Late winter often offers up ideal winter bike riding conditions. Whatever snow pack there is has been beaten down by snow machines and several freeze thaw cycles and will create a hardpack perfect for cycling. The window of opportunity is usually pretty narrow. The conditions often do not last more than a few days and then some fresh snow will ruin it. I have to have my bike ready to take advantage.
This winter has been different. By this time in our part of Maine, we will have had 8 to 10 feet of total snowfall. This year we are having a Maryland winter. I might be stretching the truth to say we have hit 3 feet total so far. The lack of snow has produced a winter of riding I will remember a long time. The trails are a mix of glaze ice and dirt. I have been having a blast. The lakes have once again glazed over after the last rain and the lake riding is phenomenal.
Last Sunday three of us headed out in the almost zero degree beauty of a day. After 7 miles of trail riding, Keith suggested we go check out the eagles nest on Treasure Island. At least 5 years ago a pair of nesting Bald Eagles had taken up residence in a shore side pine on a local lake. Moving in among wall to wall camps, they apparently were not bothered by the intensity of human interaction below them.
Crossing Square Pond we rounded the northern point of Treasure Island. Keith was intent on locating the nest. Brian and I were astounded at coming upon 2 eagles doing some sort of eagle air ballet over our heads. I had to practically shake Keith out of his focus on the nest to get him to look at the birds. We stood there on the ice transfixed and rooted by the aerial display. I had never seen more than one eagle at a time. Watching 2 of them interact in the air was, well, I guess there are no words I can find to describe what I felt. It was just awesome.
Even now, days later, I find it difficult to convey what I felt last Sunday watching the eagles flying so close over my head. They are indeed beautiful big birds. And I feel privileged to have them as neighbors.