Last week I went through various phases of a cold. Sunday through Tuesday I had a sore throat that was bad enough that I went to the doctor's office on Tuesday to get checked for Strep throat. The test was negative and the PA just recommended taking decongestants. On Wednesday my throat was feeling better, but that's when I really started coughing. It wasn't too bad during the day, but at night I kept waking up with coughing fits. Last night was the best night's sleep I've had in more than a week, after a coughing jag just after drifting off to sleep I managed to sleep until 6am. I haven't been coughing nearly as much today, although strangely my voice has been a lot weaker the last couple of days. Hopefully I'm almost over this thing, whatever it may have been. At least at this point I can be pretty sure it's not swine flu or pertussis.
Friday night I met up with Jimmy and family and friends to have dinner for his daughter's birthday at Hula Hut. It was rather crowded when we got there at 8, and it was after 9:30 before we sat down at a strange gathering of tables to accommodate all 16 of us. Since it was close to 11 by the time we were done and my coughing was getting worse, I went straight home and to bed.
It was pretty cloudy Saturday morning, and on my way to the meeting spot for my ride to Enchanted Rock I ran into a few raindrops. I figured nobody would show up and we would cancel the ride once I talked with the sweep RC. Three people showed up, undeterred by the threat of rain, and were willing to risk a few drops of rain to go on the ride. After we waited out what proved to be an isolated shower under an awning, the five of us set out on the ride. The ride went just fine, we didn't encounter any more rain, and even had some sun in a few spots. Just before we got to the park entrance, I pulled over and bid the group adieu, since none of them were interested in hiking. I parked and got ready to hike, changing into shorts and strapping on my backpack. I managed to pace myself enough going up the rock that I only had to stop to rest briefly two or three times, and I still made it to the top in just over 15 minutes. Probably helping this time versus the previous trip was waiting until I got to the top to have my lunch. This time I decided to descend the rock to the north. I went over a good section of bare rock before I found a small trail headed in the direction I wanted to go. This eventually led to a loose rocky stream bed, which made for much slower going. I followed the stream for a while, until I got past one of the smaller granite outcroppings and I wanted to start back around the back side. There wasn't a trail, but I decided to follow a small valley over to the other side. I wandered around the back side of the rocks, following what might have been game trails until eventually I met up with an actual trail. I was a pretty good distance from the enchanted rock at that point, and it took me a while to get all the way around it and back to the parking area. Since I wasn't following a trail, it's hard to know exactly how far I went, but I would guess that in the two hours I was there I covered about 4 miles. I rode home and vegetated briefly before getting cleaned up and going to a coworker's house for a BBQ. It was a pretty good time, there were several other coworkers and non-coworkers. Two people had brought their own home-brewed IPAs, one an American style and one a British style. They were both quite good. I stayed until around 10 and then went straight home, despite having thoughts about stopping downtown since I was passing through.
I woke up at 6:30 Sunday morning, but didn't do anything useful all morning. I didn't even have breakfast until 10. Just past noon I rode over to the Harley shop to meet up for a chapter 'road rally,' which turned out to be a lot of fun. One guy had set up a route to the chapter picnic, but didn't tell anybody what it was. He set up pie plates to indicate that there might be a turn ahead, but no indication of which direction. If you guessed correctly, there was a check mark to indicate so, otherwise you had to back track. The winner was the one with the closest mileage to the proper route without going under. At least a dozen bikes participated and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. The picnic was pretty nice. They changed some of the games around and I wound up winning the jigsaw puzzle contest (handily, naturally) and the trivia contest, but that was only because it was multiple choice and other people guessed wrong and I got the remaining answer. I won a 500-piece Harley puzzle and a Harley Monopoly game. Later in the evening I watched a DVD for the first time in about a month.