Sunday, a very nice October day, bluebird skies and time to get out. The forecast even a couple of days ago was looking good so on Friday I pulled the Honda 400Auto out from its deep spot in the garage and after a bit of cranking, fired it up. Chain adjusted, a spot of air in both tires and it was ready. Gassed up at 80 miles in the middle of a very cool and dark 20 mile ride, I had high hopes for Sunday.
My Uncle Glen bought this Honda brand new from the once mighty Frontenac Cycles; I keep his key fob on the bike and think of him every time I ride it.
Friday's ride, harvest brown and harvest busy everywhere, primarily soybeans so far.
Today's ride...warmer....sunnier and we're slowly getting to the Craziest Darn Thing. GPS says 99 miles, as if planned.
The corn picker finishing the row really caught my eye....so I stopped and watched, then decided to pull the drone out. Counting on him making another round, he did not so all I captured from the sky was him pulling out of the field and heading for home with his wagon full.
I realized at this stop how appropriate a cup of coffee would be so I made one.
Stockholm pie (and coffee) wasn't far away at this point but I decided to be and stay self-sufficient. My coffee and my Frosted Strawberry 'tart, topped off with a handful of trail mix hit the spot. Properly social distanced too, the mask stayed in the tankbag!
So here's the crazy part, finally!!
I often come upon birds of prey on my travels, literally sneaking up on them with my quiet, slow bikes on the forested gravel roads. We saw one last weekend up north, that one a hawk that uses the 'channel' of the road to gain enough speed to finally gain enough altitude to get out of our/my way. Today was no different, not that part anyway.
Today it was an eagle, confirmed early though for a second or two I thought it was a turkey vulture. Nope, it was a young eagle. Slow to start and slow to gain velocity, it flew ahead of me, no more than 25' feet off the ground, working hard to stay in front. We went quite a ways that way, around not only one corner but a second one, almost as if it was a game. Finally and suddenly, it rose and settled in a high tree branch, essentially in the road's canopy. I craned my neck, looked right at it sitting in the branch, hoping beyond all hope that my helmet cam (30 second intervals) would capture it, knowing full well that was nigh impossible.
It seemed like we made eye contact.
Riding past I was pleased about the close encounter and suddenly I caught movement out of the corner of my eye, startling me. My eagle was flying right beside me, helmet high. 10 seconds, 15, then it passed me, flew up ahead and settled right by the Stop sign at the fork in the road.
I stopped, pulled out my phone and we both watched each other for a number of minutes. Then it rose and flew up to the left, the direction I was going. I started the Honda, rounded the corner and the bird had again landed along the right side of the road so I stopped again, remembering that I had my real camera along.
I got the feeling that the eagle had more patience than I and finally only flew away when a car was approaching, this time into the woods to a place I couldn't see.
Goat Back Road. These used to be 3 dogs here, reliably. First the 2 smaller ones would come out and then the big boy would surprise. Fortunately, a thing of the past.
Back in Old Frontenac...
And finally, around home....