Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Escape From Whiskey Island...

Which, let me tell you right now, isn't as intoxicating or exciting as it seems. But I'm putting the cart before the drunken horse. On Sunday, lacking any real substantive responsibilities (course work, yard work, house work...you get the idea) I decided to take advantage of the high blue skies and bike over to Whiskey Island. It's actually an isthmus, but no need to nitpick.

I'd been there after a marathon ultimate frisbee game at nearby Edgewater Park last summer, but wanted to come back and explore a bit. So, I hopped on my (increasingly rickety) bike, popped in my ear buds and away I went. Twenty minutes later I was standing outside the old Coast Guard Station on a pier about 100 yards from the mouth of the Cuyahoga.

I must say, it's strange being in that rustic and natural environment, then turning around and seeing the Sunday brunch crowd at Shooters... Another interesting observation that may not interest anyone: of the two dozen people fishing on the pier, I'm absolutely positive I was the only one speaking English. Weird...

Anyway, as I sat there on the pier and read the PD, I felt a breeze pick up and heard a faint rumble in the distance. This should have been my first clue. But, instead of packing it up and heading home, I decided to opt for a beer at the Sunset Grille, the one and only watering hole in this urban park escape. That's when the rains came. I, along with an assortment of Cleveland city dwellers, small boat owners, and the occasional rich yuppie sailor (who wanted to escape Whiskey Island about 10 times as much as I did) all made the best of the rain; drank our summer drinks, listened to the summer songs, and (they) ate their greasy(-iest) summer food (I've ever seen in my life). Make a note to bring a picnic lunch, FYI.

I swear it's not as rough as it looks
One hour, then another passed, with no sign of relief. So, having finished my newspaper (and another beer), I opted for a meteorological opinion from Jordan (he's a remarkably astute radar observer). He indicated that in about 14 minutes I might have enough daylight to peddle like I've never peddled before and make it home.

He was right; I did make it home just as the next round of raindrops began pelting the roof, but in hindsight I'm not sure what I was waiting for exactly, because the water kicking from both wheels was like rain, only coming up, and very very muddy. you win this round Mother Nature...lesson learned.