Evening, after long hours of cycling.

28 March, 2021.

We cycled along a section of the KATY Trail neither of us had been on in a couple of years. Our route ran alongside the Big Muddy, close by the gravel path on the west. To the immediate east the trail is flanked by limestone bluffs. There are many caves, some of which are easily accessible; others would require some serious rock scrambling to reach: the bluffs are nearly sheer in places.

I brought along a few sketching tools, stuffed carefully into a lightweight backpack. However, the day was inviting and we seldom stopped for long. When we did pause it was to enjoy a view of the Missouri River, to watch as geese honked as they glided low, skimming the water before coming to a stop.

We rode for more hours than we’d planned. The day had turned cloudy and a heavy head wind was channeled off the river. The bikes loaded on the back of the Subaru and the day turning toward eve, long shadows, contrasting colors, and interesting shapes began to emerge.

This barn struck my fancy for some reason. The abstract shapes intrigued me. Colors that I imagined attached to each shape immediately suggested themselves to me.


  1. adventurepdx · March 29

    “I brought along a few sketching tools, stuffed carefully into a lightweight backpack.”

    Have you thought about a small saddlebag, maybe something like the Treetop Goods one here (I have one):

    • azorch · March 29

      I have a saddle bag or front bag on every bike except this particular one, mostly for that reason. And I paid the price, by the way, with a pinched nerve in my shoulder.

  2. adventurepdx · March 29

    Also, with this current talk about bike rides and gravel, does this mean we might be seeing a long-awaited post on The Early Morning Cyclist? 😀

    • azorch · March 29

      It’s funny how often I get asked about the return of The Early Morning Cyclist. Until we began social distancing a year ago, I’d frequently run into someone on a group ride who’d mention EMC to me, not reading they were talking to the writer. 🤣 As for an actual return? Well, never say never. 🤐

      • adventurepdx · March 29

        You can talk about (gravel) biking and sketching! And sketching during the Three Speed April Challenge! 😉

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