Lines of barbed-wire fence gleam in the moonlight, that low-slung orb of light casting taut shadows off fence posts and my bicycle wheels. The silence is sharp, punctured by the occasional rustle of sagebrush in a breeze or the vocal ruminations from adjacent cows.
On the far horizon, a dull orange smear is the last remnant of a particularly indulgent sunset, wispy clouds also illuminate in front of what’s left of a deeply blue sky. All is calm. I’ve indulged myself with a mug of hot chocolate and a buttery croissant from the last town to brace against the cooling night.
All day long the sun warmed as wind chafed already too-dry lips and face. The sound of an under-oiled chain making music with the variable cadence of my legs, and the smooth sound of mountain bike tires on tarmac or the crunch of gravel. All good experiences for the daytime. But now that day has turned to night, it felt good to sit down, my mind beginning to slow. Nighttime stillness is a particularly potent salve for the body and the mind. The hot chocolate helps, too.