This bike trip was, like, awesome.
OK, so it was cloudy and pretty cold that Saturday morning, even some raindrops here and there, but you know what? I can't really say we even noticed other than someone mentioning the rain.
It really didn't matter, anyways, because we packed a bunch of mountain bikes in the trailer hooked to the back of a City Rec bus, and we piled in and headed up to Oakridge.
Oh, Tom, our bus driver, had this great joke: What do you call a pig with three eyes? Piiig!!! Get it?
So, anyways, up by Oakridge, wow, the leaves on the maple trees were changing. This one hillside was all a bunch of yellow trees - the whole hillside, and it was really neat.
Tom says that he heard maple leaves are naturally yellow, and that they turn red when the tree poisons the leaves so they fall off and die. Really.
Anyway, we got to Salmon Creek Park, and it really isn't much of a park, but we weren't there to play at the park. No, we were there for something much better than that.
It was colder than it was down in Eugene, but we took the bikes out of the trailer, and filled up our water bottles and met a couple of guys from the Disciples of Dirt mountain bike club who live up there, and then, man, we were off.
We all got on our bikes, and headed out on the Salmon Creek trail. Yep, mountain biking. Riding bikes on trails.
A lot of us have ridden our bikes on the dirt and stuff, but most of us never rode our bikes out on a trail.
But I guess you could have probably figured that out just by looking at us, 'cause the guys who were taking us out there, like, man, they had special shoes and special coats and special pants and cool bikes.
Us, man, we were in our blue jeans and leather jackets and tennis shoes. I mean, if you looked at us, it was kinda obvious what was going down. But it was still pretty cool.
We rode a little along the creek and then, whoa, we went screaming down this hill that was all gravel, and at the bottom you had to make a quick turn, and you fly over this wooden bridge over the creek. It was nuts, man, really. Soooo coool.
Then we kept riding and riding and riding through the woods. We had to stop and carry our bikes over this huge tree that fell across the trail, and when we stopped once right by the creek, there were these parts of a dead deer right there.
When the first guys rode up, there were crows eating it. The head, man, the deer head was right down by the creek. And when we flipped it over with a stick, there was no brain in the skull. None!
Man, that was really cool. Then we rode to this campground, right by some waterfalls, where we had lunch. We had bagels and cream cheese and apples, all stuff people donated to us. It was good.
Then we walked down right by the waterfalls. Really cool. We rode back, and got a tour of the fish hatchery up there, seeing full-grown trout and these huge sturgeon that we got to throw food to, watching them flip around and chow down.
Then we saw these trays just filled with salmon eggs, each tray from one female, something like 4,000 eggs from each one. Then one guy said, well, that's about it, and I was like, man, I wish it wasn't over yet.
We packed the bikes back up, and on the drive back to Eugene we had to fill out a survey 'cause this was the first Trips for Kids in Eugene. I checked out all the papers, and everyone said the same thing.
John Rezell, aka, Raz, can be reached at EugeneMeRaz@mac.com. Learn more about Trips for Kids and see the group's slideshow and video at: www.catoregon.org/trips4kids.htm