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In the last two weeks I've made an offer on a house, had the offer accepted, had an inspection done, rescinded the offer based on the inspection, and am now closing in on house number two.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).