As I hurtled down Wheats Valley Road, the rush of the wind against skin made all the senses come alive. For the first time in years, I saw a red-headed woodpecker as it cross the road ahead of me -- twice. This is a creature more frequently heard than seen.
On 122, the weather appeared to be "partly sunny" -- a bit over half of the brilliant blue sky was occluded by clouds. On the left, Grassy Mountain and Flint Stone Mountain flaunted greenery to their modest summits. The shade alternated between deep jade and glowing emerald, depending upon the whims of the clouds. As I approached the turn off on Cornelius Road, I could see three rows of peaks, jade, emerald, and a pastel slatey green in the distance.
The sky betrayed a more somber aspect as I turned the corner, and the blue patches could only be seen directly overhead. Still, it was great cycling weather, and I got all the way to the top of Gunstock Creek Road without recourse to "granny gear."
As I headed up Wheats Valley Road, a drop or two provided an ominous harbinger of coming attractions. Onion Mountain drew a veil across its countenance, and the wind was coming from my right. A half-mile from home, a chilly and drenching rain storm beset me. It felt great to get into dry clothes!