* Right as I reached Linden on the way out, a deer raced across the path. I will insist with my dying breath that I'm not one of those obnoxious city kids who think deer are novelties, but I'm not used to seeing them in human settlements ... just country fields.
* I encountered another Bambi just north of Linden as I doubled back; this one, I apparently flushed out, and instead of hiding in the woods, it bounded along the trail ahead of me for about a minute.
* Two maintenance trucks were on the trails; the first one arrived as I was daydreaming, and therefore its oncoming headlights scared the crap out of me. Also, when you're on such a rural, wooded trail, seeing another biker surprises you — let alone a pickup truck.
It was the best chance I've had to admire their leaping abilities — I'm used to them dashing out across dark country roads at night and having to worry about hitting them/being hit by any cars behind me.
* A duo that I will call a grandmother/granddaughter pair, though I have no such evidence, stopped me north of Linden. (That's where ALL the action was yesterday, apparently.) "How far are we from Linden?" the grandmother asked.
"Not far," I said.
"Less than a mile?" I hesitated so that I could think back to my odometer's reading, and the grandmother continued. "Just say yes."
By then, I'd gathered my thoughts and told them I really did think they were that close, and the grandmother turned to the little girl (maybe 6 years old?). "See? You can make it that far."
She turned back to me. "We walked here from Panora. Her idea." The look on the girl's face indicated that she didn't think this was such a great idea any more.
According to a sign I'd passed after leaving Linden, that was six miles away. Holy cow. I hope they indulged in ice cream and a nap after that hike.
* And my favorite sight: a cow just standing in a creek, the bridge over which wasn't all that high. After squealing with delight, I glanced past my bovine buddy to see a whole herd of them, just hanging out, not even fenced in.
I don't care how dumb, smelly and/or bug-ridden cows are. I'm 100 percent city girl in that I think they're adorable, and I highly appreciate their contributions to the human diet. (Mmm, cheese ... ice cream ... milk ... cream ... yogurt ... butter ... and, yes, steak.)