The Sky is Falling!
The sky is falling! – Chicken Little
The rain pelted the tent like little pebbles falling from the sky. I was warm and comfy in my sleeping bag, cocooned in the downy softness. But the sounds of a waking campground were disturbing my peaceful slumber. Kids were yelling, dogs were barking and feet were crunching in loose gravel on their way to the facilities. This is usually about the time that I swear I will only backpack in and primitive camp. I will eat food that tastes like dehydrated cardboard, I will haul 60 pounds of awkward gear over mountain passes, I will cross seventeen cold swollen creeks barefoot rather than tent camp in a campground. But then I had my coffee and all was right with the world.
We were camping in the rain with good reason: the morning was about to give way to the Northwest Arkansas Mountain Bike Championships at Devil’s Den State Park. The park is intimately entwined with the history of mountain biking in Arkansas. The first mountain bike trails were built in the park and Devil’s Den hosts the longest running mountain bike festival in the state. This year is the 24th Anniversary. I can’t wait to join the party that will happen next year for the silver anniversary.
My spouse would be racing in celebration of his 52nd birthday. I would be attempting to take his place as chief photographer for Arkansas Outside while he pedaled his one year older heart out.
My favorite parts of that duty:
1. The kids. I love watching the kids. Especially the little girls. Those little mini Biker Betties make me smile.
2. The guys and gals who are willing to goof for the lens. Not everyone is, I mean it’s a serious sport after all and it takes every bit of concentration you have out there to stay upright and in the chase.
3. Getting to join in for a little of the fun. This time that also meant joining in the mud.
My shirt might never be the same.