Saturday, RandoGirl and I were up in Destin, FL, and tried to get in a quick 50 or so miles using a route I put together last summer. It follows some parts of the old Bonifay 400K route, with a couple of other nice, quiet, and surprisingly rolling roads.
The weather forecast was ominous, and as we drove to the school where the route began I looked out at the clouds gathering over the Gulf. The normal cerulean water looked beaten down and tinged with grey overtones, and the world was flinching cautious glances at the not-yet rumbling heavens. A few other early risers out were frantically trying to grab those last pre-storm precious moments before curling up on the sofa with a book for the afternoon.
They say that the sea restores us, but I think that's wrong. Water and sand work together to scour psychic wounds scabbed over with a cautery imposed by maturity, exposing the tips of sensitive nerves that harken back to feckless childhoods filled with sandcastles and splashing. Gone are the jellyfish stings and sunburns that shaped the more timid beings we became, as immortality and unbound potential return for a fleeting instant.
The ride went well, with winds waiting just long enough to push us homeward and the pre-storm cool making it easy to ride at a good pace. It started raining on us 10 minutes after we got back in the car to drive back to the house, and we spent the afternoon listening to the wind and rain wash the beach clean. By that evening, the last of the clouds were skittering away, the sea was cerulean once more, and the shore was free of castles.