Chiang Rai living, On Such a Winter’s Day ...

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is blue not grey
I rode out on the trails
On this winter day.
I am safe and warm
Cause I’n not in L.A.
Chiang Rai livin’
On such a winter’s day

I stopped into a field
I passed along the way
You know, I grabbed my camera
And I began to click away
Oh, the farmers like a show
And they know that I won’t stay
Oh, Chiang Rai livin’
On such a winter’s day

My apologies to the Mamas and the Papas.  My brain went into loop mode on the trail the other day and came up with this little ditty that stuck with me most of my ride.
On the Pai trip.

Winter in Chiang Rai brings with it cooler temperatures, a different light and the occasional splash of color in an otherwise browning and hazy environment.  On my Pai trip there were a few areas where the forest was trying its best to impress.  But a recent outing on the Trek had me remembering past winters and wondering why things were so dull and lifeless, in our area this year.

Closer observation revealed that it was primarily the rubber trees that gave this impression.  Their dull brown leaves lying lifeless on the ground and skinny naked arms stretched desperately to the sky seemed to suck the joy right out of my ride.  Each year more of the native trees are displaced by the rubber scourge and this has me struggling to find a touch of color to brighten my outings.  The fruit orchards at least stay green.

The other morning I had thought to take the Ninja out but things got in the way and by the time I was free it was too late to go where I had planned.  Plan B was to get some exercise on the Trek.  As I headed east and out through the rice fields between us and the mountain range that fills my entire eastern view, I began to notice a difference.  High on the range there were patches of color.  I was drawn off course toward the mountains in search of a better perspective for a photograph.

The closer I got the more my view was blocked by trees, houses and power lines.  Passing through a village my attention was diverted by the most precarious of structures being assembled in the grounds on a local temple.  A few quick pictures to record what I had seen and then I remembered being told of a reservoir in the mountains behind another nearby temple.  Perhaps that would get me closer to the colors I had seen from a distance.

I was about to ask a question about the trail to the dam when I overheard a guy entering the temple grounds, teasing the others for not talking with the Farang.  After he finished chiding his fellow workers, I jokingly asked him why he didn’t just talk to the Farang himself instead of giving the others a hard time, which seemed to satisfy the others no end.  With the ice broken it was easy to get directions to the trailhead.

They weren’t convinced that my bike would make it up the trail but yes it would be okay coming down.  They estimated it was something like four kilometers to the dam.  I correctly interpreted, the trail was a bit too steep to ride up and indeed found myself walking much of it.  Fortunately the more you suffer on the way up a hill the more fun it is on the way down.

I didn’t know I was near until it suddenly appeared in front of me.  It was not too unlike our own reservoir but on a grander scale.  Nestled between bigger mountains that came right down to the waters edge and reached high into the sky from the far shoreline.  After quenching my thirst, taking a few photos and soaking up the atmosphere I was soon revitalized and ready for a quicker run down the mountain.

I suppose I could ramble on longer but I would rather share a few shots of flowering trees and touches of winter color here in the Rai.  These were taken just two days before the ride to the reservoir but seemed to fit the theme of winter days and winter colors.