Some of you know I was out for the past week, riding down to Taft, Ca. for our annual 3DC whiskies tasting held at the SCA’s Great Western War. This time around was a bit more rough than most, as my last 250 miles of the ride saw temperatures between 100 and 105, though I was told when I arrived it was more like 107/108 degrees. In full ride gear, even at speed, this made for a convection oven like setting which through me into a deeper dehydration than even I had expected. Because of that, and the continued heat throughout the week, recovery was far slower than expected and prevented me from doing much around war as I had intended to this year. Ah, best laid plans of mice and men….

While I had toyed with the idea of bringing my photography equipment with me on the ride with the intent of getting some fine shots of the event, I opted to leave most of it at home. I have realized through the years that there are times when I want to capture images of events and sights, and other times when I want to be part of the event or simply engrossed in the sights. As such, I now make very conscious choices to be either an observer with my camera, or a participant without it. For me, the two can not mix and in this case I needed and desired the participation and inclusion that photographing doesn’t allow.

That said, in spite of the heat we had a great event. As in years past I was able to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. While the event and whiskies are always fun, it is truly the people who make it worthwhile coming down every year, and the only reason Raz, Fergus, and I continue to host our little tasting. Plus, it gives me great laughs when I meet people in person, only to realize as we are walking away that we’ve been friends in social spaces for years now!

Though I didn’t bring my gear, I did get one shot on my way home using my little Canon Digital Elph SD100; my trusty compact snapshot camera which I can use while on my bike when speeds and straight roads allow. I think this shot really encompasses the tone and mood of the ride home from my point of view and perspective as the rider, shot somewhere north of Sacramento late Sunday afternoon: