Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Home Sick

Monday and Tuesday I was home from work and feeling like crap.  Please don't confuse being home sick with being homesick.

I felt too crappy to do much but sit around or lay around waiting for things to feel better.  Thoroughly boring.  I don't do "sick" well.

All of this is a rather poor segue into my upcoming two weeks off.  The shipyard where I work shuts down for a week around X-moose and New Year's.  I took off a few days ahead of and behind that to make a nifty two weeks off.

I'll be driving (yep, that's right, driving) back to the Midwest to visit family (mostly) and friends.  I'll load the vehicle with stuff including cold weather gear.  One can't be traipsing through the Rockies in the dead of winter without cold weather gear.

When I moved out here I was driving the biggest U-Haul truck they'd rent me and pulling a trailer with the vehicle on it.  This time I'll be sporting the camera and looking around a bit more.  This isn't exactly the best time of year to be visiting the Little Big Horn, but I may make a stop anyway.

Look for sporadic posts until 2014.  In the meantime, get working on those New Year's Resolutions you've been putting off.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Trials Riders, Roadie Bike

Here's what happens when you give trials mountain bikers a roadie bike to play with.

Friday, December 13, 2013

One Miss, Another In My Sights

In the last two weeks I've made an offer on a house, had the offer accepted, had an inspection done, rescinded the offer based on the inspection, and am now closing in on house number two.  I don't care much for house hunting.

Maybe all I really need are a few acres that some good trail could be built and an Airstream trailer.  Or a Yurt.  And probably a dog named Gus.  And beer - really good beer.

I want to get this house hunting crap done so I can get back to "normal."  Whatever that is.....

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was my every-other-weekend-is-a-three-day-weekend, weekend.  Get it?  Three days off.  I spent it traveling to Seattle for the Banff Mountain Film Festival and getting some mountain biking in.  And some not really worth mentioning mundane stuff.

My Friday started with a flurry of activity around the place.  I performed a thorough top to bottom cleaning of the domicile proper AND washed every piece of dirty clothing I could find.  Sometimes, every now and then, a dude must forgo the outdoors for some domestic type chores.

Late afternoon I was locked and loaded, trucking toward Seattle.  I arrived just in time for the evening rush hour.  Oh boy.  I did arrive in time to make a quick stop at the main REI store.  I wanted to price snowshoes.  I have none but want some.

From there is was a trip to the Fremont neighbourhood to dine.  Brad's Swingtime Cafe provided the eats.  It's a fabulously great pasta place.  The waitress informed me the two dogs and one cat still roam the place, but were upstairs.  Apparently napping.

After eating I was rushing toward the Banff Mountain Film Festival venue.  The Mountaineers (I'm a dues paying, card carrying member!) were hosting.  This was sold out night three of three.  The placard outside the room said 750 capacity.  There were only a few empty chairs.

I'll not spoiler this event for those who are going to go but have not yet.  I will say I was very impressed with the movies and left feeling very entertained.  I'll also say the ending movie was very well chosen.

To segue into the rest of the weekend's stuff, I'll interject this little YouTube movie.  It was not at the film festival but notification of it came in my emaily inbox.

Saturday was spent mostly indoors.  I had some house hunting important stuff to attend to.  I also made a significant dent in my X-moose shopping.

Sunday was more the typical.  I made my way to Whiskey Gulch for breakfast.  I followed that up with a little grocery shopping.  After dinner I loaded up a bike and headed back to Key Pen 360 Park.  360 Park gets its name from the fact that it is 360 acres.  How appropriate!

Now I'm back to the work week.  This will be the first week I've worked five days in a row in some time.  I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it.  I hope to have some house hunting stuff wrapped up and moving in the direction I want this week.  We'll see on that one.  This house hunting crap is proving more of a pain-in-the-ass than I prefer.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Manual Labor

Over the weekend I was wasting some time looking around the Internet.  I made my way over to TED for a talk or two and stumbled upon one by Mike Rowe of the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs show.

His talk starts out about lamb testicles.  But, hang with it as it is a segue into something better.  This talk is one that makes TED talks so great.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Key Pen 360 Park

Sunday I was anticipating puttering around the place doing mundane crap as the weather was supposed to be raining all day.  When I drug my carcass out of bed I was surprised that it was not raining.  Presto-change-o, mountain biking instead!

I'd heard about nearby Key Pen 360 Park and there'd been much trail work done there.  Sunday seemed the perfect day to check it out.  I already had the Surly Moonlander in the vehicle from Thanksgiving.  So, it was the ride du jour.

360 park is approximately 12 miles from where I live.  After grabbing breakfast at Whiskey Gulch I made my way to the parking area.

360 Park has one big gravel road loop.  Spurring off are some multi-use trails.  The multi-use trails are great for beginner mountain bikers.  Or a dude, or chick, can pick one and ride it as a warm up.  It is my understanding the mountain bike only trails have been added recently.

The gravel road is the red dotted line, the multi-use trails are the yellow dots, and the mountain bike only are the blue dots.  Click the picture for a bigger image.  To give you a size perspective, it is just over one mile from the parking area to where the mountain bike only trails begin.

After riding  a few of the yellow dot trails I pointed the bike toward the mountain bike only.  The trails are a nice mix of downhill sections, climbs, obstacles such as ramp drops, log pile roll overs, and skinnies.  Some of the downhill corners are very nicely banked.  Overall the trail had very good flow.

The bad news - the mountain bike only trails are not that long.  The good news - they're building more!  I ran into the dude heading up the building effort and had a good conversation regarding the trails there, building trails in general, and fat bikes.

If your from here or near here, these trails are well worth the trip.  Once more trails are built, word will get out and it will draw riders from farther away.  I certainly like the fact that within 15 minutes of leaving my place I can be on there trails.  As I'd mentioned, the trails are pretty new.  Though in very good shape now, they'll be even better once they've been more "ridden in" (hint, hint).

Friday, November 29, 2013

My Big Fat (Bike) Thanksgiving

I can't think of a better way to spend Thanksgiving than being outside, in the woods, and on a bike.  I ventured north of here a bit past Poulsbo and sort of toward Kingston to North Kitsap Heritage Park.  The park has some nice, though easy non-technical, multi-use trails.

Clicking on the pictures makes them bigger, by the way.

I began my ride at the number 1 on the map.  That's where a parking lot is. 

With my floor pump out of commission I took a bike that had (more than) adequate tire pressure.  In this case it was the Surly Moonlander.

If you go back to the map for a minute you'll notice every trail junction is numbered.  At each trail junction there is a post with placards and numbers on them.  The numbers on the posts correspond with the numbers on the map.  The number on the post shown below is almost completely blocked by the bike seat.

With my new handy-dandy tripod thing, I can take pictures of - - - - - - - me!

I explored many of the trails.  One of which was a gravel road leading to a gate (which was closed) with led to a paved road which led to the sign in the picture below which is at Kingston Road which is a very short distance from a house I seriously considering buying.  Sweet!

When I needed a break I made my way back to the car for Thanksgiving dinner comprised of a Clif Bar, coconut Chai tea, and Hammer Gel for dessert!  Oh, don't cry for me, Argentina.  Several people invited me to their places for Thanksgiving.  "You shouldn't be alone for Thanksgiving!" was the usual.  Screw that!  The weather was outstanding as was the biking.  I chose wisely.

I did see a few signs like this.  Judging by the trails, few, if any, vehicles this sign targets were ever on the trails.

Judging from the picture below, this park is haunted by formless ghosts.  I have no idea what made that white form in front of the camera.  Weird.  No ghosts tried to knock me off my bike and take it for a spin.

The trail beginning at the "Trail Not Maintained" sign seemed to be the opposite of "not maintained."  Though I found a few of these trails, they are not on the map.  However, they were fun to ride.

What's a trailhead without a kiosk?  If you'll notice on the right side of the kiosk at about the middle brochure thing, there are some walking sticks with leather cords at the top hanging from a hook on the side of the kiosk.  Forgot your walking stick?  No worries!  They're here to borrow!

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving.  One of the things I'm thankful for is the large number of very nice trails to ride on.  It was a nice outing on a great day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Closing Inn

A post or two ago I'd mentioned I'm hunting for a house.  I'm happy to report I'm closing in on my elusive quarry.  I might have something substantial to report on this front soon-ish.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have a four-day weekend.  What to do?

The weather is holding nicely.  With some days off I'm likely going to do some biking and some hiking.  Co-workers have expressed interest in some mountain biking over this time off period.  Final plans will be made soon.  I'm hoping to have a post or two with some meat in the form of pictures to sling out there.

Other than that, not much to report.  Though I am in the market for some snowshoes.....

Friday, November 22, 2013


Hello there Gringos!  I've more house hunting/prepping stuff this weekend.  Have a little inspirational video.

Monday, November 18, 2013

On The Hunt

On Saturday I saw several houses up close and in person.  I've not been in the market for an actual house in some time.  Things have changed, I guess.  I should stipulate I now live in a very different part of the country.  However, I was a bit surprised at what one needs to spend to get something at least in pretty good shape and in an OK location.

I did find one house that has potential.  I'm going to look a bit harder at that one.  In the mean time, I'm engaging some financial institutions for "pre approval," whatever that means (I know what it means).

In addition to looking for a house, I will be in the market for a colder rated sleeping bag.  There's snow-shoeing-camping to be done this winter, I think.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Big Game Hunting

Just the other day I received a letter in the mail letting me know I have until January 18th and then that is that.  Reading this I knew the only thing to do would be big game hunting.

"Big game?" you might ask.

Yes, big game.

"Like deer."

No, bigger.

"OK, elk."

No, even bigger.

"Moose?  Bear?"

No and no.  The big game I'm putting in my sights is the very elusive "house."

The letter I received in the mail stated my apartment lease is up on January 18th.  It suggest I try their handy-dandy website to see how much they intended to jack my rent.  And, oh, by the way, failure to either renew by lease end OR let them know at least 20 days in advance means I'd be going "month-to-month" at the very unreasonable rate of the current month's rent plus and additional $500.00 per month.

Renting an apartment was always going to be a temporary thing.  I wanted about a year to learn the area and see where I want to be and where I don't want to be.  I do know my move to the Pacific Northwest was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  Buying a house makes good financial sense.

I'm lining up some house viewing appointments for Saturday.  I'd very much like to have this done, handled, and behind me MUCH before my "20 days before lease end."  Looking online at the listings, I have found several places that look appealing, are affordable, and have what I want.  We'll see how this big game hunting goes.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Olympic National Park Day Hike

First off, right out of the chute, let's play a numbers game:

1)   Clicking on the pictures makes them bigger.

2)   What I type might have something to do with the pictures or it might not.

3)   A link to all the pictures I took can be found below somewhere if/when I remember to include it.

4)  Now onto the stuff:

Monday was a holiday for me.  I was done with my medical recertification and wanted to be outside.  The weather cooperated nicely and I was off to Olympic National Park.

I departed Port Orchard cutting through Belfair and Hoodsport.  The road to the park skirts the approximately 1 mile wide and 8 1/2 mile long (about 4,000 acres) Lake Cushman.  I stopped long enough to take a few pictures of the lake.

Not too far past the end of Lake Cushman the sign for Olympic National Park is found.  Monday I was in the southeast corner known as

the Staircase area.

I decided to do a day hike on the North Fork Skokomish River trail.

I really didn't have a game plan other than that.  I thought I'd hike for a bit and when I thought it time, turn around and hike back.  I was just enjoying being outside, having no agenda, and being along with my thoughts.

After the first 1/2 mile I took off my fleece jacket.

After another 1/2 mile I took off my merino wool bike jersey and was down to my Capilene base layer.  It was quite cool when I started but I think it got up to about 50 degrees on Monday.

I've been on these exact trails a few times this past summer.  Most of the pictures I took are probably quite similar to the pictures I took then.

I did bring along my little tripod with the flexible legs thing.  I was able to take a few selfies without holding the camera in my hand and extending it as far from me as I could.

This time of the year I almost had the park to myself.  I did run into a few people on the trail.  I did see three O.W.L.S.  I don't know if O.W.L.S. is a real organization or not.  I'm guessing not since I sort of made it up on the spot when I saw these three people.

The three people I was were all 70 to 75 years old (I'm guessing) and were a group of three women.  They had day packs and trekking poles.  When I first passed them, they were resting by the side of the trail and giggling like old college roommates telling "war stories."  Perhaps they were some time ago and this is their annual hike.  Or, perhaps they're locals and they do this often.

At any rate, they seemed to be having a large time.  I thought it interesting there were three elderly women doing this.  I said "hello" but made no further inquiries.  Sometimes one's imagination can concoct a better story than reality.  So, I labelled them O.W.L.S.  I decided O.W.L.S. stands for Old Widowed Longjohn Society.  I couldn't come up with a better word using "L."

Before I knew it I was at the trail that one would take to get to Flapjack Lakes, or, four miles from the parking lot.  I had chores to do back home so I decided to head back.  About 30 minutes heading back down the trail I stopped, moved aside, and let the grinning O.W.L.S. continue with their hike.

It was a great day to hike and get some fresh air.  All the pictures are HERE.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I was in class all day working on my Wilderness First Responder recertification and CPR recertification.  I'm happy to report I've passed both.

The class was taught by National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) instructors

from their Wilderness Medical Institute branch.

There were 26 of us in the class.  The class was about 60% women and 40% dudes.  Most were from around this area.  They all had cool backgrounds and an avid interest of the outdoors and being outdoors.  In other words - exactly my Tribe.

Some of the class was spent inside in the classroom but more was outside doing "scenarios."  A "scenario" is a set up rescue.  The "patient" is given instructions on how to act, what to say, and more often than not given quite realistic looking makeup for bruises, blood, cuts, impalement, etc.  The rescuers followed the protocol in determining what was wrong and fixing.  "Scenarios" are my favorite part of class.  "Patients" always took their roll seriously and didn't help or hint to provide as realistic as we can get without actual problems.

Today I've got some errands, chores, and the like.  However, I can hear the Olympic Mountains calling.  I might scoot over the Olympic National Park for a day hike.  If so, I'll have something to talk about Wednesday and probably have some pictures, too.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Recert Starts Today

In a few hours I'll be making my way to my Wilderness First Responder recertification class.  I've studied, I've taken the practice tests, I only wish I'd done some "hands on" practicing with a not-so-innocent bystander....

A full report on Monday but here's this until then:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Have you ever wondered how certain things got started?  I've been a Dead Head for as long as I can remember.  I found the YouTube thing below on the interwebs.  It's an interview with Jerry Garcia on how the Dead became the Dead and the very early days.

Of course if the Grateful Dead are not your thing, perhaps this other video will jump your dead battery.....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Study Time

I had an inside weekend.  My Wilderness First Responder recertification thing is next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I had my nose in my textbook and workbook for most all of the weekend.

The three days will be spent learning new stuff, "rescuing"/treating "patients," and taking a written and practical exam.  This will go down at Olympic College in Bremerton, WA.

My review included Wilderness Medicine vs. Urban Medicine, Patient Assessment & Basic Life Support, Traumatic Injuries, Environmental Stuff, Medical Topics, and Common Wilderness Medical Problems.

The limits of a WooFeR (Wilderness First Responder) are things like I can't sew anyone up.  If someone needs stitches (sutures using the medical lingo) I'd clean the wound and then pack it wet to dry.  An evacuation would follow.

Also, I can't recommend or suggest taking anything stronger than over-the-counter drugs.  I can help patients if they're already prescribed, but that's it.

A WooFeR's task it to keep someone alive until they can be handed off to someone of higher medical training such as an EMT, nurse, or doctor.  Along with that is some fairly standard paperwork called a SOAP note.  A SOAP note is a precise way to communicate what's up with the patient.  It contains Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan information.

I have a SOAP note pre-made and I take one with me every time I go into the backcountry.  It has fill-in-the-blank spots such that I don't forget anything, it's easier to read, and can be filled out quickly and with minimal distraction from the primary task of tending to a patient.

WooFeR classes are held year 'round and all over the country.  If you're thinking you'd like to do one here's the scoop; they are 80 hours long and there's an extensive written and practical exam at the end.  Recertification classes are a three day event and also all over the place.

I decided to do this kind of out of guilt.  I like to do things in fairly remote places and some of those things can be a bit dangerous.  And, I always invite people along.  That's the guilt part.  I'd feel quite terrible if someone were to get hurt badly way out somewhere with no cell reception and limited means to help.  The chances of me needing to Woof someone are quite low.  However, if needed, I want to be prepared.

Friday, November 1, 2013

National Geographic Speaker Series

National Geographic reached out to me via email and snail-mail.  Both mediums advertised the same thing - "National Geographic Live!  Seattle 2014 Speaker Series."

The dates of the series are in the thick of the Pacific Northwest monsoon season.  This looks like a good way to distract a dude from the rainy season here.

There's a price break for subscribing to all of the sessions.  I am not good at planning that far in advance.  Though I'd like to attend all speaker's talks, I'll probably end up doing it on a session by session basis.  Sometimes life has a way of getting in the way of plans.

With the Banff Mountain Film festival in December and this speaker series, it looks like I'll have something to look forward to every month with the exception of February.  That might be a good month to visit a Southwestern part of the United States mountain bike venue.

The last thing, I encourage you to watch the video below.  If I were you, I'd click on the "full screen" button thing.  It's pretty good.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Days Off, Canada, Ed Viesturs

In my last communication I'd mentioned I was about to have a few days off work.  My original idea was to make a shortish trip through the southern portion of British Columbia, Canada.  As I was making plans for this I received an invitation in my emaily inbox.

Renowned mountain climber Ed Viesturs was scheduled to speak at The Mountaineers main building in Seattle on Monday evening.  How could I pass this up?  I didn't.

Back to Canada.....  I drove to Port Angeles, WA on Saturday morning to catch the 8:20 AM ferry sailing.  From departure to feet on the dock, it's only a 90 minute jaunt.  I found a great deal on a swanky hotel room in downtown Victoria.

Of course I left the vehicle in Port Angeles and took a bike to Victoria.  Victoria is very bike friendly.  Plus, I did not have to concern myself with finding parking spots.  Local cuisine was consumed, local attractions visited, and a great time was had while in Canada.

Monday late afternoon I boarded the Washington State Ferry at the terminal in Bremerton, WA to head over to Seattle.  After a few errands and chowing down, I made my way over to The Mountaineers for the talk by Ed Veisturs.  Ed mostly talked about his many ascents of Mt. Everest and his latest book, "The Mountain: Epic Adventures on Everest."

Immediately after his talk he was interviewed in front of the crowd by Fitz Cahall.  A few questions were fielded from the audience. As the evening was drawing to a close, Ed sat in the back of the room chatting with attendees and signing copies of his new book.

I've three days of work this week.  This coming weekend I've relented to sequester myself at home to study up for my Wilderness First Responder recertification class.  The class is the following Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  The recertification classes will involve many outdoor "rescues" as well as some class time to get updates and learn new medical techniques.  I'm looking forward to this process.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vay Cay

I'm on vacation for a few days.  I might have some posts and pictures of that next week.  Until then, enjoy some mountain biking GoPro style!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mt. Rainier Day Trip

OK - the same preliminary stuff, different post.  Click on the pictures if you want them to get bigger.  The words may, or may not, be at all relevant with the picture they are near in the post.  Just follow along and don't be so serious and we'll get along just fine.

I woke up Saturday morning and made the quick decision to do a day trip to Mt. Rainier National Park.  I threw some snacks and water bladder in a backpack and took off.

This trip I wanted to see some fall colors in the park.  Also, I knew there are many trails beginning at the Paradise Visitor Center and extending up Mt. Rainier proper.  I wanted to check them out.

I was driving along the highway and came to Narada Falls.  I'd been there before when I was camping at Cougar Rock campground and did a day hike to Reflection Lake.  I parked the Jeep and trekked down the trail to get a good view.  If you'll notice in the picture below, there's a rainbow toward the bottom of the water.

Apparently the rainbow is there quite a bit as it is also on the picture description thing I took a picture of.

I left Narada Falls and drove to the Paradise Visitor Center.  I gathered up my backpack, put on the sunglasses to cut down on the reflection off the snow.  I started up the stairs in the picture below to get to the trails.  For those not in the know, Paradise is known for its incredible wildflower fields.  That's what Muir was waxing poetic about.

Almost immediately into the hike and I was onto the snow.  The trail location was obvious by the tracks in the snow.  In some areas more than others it was a post holing fest as I trekked up.  I didn't mind.  I hadn't been on snow since early summer in this same park and it was almost 60 degrees out.  In fact, I was sweating.

The views of the mountain got better and better the higher I went.  Above tree line was fabulous.  I think you can notice the glaciers in the pictures.  I did not go that far up.  Had I snowshoes and crampons and I would have.  It was such a great day to be hiking.

I used this trip to try out my new tripod thingy.  The legs are about six inches long and bendable to attach to tree branches, trekking poles, or whatever.  I went with the standard "tripod on a rock" setup for a selfie.

I was amazed at how many skiers and snowboarders I saw.  They'd hike up and then ski or board down.  I saw at least twenty of them on the mountain.  I was thinking, "That's a pretty good idea" and "it would be cool to put skins on skis to go up."  Another trip, another trip......

I made my way back down and checked out the visitor center.  It's pretty nice.  There's the usual Ranger's Station, a model of the mountain, a store, and some displays.  I recommend stopping in if you go.

I left Paradise heading east toward Box Canyon.  I'd never been to that part of the park.  I found the sign in the picture below on the ground on some very smooth rock.

The canyon is a slot cut into the rock.  The picture below was taken from the bridge on the road over the canyon.  The picture does not do the view justice at all.  I was wondering how far down it was and then.....

..... I found this sign on the top of the stone rail on the bridge.  I hiked along some trails at Box Canyon for a bit.  The sun was starting to go down and I still wanted to get to Grove of the Patriarchs so I didn't stay long.

Grove of the Patriarchs has many very tall and very old Douglas Fir trees.

To give some perspective of their size I took some random pictures of people on the trail as they passed close to one.

From the parking lot the Grove of the Patriarchs trail is a one mile loop.  If you're going to Mt. Rainier National Park I recommend this as an easy, but very scenic stop.

And of course there's my favorite pedestrian suspension bridge there.  It's maybe three feet wide and moves as you walk across.  There's a sign that says something to the effect of, "One person on the bridge at a time."

My trip to the park was a wonderful Saturday spent.  It felt good to be out in the cool air taking in the fall season.  All the pictures from Saturday can be found HERE.  As always, I recommend if you're headed that way to look at them, you click the "slideshow" button.

I've three days of work this next week and then some time off.  On one of those days I'll probably head back to the park.  There are some areas I didn't have time to get to.  On another of the days off I'll likely head back to Victoria, B.C.  I imagine fall in that city will be spectacular.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

I'd threatened to go camping this four-day weekend but opted to not.  Instead I did get some bike riding in.

Friday was a rather low-key, rainy Friday.  I spent the day catching up on some reading and doing domestic chores (do a load of laundry, have a beer!).  By Friday evening the rain was gone.

Saturday I took the Surly Big Dummy from my place, down the hill, and met co-worker Dan at the last-of-the-season farmer's market.  After a really good apple, we departed east bound along the waterway.  After a few pleasant miles we stopped a Manchester State Park for a ride around/explore session.  I was pleasantly surprised how nice this park is.

We departed Manchester State Park retracing our route back to the downtown area of Port Orchard, WA.  It was getting to be late afternoon and I was getting hungry and thirsty.  We opted to stop at Whiskey Gulch (mostly coffee shop but does sell beer and no whiskey).  One Panini and one beer later and we split company headed for our respective domiciles but not before I had one of Whiskey Gulch's impressive bacon oatmeal cookies.  Oh my, those are fabulous!

Another co-worker pointed out that Tiger Mountain would be closing to mountain bike traffic at the end of the day Monday.  Evidently, Tiger Mountain gets a bit muddy during the rainy season.  Officials close it to keep it from getting rutted out.

I picked up co-worker Dan at 8:30 AM and by 9:45 we were riding Tiger Mountain.  We explored an out-and-back trail and then hit the gravel road (closed to vehicles) for the long, steep climb to the summit.  My estimation is the road was 8% to 10% grade the entire way up.  Much sweat and effort later and we rendezvoused at the summit.  Clif bars consumed, water chugged.

I must say, the trail coming down was quite impressive.  It had excellent flow, high banked curves, plenty of jumps, and was quite technical in spots.  The longer climb was soon forgotten.  I managed to not crash.  Given the wettish conditions and my lack of mountain biking most all summer, I was expecting to given the speed of the descent and the technical nature of the trail.

Next season I'll be back to Tiger Mountain.  It has wonderful trails.  There are many we didn't have time to sample.  As much fun as I'd had camping and backpacking this past summer, I did it at the expense of not biking hardly at all.  I'm sort of bummed about that.

I am working my ass back into condition.  There are many places around that don't close for the rainy season.  I'll be doing much more riding over the winter and into the sunny, dry summer next year.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekend Activities

Today I get a partial paycheck from the government.  The partial paycheck will be the last one I get until congress can fund government operations.  I'm working for I.O.U.'s right now.  Given that, I'm feeling like I should not be spending money.  Supposedly, we'll be paid for this time if/when the government is rolling again.  We'll see.

Today is my every-other-Friday off.  Monday is a holiday.  A four day weekend for me.  I'm thinking I might do some car camping.  The weather is supposed to be only sometimes rainy.  I think the National Parks are still closed so I'd camp elsewhere.  There are plenty of "elsewheres" around here.

Of course, I could play ping pong

Or maybe I'll make some nice "inspirational" wall hanging things.

Nah, I think I'll go car camping.  Seems more fun.