I love puddles.

Mud puddles, little puddles, big puddles, deep puddles, surprisingly deep puddles… I love them.  I go out of my way to go through them.  If I had a list of my favorite things they would be at the top.  No matter how I’m feeling, give me a few puddles and I’m a child again.

A while ago my team mate and I went on an amazing mountain bike ride!  We left the lodge on a perfect clear fall morning.  Cold. Clear. Crisp.  We took off down one of the ski trails, and down down down we bounced and yelped until we hit the four-wheeler trail system at the bottom.  Like every other activity from the lodge you have to get to the bottom of the hill somehow.  From there we took off on a 3 hour adventure in the sunshine.

The heritage trail runs along much of fort kent and is used mostly by, what else, fourwheelers and snowmobiles.  We cruised along soaking in the sun shine and laughing, this would be the driest, warmest I would be for the next three hours.  Finally Kat veered off to the right and followed enthusiastically.  Much of the trails from there on out would be mostly one giant puddle.  I zig zagged my way back and forth across the trail, not to “pick the best line”, but rather to hit as many puddles as physically possible!  I squealed with delight with each new puddle.  I was soaked.  Covered in mud from head to toe and loving every moment of it.

I had been sick much of the week leading into this ride but my body felt fine…felt fine until about 2 hours into the ride.  And there, nestled two thirds into our loop and seemingly a million miles away from the lodge the wheels fell off.  I was creeping into the land of being toasted.  My legs were wobbly, pedaling was much harder than it should be…but I put my head down, focused on the sunshine and pedaled.  My feet were turning into little toe-iscles.  I was so dirty that my bike decided that mechanical failure would make the rest of the ride that much more enjoyable.

I love going up hill, climbing, there is nothing I would rather do.  Truth be told I would rather go up hill twice than down hill ever!  However each uphill would have me cranking away so hard that my chain would skip and get pinned between my gears and the frame.  Each time a few choice words would coming slammering (yes that is a combination of hammering and slamming) out of my mouth as I frantically tried to unclip before I toppled over.  At one point I got so frustrated that my team mate had to bike away so she wouldn’t laugh in my face!  But it was good.  As I pedaled after her into a sunny field it gave me a moment to regain my composure and remind myself what an incredible day it was.

We made it back to the lodge in one piece, covered in mud, but smiling.  Walking up the stairs my feet were useless clubs.  As i peeled off my layers I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous I looked.  I had mud every where, in my nose, my ears, my arms, legs, front, back, side, even my elbow pits!  …I had made sure I was throughly soaked and covered out there that morning.

Although I almost hucked my bike into the forest at one point I was content.  Blissfully content in my own muddy euphoria.  Another good day in the office.

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