Sunday, May 31, 2009

In Search of Bigfeet

After work on Friday we headed into the wilderness of eastern Humboldt County in search of Bigfeet. On the way there, we caught glimpses of Sasquatches, but never got a clear view.


We were clearly smack dab in the middle of Bigfoot country.


We arrived at our campsite on the East Fork of Willow Creek and cooked over the fire. Then we had cocktails, played rummy and kept an eye out for Bigfeet.


Our campsite had its own private swimming hole, so on Saturday we planted our lawnchairs there and waited for the beast.


Bigfeets are sneaky, so I watched the water just to make sure one didn't try to swim by.

We were running low on fundamental supplies, such as crushed ice and surgary snacks, so we headed to downtown Willow Creek.


We visited the Bigfoot Museum and conducted some research. The museum includes all sorts of fascinating information and exhibits.


Check out the Bigfoot cake pan.


We came across a giant footprint, a sure sign that Bigfeets were nearby.


OH MY GOD! Suddenly we were standing right next to Bigfoot. I held its hand.

With our mission accomplished, we headed back to camp and made another meal over the fire.


On Sunday morning, I fired up my trusty, little campstove to make coffee.

We returned to the fog and the process of putting out a paper resumed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some Memorial Day Weekend pics

On Saturday we watched the Kinetic Sculpture Race, which goes right by Kim's house. I spent most of the time stuffing my face, but was able to get a few shots in between mouthfuls.


I big fish swam buy.


There was a chicken and lots of chicks.


There were lots of interesting bikes, which weren't actually part of the race.


What do you do at a stoplight?

After the race, we jumped in the car and went to Abalone Point in Mendocino County. Guess what we ate?


Hula guarded the campsite.


On Sunday we visited Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg.


This fellow made a lot of noise.


But it as all good.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Garden

After a two-year hiatus, I'm gardening again – this time with The Goddess. Nearly two weeks ago we rented a rototiller. Then we started planting.


This is a new addition for Kim. It's a massive pumpkin patch in her front yard. We also planted potatoes and sunflowers. Take note of the chairs, which we call our "pumpkin observatory."


Here's the backyard garden. There are peas, carrots, beets, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, squash and probably some other stuff I can't remember right now.

Let it grow!

A Cursory Exploration of Old Town Eureka

I had a lot of work to do today, so time was of the essence. I jumped on my bike and headed for Old Town Eureka.


This bridge goes from Samoa to Indian Island. It's best not to think too much about the possibility of falling over the rail. From Indian Island there's a short bridge to Woodley Island, then a short bridge to Eureka.


Here's the view of Eureka from the top of the bridge on the Samoa end.


I admired this egret rookery. Note all the white spots in the trees!


Let's take a closer look.


Here's the Woodley Island Marina. Notice the pulp mill in the background. It's closed.


I admired one of the old buildings. By the way, the frame on my bike proved to be both flexible and rigid during today's ride, which was both long and short.


After I took this shot, I helped some Japanese tourists take a family photo. Somewhere on a mantle or in a photo album in the Land of the Rising Sun, there will be a photo of my bike with Japanese tourists next to it.


Old Town is a pretty place. Here's the gazebo.


I admired the artwork of Romano Gabriel. He must have been an interesting neighbor.


I looked inside and was shocked to discover that he had modeled at least one of his works after Kim and me.


I meandered down to the waterfront and looked at this rusty yacht, as I have many times before. I imagine that this was a real beauty in its day and probably was used by the rich and famous in Southern California. Cary Grant probably drank martinis at the stern while Betti Davis flirted with the captain.


This is where the visitors dock. This boat looks like its stopped over for supplies during a major voyage.

I think I'll make Old Town explorations a regular part of my schedule this summer on my Randonee, which is fast, yet slow.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

'How wonderful'

I think readers of this blog, assuming there are any left, will appreciate this song by Anthony Quinn.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Song of the day

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Flexible and Rigid – at the same time!!!

Overheard during this year's TUC:

"My carbon fiber frame is both flexible and rigid."

Tour of the Unknown Coast – The 100-Mile Slog

Before tackling my first Tour of the Unknown Coast in 2007, I trained extensively. In the months before I rode numerous 50 to 60 mile rides. One day I even pedalled from McKinleyville to Wlllow Creek and back, which is more than 80 miles and includes two mountain passes.

On the day of the 2007 tour, I felt strong and was confident that I’d finish. I completed the 100-mile course in just under 11 hours. Considering that six months prior I was in terrible shape and considered a 20-mile ride to be almost beyond my ability, I was pleased with my performance.

The next year I planned to train even more, but those plans fell through due to the demands of the business, which increased due to a number of interesting personal problems at home.

Fortunately, I was racking up lots of commuter miles and taking short evening rides. Despite a lack of distance training, I felt excellent during the 2008 tour. I was making good time and even passed a few riders going up Panther Gap. Then, halfway through at Honeydew, my rear wheel fell apart, and the race was over.

This year I didn’t train at all, unless you consider operating a martini shaker exercise.

I rode to Kneeland on Jan. 1 and Feb. 18. After those rides, I only did a couple flat 10 milers and some 17 milers.


This photo pretty much sums up my pre-tour training.

Other than having a bicycle in good working order, I felt completely unprepared for Saturday’s ride. I assumed I’d limit myself to the 100K race, but spent the extra $5 for the 100-miler just in case I changed my mind. I would assess the condition of my legs part way through the race and make a decision.

At mile 20, the prognosis wasn’t good. My legs were sore and I was tired. Clearly I wasn’t ready for the 100 miler.

As I got closer to the 100K turnaround point, I noticed cyclists heading back to Ferndale. That was probably a good idea, but I wasn’t going to have much of a sense of accomplishment if I did less than 100 miles.

The decision was irrational and ego-based, but it had to be done. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could complete the tour, regardless of my training. Male macho bullshit? Perhaps.

So at mile 30 I kept going, and soon after I was climbing Panther Gap in the blazing sun. It was slow going and I stopped often to drink water. About six or seven miles later, I was at the top with an aching arse.

Everything about my bike is great, except for the seat.

The ride down to Honeydew was full of potholes, and I saw lots of riders pull over with flat tires, probably “pinch flats” caused by skinny tires hitting potholes.


I was glad to have my big, fat 34s( See above), even though they slow me down.

I was tired. My legs were sore. My arse hurt. My hands hurt. I was halfway done.

Another 10 miles away lunch awaited me. It seemed like I’d never get there, but I did. I ate some soup and a sandwich. I felt a little queasy, but continued on.

The hills between the lunch site and the beach should have been the easy ones, but they were painful. I stopped often and began to think about the sag wagon.

“I’d much rather be spending time with Kim,” I thought to myself. “What am I doing out here?”

I tried to erase such thoughts from my head and repeated to myself “Failure is not an option.”

Ahead I rolled.

The headwind at the beach was brutal. If I used the same pedalling energy on a windless day, I probably would have moved down the road at 14 mph. But instead I was hovering around 7 mph.

People were passing me. They were smiling and looked refreshed.

Then again, sag wagons full of bicyclists began passing me up too. I could have been worse off.

It was tempting to jump onboard, but I had already gone more than 75 miles. How hard would it be to just keep going?

I found out it was hard, really hard.

The Wall, with a 10 percent grade, was difficult, but not nearly as bad as what’s called the Endless Hills. You climb and climb. Then, just when you think you’re near the summit, you climb some more.

Not only are you going up hill, but there’s a strong headwind.

I was in pain. I was tired and cranky. The landscape ceased to be pretty to me. It was just a hellish torture machine. “Damn, if only I had trained,” I thought to myself.

I chanted to myself “Keep going forward. Keep going forward.” I slogged my way over the course.

There weren’t any bursts of speed. I crawled along at 4 mph. The fog was rolling in and the wind was persistent.

Eleven hours and 54 minutes after I had started, I crossed the finish line. Sitting near the clock was a pile of finisher patches – the trophy one gets for the 100-mile challenge.


I grabbed a patch, put it in my pocket and smiled.

Damn, that was actually lots of fun, in an odd kind of way.

jacklooking goofy

When I arrived at Kim’s, she gave me the royal treatment.

Free Website Counter
Hit Counters