Wednesday, March 21, 2007

80 Degrees Fahrenheit sure does feel hot this time of year

6 Hours West of Boulder on I-70 is the high desert of Utah. Specifically Moab, Utah. Home to two National Parks, a bike shop for every 1,000 year round residents and not a single chain store, Moab some how maintains the luxury of remaining a real town, despite it's obvious status as a tourist destination.

Natalie and I went out last weekend with some friends, did a little camping, stayed in town one night, sampled the local coffee, scones, beer and burgers and when I say local, I mean the local businesses are all local. Natalie was running the Canyonlands Half Marathon and I did a little riding with Bryan.

Despite her longest run being only 5 miles, Nat finished without walking a bit.

On Saturday, Bryan and I rode Slickrock and then rode through town to replenish water and food and went out to do another loop of trail. Below is the top of a the craziest hike a bike I ever want to do. 700 feet of 100% bike carrying. I really tried to wheel the bike next to me several times but it was so rocky, those rocks politely reminded me every time that I needed to carry the damn bike.

View from the top
And the ribbon like reward we were treated to after a rest. Too bad there was a headwind, otherwise it would have been the stuff of dreams.

There is no place like Moab. Despite the cliche, Slickrock is really fun, you can ride your bike or hike for hours on end and always have a good time. I don't think I'll ever get bored hanging out there a couple times/year.
Nat looking cute on Main Street. I feel like we could add a Saturday Night Live logo and her name in the upper left hand corner of the photo and I'd think she were a comedian, it was the opening credits, and a monologue would soon follow. Natalie was smiling because the gelato we just had was damn good.

You didn't think I'd update this again, did you people!!??!?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Weekend Snow

Weekend of playing in the snow. Saturday I did a little snowshoeing and Natalie had her first skate ski lesson. Sunday I wrecked myself skate skiing at Eldora. It is awesome up there.

I love winter forests. No matter which way you turn it always looks the same but it never seems to get boring to look at.
Back side of Eldora. The snowshoe trails at Eldora were pretty tracked out for the first part of the hike but once I got to the north facing slopes that hadn't gone through melt cycles, to each side of the packed trail there was awesome powder. Descending was pretty fun.
Pondering the state of the world at home. It's nice to be over the cold I had last week. I am finally drinking coffee again in copious amounts. Mmmmmmm Coffee.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Guitar like a Banjo and sending Tristan to the Cyclo-Cross World Championships

Great night last night. Went to the Mountain Sun for a Junk Burger and low and behold, a Brown Ale is on tap. The Mountain Sun has officialy become the spot of choice in Boulder. I always enjoyed going there for food with friends, but inevitably it would be usurped from the top spot due to the inevitablity of compromise in my beer selection. And they call the it the Cleveland Brown. How can you not think about a Cleveland Steamer if someone says to you "Cleveland Brown, coming right up."

In college I knew a mountain bike racer that could play the banjo, really well in fact. He road tripped to Collegiate MTB Nationals with the UW team one year, and broke out the banjo in the hotel room. Ever since I have been very impressed by banjo players that really know how to play, that is, picking with four fingers instead of one. Last night I saw a guitar player at The Laughing Goat who picked with four fingers. And he didn't have any artificial picks. It was all finger tips. It was awesome. The music he could make was really entertaining and fun to listen to. I think it may have been the first time I saw a truly skilled guitarist perform. I may be making the trip to the Niwot Tavern next week to listen again.

Also of note, check out Tristan Schouten is a Wisconsin based Pro MTB and Elite Cyclocrosser who was named as a discretionary pic for the US Cyclo-Cross Worlds Team. He has the oppurtunity to compete against the world's best in Belgium at the end of this month. He'll need some help to get there, however. If you believe in US Cyclo-Cross and have an extra 5 or 10 dollars or more, throw it Tristan's way.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Weekend Report

A little late for a weekend post but oh well. The weekend in pictures along with a commuting pic Natalie took of me the day of the first blizzard in December. Tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be much of the same, so I thought it would be a good preface to that.
Silverthorne at 7 in the am. Bryan hooked us up with some lodging for Friday night so we could avoid ski traffic and enjoy the morning with a breakfast sandwich and coffee instead of sitting in the car for 3 hours. Gracias!
Great day of skiing until about 2pm when the winds really started to whip. This is looking up the mountain outside of the chalet at the top of Peak 8.
Sunday brought seemingly better weather until I went up to Eldora to go for a ski. When they say High Wind Warning, they mean it. My face definitely hurt from the blowing snow while I was walking from my car to the nordic house. As I set my skis into the rack, I noticed the few brave souls with shells and hoods skiing out into the sustained 30-40 mph winds. I had no such clothing. When I ski I have to wear the lightest long sleeve baselayer available or I'll sweat straight through it. I did have the foresight to bring a jacket on this day because I knew it would be windy, but I stood in the nordic house with my backpack on, thinking about my face and how I knew I'd ski no more than an hour for fear my cheeks would fall off after that. Not worth $17. I said "Not today" and took my skis back to the car and drove off to watch football on the TV.
I did stop and hike down to Boulder Falls on my way down the canyon. I love waterfalls in the winter.

Now everyone at work laughs at my googles when I ride in on inclement days. But I think it is an essential winter commuting accessory when the weather is precipitous, as it was the day in the above picture. Get out of your car people.

Friday, January 5, 2007

All hail the snow!

Damn I like all this snowing that is going on. Breck has a foot of snow by now; and it continues to snow in Boulder. What does this mean? Skiing. Lots and lots of skiing. The plan is Breckenridge tomorrow, and Frisco for some nordic on Sunday.

Commute in today wasn't too dodgy at all. I did get a little sideways/out of control on Spruce Street and nearly clipped the curb( It was barried in snow so I'm not exactly sure if I was near the curb or not). But overall the roads were half slush and half snow, so the 25c's worked just fine.

WHO let the dogs out? WHO!?!? WHO!?!?!? WHO!?!?!?

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Long December

Back from Wisconsin after a whirlwind holiday tour. Here's the run down:

No photos as the camera ran out of battery prior to leaving. Natalie packed the charger but I managed to keep myself busy enough that I didn't feel like running out to the car in the balmy 40 degree weather (damn global warming, it's Wisconsin for god's sake! ) to charge the battery and thus I spent a solid 10 days without documenting my experiences through images.

Instead I'll rely on words.

Met up with good old friends a few times and spent some time drinking beer, bowling, drinking beeer and generally having a good time. Definitely a highlight of my time home.

I foolishly packed my skis instead of my bike. I had to resort to ::gasp:: running! I did actually enjoy it.

Running is good fun if and only if it is done on trails that twist, turn, and provide atleast a small but measurable amount of elevation gain and loss. Such is the case at the Glacial Blue Hills trails outside of West Bend, WI. Fun on the mtb, but tight enough that they're even fun while running. Recommended duration: 1 hour. (It's still running people and you'll kill your knees if you do it longer than that.)

Saw a few movies including Night at the Museum. If you liked Jumanji, I'd recommend it. Went ice skating with the feam at the Pettit in Milwaukee. That was alot of fun. Althoguh I did find out that the Olympic Training Center is no longer thus as most of the Olympians jumped ship for SLC. Gone with be the days of speed skating olympians calling Waukesha home. But then again, if I had the choice between SLC and Milwaukee, I'd probably choose Salt Lake.

Here's a question: Will it take legal precedence in America to stop greedy developers from laying down housing tracts without a concern for the people that will live there and the quality of life they'll experience? Who should be accountable?