial, having consumed a beer, some wine, and a slice of pumpkin pie a piece. Properly fortified against the late Fall chill, we embarked.

We started with my favorite shortcut: Behind Sedgwick Middle School on Sedgwick Road in W.H., there is a very steep, short hill that leads down to some soccer fields. Then at the far corner of the soccer fields, there is a shaded alley that leads through to the next street. Truthfully, there is no better time to traverse this than a freezing, moonlit night: The muddy field is crunchy, the bright sky makes it (fairly) easy to see and avoid random benches (of which there are a few), and, well, it's fun and pretty. I think only Joel wiped out going down the hill.

After emerging on Lemay Street, we went over to Farmington Ave., then jogged over to Pleasant Street so we could cut north through Fernridge Park and take Fern west. Fernridge Park at night, by the way, was great. There were big, swampy, frozen puddles that crunched and crackled delightfully underwheel.

When Fern crosses Mountain Road, it turns into Hunter Drive, which is important because the name change is a signal to those in the know that the street is changing from a place where you'd like to have a nice bike ride on a cold night after a few beers to a place where there is a big-ass hill that makes you sweat too much for your warm clothing and wonder why the hell you signed up for this goddamn route. But it's all good. We got to the top of the hill and went into the reservoir.

Inside the reservoir trails it was really quiet and nice, but there were lots of icy patches, which Joel graciously found by wiping out on them. We looped here and there before stopping beside the reservoir and throwing pebbles along its thinly iced surface, making strange, skittering noises as the ice groaned and shifted. It sounded more or less like morse code messages tapped out on a high-tension bridge-suspension cable, but with Will and me making mom jokes in the background. In short, nature's majesty at its finest.

After a healthy dose of nature contemplation (including many shooting stars!), we headed out to Canal Road, which is a bike path, that runs parallel to Mountain road about a half-mile up the mountain. Presumably, it used to have a canal of the sort one might use for moving barges full of beaver pelts or something, but now it has a tiny little canal, suitable only for moving twelve-packs or medium-sized cats on barges to all points inland. Brendan left us at this point, but we soldiered on to Slider's party.

Amazingly, when we arrived at midnight the party was basically over but for a few stragglers. There was a guy there who saw my Brooklyn sweatshirt and asked if I was from Brooklyn. When I said yes, he said, "Well fuckety fuck fuck," which I thought was an allusion to Brooklynites' famous propensity for profanity. It turns out he just likes to say "fuckety fuck fuck," because he said it again and again while we nursed beers by the fire. He sometimes also addressed people as "Dick Dog." There were also other people there, though none quite as amusing. Also, cookies. We stayed till 2:30. That is all.


Brendan said...

It's good thing I didn't go to the party. A hangover would have cause me to crash into even more than the six or so trees I hit today.

Anonymous said...

It was a nice surprise for your small, yet potent, group of 4 to stop by our midnight party...I hope that you guys know y'all are always welcome in ChillWill's absence. Can't promise "dickdog's" presence, but what always is here: warmth, beverages, and elfen outfits of cheap felt!
-out: Slider