Blogger confesses regret

I recall this from the hang glider launch on Mt. Sentinel on 18 May, 1980. The wind was dead all day and we passed the time kicking the hacky sack. Late in the afternoon a massive cloud filled the western horizon so everybody but me, the driver that day, ran their gliders into a scant breeze to beat the weather. By the time I got off the mountain and back to the landing zone at the golf course, the sky was so dark the street lights were coming on.

Not having thought to turn on a radio, I was totally freaked when ash began falling from the sky. Only after running back to the pickup and turning on the news did I learn. The next week in Missoula was spent inside with the windows duct-taped shut and not being able to see the sun or even across the street, for that matter. An emergency executive diktat from the governor shut the town down. Stores ran low on essentials and going outside meant stinging eyes and sand gritting in your teeth. After a week of cabin fever, I took the top off my '65 Land Cruiser, drove into the Rattlesnake, and saw my first black bear in Montana.

Little known fact: I brought the first mountain bike to the state of South Dakota from Missoula in 1980 and sold it to Robb Rasmussen at Sioux River Cyclery in Brookings because I needed the money to get back to Deadwood. The movement in Missoula grew out of the cruiser BMX craze and I had built three by then at Schubert’s Bike Shop from old Schwinn frames with Shimano parts long before the first Specialized Stumpjumper was mass-produced in 1981.

Living with regret is a waster of mind and space so I have but one even after my little sister was killed on her mountain bike outside her Moody County farmhouse in 1995: I should have bought the Bike Rack in Spearditch when I had the chance in 1983.

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