Thursday, April 1, 2010

More Maryhill!!! Free ride

A black bird glides through the air above the steady turn of giant white turbines.  It lets out the tell-tale cry that says I'm not  Crow--I am Raven.

I unpack my red folding chair and set my seat along the road in front of a twisted dry blackberry bramble.  I rest my feet on one of the many hay bales that line the road and I wait.  For a moment I am alone.  The wind rustles my hair and blows into my ears, reminding me of many Saskatchewan springs from my childhood, as a meadow lark sings.  This is where the comparison ends.  The hum of urethane at speed along a smooth black ribbon of asphalt that winds its way through these hills reminds me that this is no ordinary hill; this is Maryhill.

One rider after another with wide smiles and keen concentration tuck around the bend in the road where I'm stationed.  The day goes on much like this, as peaceful as it is beautiful.  I can see why this road has become legondary among the downhill longboarder and street-luge scene.
Another U-haul load of riders drives back to the top, and then a second truck and a third, all filled with sweat, leather and hot eurothane.
Most of the hundred plus rider mostly men and boys, and a few women are a clad head to toe in safety gear.  Heavily worn shoes, knee pads, some with armadillo-styled spine protectors, an aray of helmets, gloves and leathers of every shade and hue, often augemented with patches of duct-tape.  They remind of some combination of super-heros and race cars.  Love it!
Then Wolf, my son, rides by again.  I, mother, spectator, van-driver, bale-sitter, photo-taker, click away again as they round the corner.  Though it was a very late night, or early morning, when we pulled into Goldendale, WA, and I've had little sleep, my day is good.  A little too much sun, and not enough sunblock, but all managable.  Being here allows me to pay back so many of the rides Wolf has gotten from Blake in the Landyachtz Van, as both Blake and Simon caught a ride with us.  Besides being fine car company, it allowed Wolf to share talk and enthusiasm for the trip and all the skate talk, a topic I can only carry on for so long before zoning out... sorry. 
At 3:20 the sky is white with cloud and the wind picks up; blows with a bite less kind than earlier this morning--but still an hour and a half to go.  I hunker down and wait.  From time to time the radio sounds, someone announcing that riders are on, or someone has spilled at corner two, but then up again all is good.

Already I know that this will not be my last time to this hill, nor behind these bales of hay.  The Festival of Speed is in June.  Maybe I'll be back for that, maybe I'll let my husband come out with Wolf.  Either way, one of us will be here with Wolf.  It won't be long before he'll be travelling without us, but not just yet.  

The weekend was a fast one, in the end.  In more ways than one. A well run, well attended event.  I still have to go through day two's photos... still more to come.


  1. Wonderful that you're so supportive of the sport and the riders. :)

    I'm enamoured with your descriptions and the lovely photos of the beautiful runs and sloping hills.

    Thanks for posting!

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I try to write it like I see it, or feel it. It is always great to hear that others can relate, or just like it.