White Flakes and Red Dots

White flakes drifted out of the sky. They speckled the tabletop, upon which they'd fallen during the night. I had to brush them from the chair before I could sit down with my morning cup of coffee. The fragile white spots were incongruous with the color of the sky. These were not the flakes of winter's snow; winter was another place, another time. These flakes were born of something altogether different, carried in from an inferno sixty miles distant.

Red dots speckled the air quality map, a localized cluster of them grouped right around home - Pomona, Chino, Ontario. If Claremont had been shown on the map it would have been colored the same ominous shade. Unhealthful for everyone. One nagging voice told me to heed the warning - read, catch up on some bike maintenance, turn up the music and chill. If I hadn't recognized its disguise, I might have confused it with the voice of reason. Few would find fault with the take it easy plan on a day such as this. But then came the counter argument - you already missed riding yesterday, and do you really want to miss two days consecutive?

I didn't think so. 

Many of my local trail riding mates are up north - a week-long Ride-a-palooza as they call it - Oregon and then Mammoth. I promised myself I would not miss out this year, and, well... here I am, breathing in who-knows-what, while riding a shortened route around Bonelli on a Saturday mid-morning. 

Speaking of Bonelli, Pokemon hunters have invaded the place though they, fortunately, don't seem to be particularly adventurous, keeping to the paved areas around the lake. Their numbers also seem to be greatly decreased, whether because of location or because they've have begun to realize the futility of searching for imaginary monsters, I don't know. Flash fads, I gave this one a week, but suppose it will last longer. I wonder if those who were focused on their phones noticed the real life creatures all around?

a lot of buzzards turning circles up in the sky this morning

grim sky, grim face

which ever way you breathe, the air is one quarter smoke

the mountains might have been a good place to ride this morning,
a close-by escape from the worst of the heat, but a smoke haze was dissolving them