Here’s Luken Through You

Taken on Mt. Lukens, December 16 2023—I think I’ve taken some variation of this photo, from this spot, at least a couple dozen times. I just love what it looks like from right here. This time, I’d accidentally set the exposure at +3 while fumbling with my camera and wearing gloves, but I like how it turned out anyway.

Lukens is one of my favorite bike rides here. This time up the mountain, the trail was in decent, but not great shape, which is how it often is this time of year, right before the rains start. It will get worse over the coming months. Along the ride I passed by a mountain biker pulling another mountain biker up the hill with a rope. I said hello, but did not acknowledge the rest of that situation. A day later, I’m still thinking about it, though. What does it take to need a tow up the mountain? What type of person is willing to tow their friend? It was an ebike, doing the towing, but it—and its rider—was still clearly struggling.

The ride down was smooth sailing, and the 2 was oddly calm both coming up and going down. Perhaps everyone was out shopping for the weekend instead of driving too fast up and too close to the white line on the highway. Perhaps everyone was so exhausted from the lines at Target, they didn’t have the heart to honk at a cyclist on the road. Perhaps everyone was just in the holiday spirit. Whatever the case, it was a rare day partially up the 2 where I didn’t feel in danger.