Getting Back To Normal...

Rice in Bloom

Things seem to be returning to normal here in the Rai.  I got up late this morning and after some breakfast, coffee and checking the internet, Cookie and I went out to the pond so she could swim for roughly an hour.  Throwing out small handfuls of fish food keeps Cookie entertained with the fish breaking the surface all around her as she tries desperately but in vain to catch them.  Helped my wife give her a shampoo and a blow-dry, which takes nearly another hour, before calling my father to check on things in Hawaii.

Some village friends up from Chonburi stopped by briefly on their way to Doi Tung with visitors they brought up from down south.  They dropped off some chocolate they purchased in Malaysia and my wife shared a bag of chocolate chip cookies she made yesterday with a young friend who came over to the house.  The whole art of gift giving is something that I have yet to master or even fully appreciate.  Perhaps they will stop by again this evening and we will get a chance to actually talk.  With all the water in and around Bangkok it is probably not a bad idea for them to be up here for a while.

Yesterday I took my much neglected Trek out for a long overdue perusal of the trails.  Even midday the temperature was tolerable as we ease into winter, but some of the normally well groomed trails showed signs of being under water during the rainy season.  After all, that water that is now threatening Bangkok started up here in the North.  Our rivers are still reasonably full but not overflowing like before.
Water level in the river has gone down a lot and the banks are still quite steep.

I traversed a fair distance so encountered a range of trail conditions, from very good to very rough.  The material used to repair some damaged areas had fist-sized rocks and hard baked clay which had me out of my seat as I tried to protect my own undercarriage from the bone-jarring effects.

Still in good condition.

In the forest.

Looking back.
By far not the worst I encountered but didn't get a shot of the bad stuff.

Getting ready to rough up the trail.

Rice was everywhere along the trail, at varying stages of development.  One small area had already be harvested while others were bent under the weight of their ripening grain.  My favorite plants, are in some areas head high and ramrod straight, with the rice looking more like flowers than grain.  Soon enough they too will droop and sag from their burden, as all turns yellow before the harvest.  For now though, things are still very green with golden accents.

The raised mounds between fields are now more like tunnels or trenches.

My health suffered a bit upon returning from Hawaii and it wasn’t until this last Tuesday that I seemed to turn the corner.  It was a day that reminded us that winter is just around the corner.  The temperature remained in the low twenties all day.  It was grey and though it did not rain properly there was an almost constant mist in the air.  A drive to town had filled our morning and early afternoon, with us returning in time for me to consider a run.  I was uncertain if I was ready but couldn’t pass up the chance to run in such cool temperatures.  Turned out to be a very good run.  It is amazing what a difference a few degrees can make when you are running down the trail.

Recovering from that run, the next day I took the Ninja out to charge the battery.  Even after laying idle for more than a month the engine turned over and caught with the first press of the ignition button.  Not wanting to venture too far, I ended up at Starbucks for a coffee and then took a different route home.  It will be interesting to see if I get back into riding this winter as so far this year my level of interest has dwindled to almost nothing.

I have other things weighing on my mind but perhaps this is enough for today.  Always need to leave something for tomorrow.