After 2-½ days our friend from Toronto left balmy NorCal for the wintery grasp of Canada. She enjoyed the spring-like conditions and was impressed by the almond orchards, with their delicately-colored blossoms and sweet, honey-like fragrance. When seen from a distance the orchards look as though they’ve been snowed upon with the palest pink snow. When the blossoms fall, that palest pink snow is on the ground. They, and the MagnoliaX soulangiana, are the first trees to flower. They are quickly followed by the Callery pears and Purple Pony Plums, both non-fruiting varieties. The Western redbuds (Cercis occidentals) are beginning to bud. I expect the cherries and apricots to follow. Judging from the bud-swell on our Babcock peach tree, that will be in full flower soon, as well.
We rode 3 times in 2 days: Tuesday afternoon we rode on the flats, through orchards, so she could get the full almond effect. Wednesday morning we met with 3 friends with whom we’ve ridden for years, and still do so, and the 6 of us did an orchard loop north and west of what we did Tuesday. It wasn’t fast; it was social and fun. We conversed among ourselves and thoroughly enjoyed that aspect.
Naturally we stopped at Steady Eddy’s and had coffee and more conversation (Chris & I shared an almond/pear bar). We took the direct way home; our friends took the long way.
Thanks to the tailwind we boogied back home; J & I made almond butter and her homemade orange marmalade (using our oranges and lemons we gleaned from a neighbor’s encroaching tree) on the Iraqi wheat berry bread I made Sunday. Talk about the #nom!
We mounted the bike racks on his Outback, loaded everything we needed, and drove to the Subaru dealer so his Outback could get its scheduled maintenance while we did the Gordon Valley Loop. The weather was just right for summer riding (I left my knee warmers on; my knees like to be warm), and J exalted in it. She loved the scenery and the rollers; a couple of climbs tested her but we all stuck together and had a blast. 47 miles and we all loved it.
Now, please bring more rain and snow, because as much as I love this balmy weather, I know we need the rain and would gladly ride the trainer if only the weather would dump rain on us.
So after 3 guests in 4 weeks, so much fun, I’m feeling a tad empty that they came, we visited/rode bikes/hung out/ ate out, and now they’re gone. Even the dogs were affected. The time our friends were here was precious; we’re so happy they were here. We wish they lived closer so their visits were occurrences, not events. OTOH, we have destinations.
Time to bring out the calendar and schedule some visits.