Crater Lake To Stanley, Day 13 : Amusement

I’ve left the depressing city of Emmett, and am on my way up into the hills past Horseshoe Bend, towards Garden Valley. The shoulder is fairly wide but a bit ragged with weeds, and the road has a mild slope, so I’m pedaling slower than usual. I’m looking ahead of me to see a clear path around the weeds and occasional rocks.

Suddenly, about 40 yards ahead, a ground squirrel pops up out of a hole in the shoulder and begins to run straight at me, full-throttle. I’m unwilling to throw myself off the road or swerve into traffic, so I just I stare at it, confused, as it closes gap between us with impressive speed. When it’s about five feet from my front wheel I blurt out, “WHAT?!”, and the squirrel does a sharp left turn and cannonballs off the shoulder, into a bush.

I have no idea what the hell it was thinking.

Just beyond Garden Valley, late in the afternoon, I attempt some “stunt photography”: I dig the camera out of the saddlebag while I’m riding the bike, and rest it on my lap as I remove the lens cap and adjust the exposure and zoom. Then I hold it up to take a photo of my own shadow as it rushes over the road.

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