NDisclaimer : All characters in this tale are of presumably sound mind and no character was harmed in the making of this tale. This story is fictitious but does include some real events of this past weekend. There was presumably no “Bait and switch” or “Conspiracy” that this author knows of. All thoughts, ramblings, and opinions are solely the property of me and I herby release anyone of their urge to “come clean” or “dispute” any events in this story. I am of sound mind and my decisions and thoughts along with their processes are mine and mine alone. No one cohersed me into anything.
I was 10 or so minutes into my adventure. Riding up the Morrell Falls Road my mind drifted and sorted. The events that led me to this road were confusing. The reasons behind my solitude discouraging. This trip I have always wanted to make, sure, and Saturday it seemed that I could make a group ride out of it. But something fell apart. Something went awry. I stopped to take off my jacket for the impending climb and re played events that just took place in the parking lot of the Ace Hardware in Seeley Lake Montana.
“Bill Martin, what the hell are you doing”, yelled someone that just moments before had hung up on me. Car loads of TNR people streamed by as if it was a surprise to see me in a town a hour or so away from Missoula. Looking around I gave my two cents; on why I decided to do what I was doing. I was shocked to see there was more people going to the Falls then previously reported. This didn’t make sense and I remember thinking so. I then quickly gathered my stuff and began biking to Morrell Falls.
It all started the day before at the Farmers Market. I shared that I wanted to ride/hike Morrell Falls. I suggested it because I have always wanted to do it and now that I was moving away I thought it would be a good weekend. Specially since the water coming out of the Swan Range would be “raging”. I learned that someone else was already thinking about it and was able to easily talk some friends into it. I quickly texted, twittered, and face booked my ideas and a group outing was born.
Enter secret agent 1 or SA1. Later that day SA1 told me that the Morrell Falls trail was closed by the Forest Service. So I reported this status to my fiends. So now I should just start calling my main friend in question SA2 or secret agent 2. After a night of wining and dining it was suggested by SA2 that we should just do the “Solstice Ride” because it was planned and that others would also go. This was important because I am tapering for a 24 hour race next weekend and I couldn’t do a longish 7 hour ride unless the pace was really slow and relaxed. You know, TNR style. I was soon persuaded by SA2 to change plans.
It is at this time that I contacted a friend and got him involved in the scheme. Not knowing that I had already been infiltrated and and manipulated by SA1 and SA2 I unknowingly involved him in the “decoy” trip. As of this writing I am not sure who was the target of this secret operation, my friend or myself.
The ball got rolling the next day. A suspicious email was sent out where all plans had changed using a “injury” by SA3, secret agent 3. SA 3 was injured so a select group would just go hiking.
Now normally I would just continue on with the so called “main plan” (decoy trip) which was to ride the Solstice Ride. Something didn’t sit right with me however. After a brief gut check I let everyone know that I would just go out on my own and do what I really wanted to do that weekend, ride to Morrell Falls.
So as you can see this explains my shock when two car loads of friends showed up in Seeley lake. What about the main plan? What about the poor souls back home walking into a death trap full of mud bogging and snow slogging. I would have been doing the same if it were not for my own desires and intuition.
I took off my jacket and started back up the road. The sheer beauty of this place seemed to message my brain and as soon as I relaxed it came to me. I just stumbled upon the inner core of TNR. The secret society conveniently tucked away in a normal weekly mountain bike group. A secret group as protected as the Knights Templar.
I had gotten close, maybe too close. When it was discovered that I had planned a trip to the same place their weekend retreat a series of agents were dispatched to deter me. Unfortunately along with any of the other unsuspecting members of the group. AND what just happened in the parking lot … their surprised looks … YES. They must be on to me now and the retreat canceled. I wondered if I would really even see them on the trail to Morrell Falls. But of course I would. They must make it appear as if this was just a “normal” group outing. I didn’t want to think of it but, what if … gulp … they would “off me” in the woods.
I played my part and joined them at the falls taking photos and joining in on the normal group chatter. In reality I feared for my life. What if they just decided to off me out right there in the wilderness. It could look like I slipped while exploring the falls. But of course they mayb believe that I don’t suspect a thing. So we enjoyed the beauty of the water falls even hiking up to a even more beautiful falls about 400 feet above, which gave me some bit of anxiety.
But nothing happened and I high tailed it out of there. They must not suspect I know.
I finished the day with some extra mountain biking up to the Pyramid Falls trail head and then back to the car. All in all I did what I have been wanting to do since I moved to this area. Upon arriving at my car I started to peel away the cycling gear to go home. My phone started to ring but I couldn’t find it for a while. I thought I heard something and went looking for its source. I turned to walk around the car and ran into SA2. I was startled. I fully expected to see a black van pull up so I braced myself to run.
“Why didn’t you answer your phone?”
“Um … what phooo…”
“We are going to stop for ice cream, do you want to join us”, gesturing down main street Seeley Lake.
“Sure, I’ll be right over.”
“Are you sure your coming over?”
“Yes, yes, I just need to get out of these clothes.”
The truth is I need to buy some time to make a break for it. I quickly threw everything into the car and hit the accelerator. I needed to get out of there fast. But it was too late. The seed had been planted or maybe it was a form of hypnotism. Ice cream … ice cream. Next ting I knew I was sitting in a booth with a bowl of ice cream. My hands betrayed me as I shoveled in a couple bites. So good.
I don’t know how long I had been there. The store owner woke me up and asked if I was done with my ice cream. I seen in her eyes she just wanted me to leave her store. Maybe I was there past closing.
“Where did the others go?”
“You know, I came in to get ice cream with them?”
“There were no others, now do you need anything else? We need to close.”