More Chiang Rai Mountain Biking ...

As I pen this piece the sky has turned grey, the wind has picked up and there can be heard in the distance the sound of thunder.  Let me take you back in time to a very different scene.  Not too far back, mind you, only as far as this morning.  Bearing the burden of a few extra pounds and a somewhat inflated ego, due in part to the comments I received from my last post, and a lack of outdoor activity during Songkran, I was of a mind to take the mountain bike out this morning.  A recent ride where I found myself walking up a hill I previously introduced you to, seemed to do a very good job of dealing with both of the above stated burdens and served as motivation on the day.

This post is not about me and my burdens, however.  It is dedicated to the brilliant blue sky, lustrous white clouds and the seductive irresistible trails that kept me company this morning.  Though I feared for the safety of my camera on the way home, we both escaped unmolested by the elements, save for the sometimes stifling heat and humidity of the first hour.  The sights, sounds and smells that engulfed me on the road, more than made up for any physical discomfort dished out by the weather.

As a break from my typically longwinded prose, today is more of a pictorial essay describing what I encountered along the way.  To find dirt, one must often traverse village lanes and the lightly trafficked roads that join them.  Exiting the east side of our village I found men tending the still juvenile rubber trees, releasing the smell of freshly cut vegetation into the air.  Before long I came across a turkey keeping company with his mate.  Ever so briefly he struck a pose for the camera before returning to the true object of his affection.

After crossing the river I came upon road construction not far from the now wilted sunflower fields that were recently so beautiful.  The final surface is probably a few weeks away but they look to have done a good job and were in the process of coring to verify the work standard.



From there I headed across the open farm land and every twist or turn the trail made, found me gazing upon a majestic display of clouds in the bright blue sky.  I stopped on occasion, as much to take in the view as to snap a picture.





Entering the next village I was greeted with chance to photograph a not so common form of transportation these days.  There was an air of dignity in their posture and unhurried pace, as they moved down the lane.



Before long I was crossing the river again, by way of another bridge.  Spying a storm cloud ahead I took an alternate trail back across the fields.  Checking behind from time to time, I found what lay ahead much more inviting.