Today was an amazing day. Ed went for his morning ride to the ski hill while the kids and I "slept in" (until 7:15 today!!). Ed and Sam had talked about going mountain biking later in the day and Ed has wanted me to come along for the longest time. So I called my brother and sister-in-law of whom were going to be home and would love to play with the smallest one of our family. Bikes were loaded, GU was distributed in the bladder packs and off we went.
I was actually pretty nervous about riding. Last time I was out there (2 years ago? 3 years ago? I can't quite remember) I clipped some trees with my handle bars and went off. Sam has been out there more times than I have. Also, I have heard many stories of guys throwing up, others who have broken bones, concussions, and have seen many pictures of gashes and flowing blood. So, yeah, I was scared. This was also the first time I've ridden off road with clip shoes. THAT was my biggest fear. I think I pictured myself every way possible of what would happen if I wasn't able to unclip my shoes from the pedals. Falling down a hill. Falling into the stream. Running over Sam. Going head first into a tree (that had happened this morning to one of the guys Ed rode with), breaking bones, flipping over the handle bars, scraping flesh off exposed body parts (it's only a flesh wound!). So yes, I had worked myself into a fine mess.
We dropped off the Little Miss, drove a bit to the bike parking lot and started on our way.
Sam lead, Ed was the middle and I brought up the rear. 30 seconds into the woods I hear this screaming. I thought it was Sam saying "HEEEEYYYYYYY!!!!" and both Ed and I said, "What Sam?". The 2nd time we heard it, we thought it was a bird. The 3rd time, both Ed and I stopped as we heard it loud and clear coming from a spot we just passed. it was a continuous scream. We hopped off our bikes, told Sam to stop and started heading towards the noise.
This is what we found.
We're pretty sure it was born that morning as it was still wobbly on it's legs. Isn't this the CUTEST little thing EVER? It's bleating cries tore at my heart. I wanted to scoop it up and take it home. It came out of the woods and walked right up to Ed and looked at him with those big brown eyes and kept on bleating. I have never seen wildlife this close. You could see its fur crusted where it was once wet from being born. All the intricate white dots on its back. The spider webs stuck to its eyelashes from the bush it emerged from. It was breath taking and absolutely amazing. What an amazing experience that will probably never happen again.
We didn't touch it (though we wanted to SO bad) and it finally went up the hill, all the while bleating for its momma, and we had to continue on.
So I didn't throw up (though every time we stopped during the 1st two sections, I had to talk myself out of it), I came home with no broken bones, I only have one small gash on the back of my calf, I made it through this crazy stream crossing, and one of the things I absolutely loved watching was Ed. Seeing him in his element, seeing him come to life, seeing him wield his strength on the hills and with his bike.
The other thing I loved was seeing Sam in a different venue. He didn't complain once. He encouraged other riders going by. He encouraged me so many times. He was so proud of himself for making it up huge hills. He wiped out, got back on his bike and kept going. He was a huge example to me in the area of attitude.
Yes, I was outnumbered in gender and ability, but it will be one experience I will cherish deep down for a very long time.