Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Short rides

'tis the season for short rides.   The temperatures normally dip into the teens at night and, since the sun doesn't rise until 7:30 or so to begin warming things up, it's generally 11:30 or 12:00 before it gets warm enough to ride--typically 35°.  Depending on my speed and wind speed, the wind chill factor can make that feel as though it's in the low 20s.  So, I'm content to do a six or eight mile ride and return to hot coffee and a warm house.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Life and living

Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of living, as it goes along with no regard for the important things.  Mundane tasks such as shopping for food, obtaining prescriptions, preparing for winter and attending activities for children and grandchildren take precedence and soon become all encompassing.  It takes a very real effort to get back to 'living' activities that provide enjoyment and quality of life benefits.  And, of course, the weather also gets in the way; five inches of snow on unplowed roads is pretty much a show-stopper.  However, I'm somewhat content to shrug off these minor inconviences and look at maps and catalogs, dreaming and planning for getting back to living.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Waiting for the first snow of the season harkens me back to the days of my youth;

although I don't have the same desires of snow ball fights and forts, I am anxious to see the fresh snow coating the browning vegetation.  I'm riding some of the lesser traveled roads now, trying to acquaint myself with the location of potholes which will be filled with uncompacted snow.  My riding has changed from going out early to avoid the heat of the day, to waiting until after lunch so I can ride during the heat of the day, which will be in the 20s and 30s for the next three or four months. That first blanket of sparkling white snow, untrammeled and clean, gives promise of a new beginning.  I want to get up early enough to ride through that white world, blazing a track before it is sullied by snowplows or turned to slush by the sun;

and if, by chance, an unsuspecting target presents itself when the freshly fallen snow is of the right consistency...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sweet sixteen

No, I was never 'sweet' 16 however, I did just have a very nice sixteen mile ride.  The sun was glaringly bright but the temperature was in the low 40s with a light, variable wind. 

I started off going out Airport Road and then took off on the old road toward Ellensburg.

 I stopped at the Teanaway River where I could see a lot of fall color laying on the banks.

To the North, Mt Stuart stood, draped in a fresh coating of snow.
Farther along, I could see the Yakima River wending its way through the fall color remnants.

I turned off on Taylor Road, a gravel road I'd never ridden before;

at the top I was able to see the ridge that is southwest of town and noticed the first dusting of snow on it (the peak in the center of the picture.)
At Lambert Road I was back on chip seal and stopped when I crossed the Teanaway River again.

From there it was a short five mile jaunt back along Airport Road to home.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween decorations

We've had extremely mild temperatures for the past three days; mid 50s, sunny and no wind. I've been making the best of it because I know the rain/snow and colder weather can't be too far away. After traveling up to Lake Cle Elum yesterday and a fairly decent ride the day before,I thought I would just ride around town and checkout some of the Halloween decorations. There were some fairly basic ones consisting of just a couple of pumpkins,

and some more elaborate including a headless horseman on a full-size horse.

I actually found one man who was still in the process of setting up his decorations.

One of the scariest parts of that display was the dog; when I stopped in front of the house, he turned to look at me and I wasn't certain that he wasn't going to come after me.
Some of the decorations consisted solely of a commercially obtained item plopped in the middle of the yard.

Some houses had no decorations but still conveyed the spirit of the season.

I thought the scariest decoration was this:
a decorative, inviting doorway with who knows what chained in the small shed adjacent to the steps.
The local Halloween parade will be on Monday; I may or may not decorate my trike, but I think I'll be in attendance to see the costumes.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I rode up to Lake Cle Elum today; it's completed its task for the year--providing water for irrigation, salmon and recreation. 

Earlier in the year the water would have been lapping at the wheels of my trike.  Now, it's prepared to begin accepting autumn rain and winter snow so it'll be ready to start the cycle again next year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I am trying to forget that a short week and a half ago, I was riding in sunny, 85° weather. I'm trying to forget because that will make reality easier to accept; and reality today is 35° and cloudy. I went for a ride on this crisp Fall day and found the colors are still present;

albeit, some of the color is now on the ground.

However, the colors are not as vibrant as when the sun imparts its warmth and energy to them and the water looks colder under the leaden skies.
Shorts and sandals have given way to jeans, shoes (with socks,) gloves, jacket and a watch cap that covers my ears. Soon, snow will preclude my riding on some roads and limit me to shorter distances on various loops about town. But, I'll continue to ride throughout the winter so I'll be ready to soar on the first glorious day in Spring.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The long road home

Since I chronicled our car trip to Arizona for my trike ride, it seems fitting that I tell you about our long trip home; it was very much in line with our 'Hey, that looks interesting" method of instant planning.  After completing my ride, we stayed in Seligman for the night and made the trip to Kingman on Saturday.  It wasn't a long day, because we got a late start and we also had to do laundry; we did a short jaunt around Kingman and saw some nice flowers,

and Barbara checked out some new shoes.

The view from our motel was quite nice.
The next morning Barbara got a chance to get up close to a locomotive

and then we were off for a small town we'd heard about: Oatman on an OLD section of Route 66.  The scenery on the twisting road was great.

We saw a reminder to slow down:

and then we hit Oatman during rush hour.

Yes, they allow--even encourage, burros to roam throughout the town.

After watching the High Noon gunfight

and browsing through the shops,

we were on the road again: destination-Lake Havasu City where we found an intact London Bridge.

                                                                                  We then drove into Laughlin, Nevada where we spent the night and paid our final homage to the gambling deities. The next morning, Roy did a quick loop around the top floor of the parking garage

before he loaded everything and we were off to Death Valley. We got there in time to take a spin on Artists' Drive

                                                                                  and a quick stop at the Artist's Palette.

                                                                                  From there we were able to drive to Badwater before dark.

The next morning we were off again, this time to Zabriski's Point,

Twenty mule team canyon,

and Dante's View, where we could look down on Badwater and get an overview of most of the Valley.

On our way out of the Valley we stopped at Mosaic Canyon,which Roy wrote about in A walk in the sun

We drove into Bishop, California for the night and were greeted by the snowy Sierras the next morning.

Next up was a trip past June Lake and it's waterfall and colorful foliage.

We crossed the highway and entered the wonderful world of Mono Lake

with it's fantastical tufa deposits:

The next morning we entered the realm of mountains: Lassen Peak, which looks a lot like Mount St Helens,

and Mount Shasta.

After Weed, we soon entered Oregon and the desire to get home and end the trip trumped any further side trips or pictures. We had a great time and the only problem with taking trips as we do is that there can be no planning--"hey, that looks interesting!"