A flurry of activity as mounts are readied and the dust is cleared. In the distance, a klaxon sounds. The siren song of the night is strong tonight, and from all around, pilots are materializing on the launchpad. Most are old hands and have sturdy, proven workhorses, though there is one new recruit. A hardy few have the fruits of their winter labors, shiny, eyes full of hope. Their mettle is about to be tested.
One stands alone, illuminating the night, and his clear voice sounds. All the crowd begin to alight to the time tested music, circling, awaiting commands. And they are off, soaring through the night sky. Soon, it is rumored, a favorite haunt will be walled off behind enemy lines for a period of years. The fleet must honor the fabled nostrils, reveling in their audio qualities, and enjoying skyways that need not be shared, before the site is forgotten in the mists of time. They stop to reflect on visits past, and the new steeds are passed around so others may experience their personalities. One is heavy and stubborn, happy to lumber under load, another feels familiar, similar to many who have come before, but still an illuminating experience. The last of the new group can only be considered wily and flexible, a true bucking bronco, with a tendency to eject those who cannot treat it with respect.
As the temperature grows cool, the night calls, and the horde reassembles. Other locations must be greeted anew. In deference to the new beast of burden, the routing remains fairly flat, through stretches that need not be shared by the thundering ones. As these travelers emerge into the lights and noise in familiar territory, they pay homage by circling through an extra loop. Upon turning, an old friend, with a companion in tow, join the procession, like children following the pied piper.
As with all explorers, hunger grows with the passing of time. It was past due to find sustenance. The rest allowed for continued exploration of mounts new and old, as well of consumption of goods liquid, solid and gaseous. One rarely glimpsed member of the band chose this moment to depart, and not a moment too soon. As the journey began again, disaster struck. The stalwart lumberer became derailed. Though easily fixed, a pattern soon emerged. The next leg brought many repeat occurrences and soon caused an unplanned visit to a pirate ship, a safe harbor to delve deeper into solutions. The hour was growing late, and some were restless, eager to continue.
A few feet further on lay a monument, oft circumnavigated, so circled it was, while the chronic repairs occurred again. There was a vote, and it was determined that the night’s goal was just out of reach, due to the many unplanned stops. Homeward bound, a fix finally stuck, and there were no more pauses. In sight of home, a horseshoe formed, memorabilia was distributed, a cheer went up for failure! The new recruit was roundly berated for waggling his many arms and causing much sonic disruption. Finally, silence, dispersion.
Onward, the 24th season!