Wed - Jul 25, 2007 : 09:38 pm
Two Motorcycles and The Moon
"What is a motorcycle doing in *this*?", I thought as I continued upward through the winding Spanish Fork canyon. It wasn't so much that a motorcycle was in this particular canyon, but rather in the canyon during one of the 3 most torrential downpours I've seen during my lifetime.
I was coming home from work today when about 2 blocks from my home, large drops of water began hitting the windsheild of my black 2007 Mustang GT. As I pulled up into the driveway, the few large drops of water became many large drops of water. Yes, I say .... many drops of water.
There has only been one other time in the 3 years I've lived in Springville that I've seen such a downpour, and it was in the middle of the night. It woke me and my wife up in such a manner that we had to go see it for ourselves. The street in front of our home was a very shallow river. It was amazing. Well, today our road was about 1/4 river, and 3/4 road - so it wasn't as bad, but... it was still pretty bad. Anyway...
I arrived home, and knew that I wanted to be out driving in this weather. I love driving in the rain - especially when it's crazy lots. So, my wonderful wife told me I could go if I brought our 17-month-old boy with me. No brainer. I strapped in the carseat and away we went.
It wasn't far until I started to realize that this trip was gonna be a very good trip. I was't exactly sure where I wanted to go, but despite my indecision, I headed south toward the canyon. By this time, the downpour had subsided just a bit, so it wasn't as crazy, but toward the canyon, all the skies beckoned me hither with their black menacing stares. So I continued on...
Usually, when my son gets into our mini-van, it's almost instant headache to everyone else in the car. He doesn't like it, and he lets people know it. Well... I believe I got him to say one word during the entire 1.5 hour trip up the canyon. It resembled something like "tdthieeechsss". Don't ask. I don't know either, but needless to say, he seemed to enjoy the trip as much as I did - well, almost as much as I did. He slept half-way up the canyon, so... he must have been tired. Anyway....
So I continued on. I turned up the canyon, and it wasn't more than 10 minutes before I was driving in the same conditions I had seen earlier from my porch. I was in heaven. I watched the road ahead of me only as much as I needed to between gazes out the sides of my car to the foggy mountainsides and beautiful landscapes surrounding me. It caused a deep feeling of peace to settle in to my core. I thought of so many things on my way up the canyon... I thought of the power of God, the beauty of the earth, how far I could push my car in the rain before I lost control, the beauty of my son behind me - sleeping soundly during the torrent, the sound of the rain as it hit my car, the wonderful craftsmanship of the Mustang and how it was keeping me cool and dry during the downpour, the stunning landscapes around me including cliffs changing color with the wetness and the beautiful green grassy mountainsides. Yup... I love driving in the rain. Anyway....
About 25 minutes into the climb up in the canyon, the rain, which was already coming down at a pace which caused the audio levels in my car to rise substantially, decided to show me what it was made of.
It started to pour... like going from cats and dogs to elephants and moose. The entire road became the same river I had seen that night at home - and now I was driving on it, and loving it. At one point along a straightway, there was a lake in the middle of the road which I hit doing around 65 mph. Needless to say, I hydroplaned big-time. The right side of my car didn't hit the road again for 2.5 full seconds. It was a trip. Did I feel any danger? Nah.... I've hydroplaned lots of times and know how to do it. No one else was causing traffic at the time, and the road was clear in both lanes in each direction. It was actually quite interesting how the car took a hydroplane of that distance. She was going straight as an arrow when she made touchdown. Good stuff..
It was about now that I decided to pull over to the side of an extra-large shoulder and enjoy the torrent. I made sure I was a safe distance from any traffic, stopped the car and turned it off. I smiled.
The sound of the rain on my car created feelings inside me like the ocean waves at dusk do on the coast of California. It was a sweet addition to the peace I was already feeling throughout my soul. Looking out into the rain and the river I had just stopped driving on brought on another onslaught of thoughts. I thought about Noah and what that torrent must have been like. I cracked a smile, and then thought of how God cleanses the earth with rain, as I saw bits of oil and debree being washed down the road. I thought of my own spiritual cleanliness and how far I've got to go before I could ever consider myself being "clean"... I then thought of Jesus Christ and the atonement's cleansing power upon my life. I noticed how much greener the grass was now, than usual. Intermittently I turned my head to look at my sleeping son and marveled at life, and how beautiful he is. Yeah... Being in that torrential downpour in my car with my son up that canyon sure was medicine to my soul.
I decided it was time to continue on, so I gave my 300 horses a slap of my key and we were off to the speed limit in about 5 seconds flat.
A couple of minutes after starting again, I passed what I thought looked like a bundle of clothing on a motorcycle inside of a swimming pool. I couldn't believe someone was on a motorcycle in *this* crazy weather. As I shook my head in disbelief, the rain subsided to about half of what it was before, and I noticed blue skies directly ahead of me between the two mountains on either side of the canyon - and smack-dab in the middle of it was the moon. Yup, the moon. She was staring down at me through the raindrops and the clouds, like a guardian angel. As I continued up, the rain eventually stopped, and I thought it was time to turn around.
As I turned, I pulled over to the opposite side of the road and was in awe at the beauty of the landscapes around me. There were rolling hills to the south and low clouds passing overhead menacing at me - daring me to go back into the darkness which lay ahead of me. As I rolled down my windows to get a better view, my thoughts returned to a more spiritual realm, and just for a moment I reveled in that wonderful state I've grown to love.
About this time, the bundle of clothing on two-wheels passed me - this time, I little bit drier.
I headed back down toward the city as my son woke up and told me "tdthieeechsss", as he was pointing to a fly crawling down his leg which had somehow found itself inside.
While travelling back down, I never hit the torrent I was in while I was heading up, but I got to enjoy the wonderfully misty and vibrant landscapes the entire way down. About half-way back down, it started sprinkling again, and about that time I began wondering what it was with rain, motorcycles, and canyons...
...as I saw another wet bundle of clothing on two wheels pass me on his way up the Spanish Fork canyon.