Thursday, July 30, 2015

Alive and Kicking......

It has been a few weeks since I've posted so I thought it best to put up a little something.

We are still alive and kicking, although with today's high temperature forecast to be 106˚F (41.1˚C) we are doing a lot less kicking.

Right now it is too damn hot to do much of anything.

We had plans to load up the bikes for an overnight trip to the south coast one Saturday morning. The plan was to meet RichardM at Saturday morning coffee then escort him part way south to show him some great back roads to keep him off I-5 as long as possible on his trek south. Unfortunately as we were loading the bikes Troubadour's phone rang and it was a Team Oregon instructor looking for someone to cover a class in Salem.  The scheduled instructor had cracked ribs and could not do.  Troubadour to the rescue.  Teaching on asphalt in 100 degree heat was not fun, but he made it through.

He was out of the house within 10 minutes of getting the call, so I spent the next little bit puttering and putting things away.  I decided that since we weren't going away, I'd best go get groceries.  Sorry we didn't get to ride with you Richard.

Right now, the forests in Oregon are so tinder dry that we are hesitant of dual sport riding on the gravel roads through the forestry land.  Fire restrictions are in effect.  We are restricted to gravel roads only and every vehicle must carry with them the following:

1.  One gallon of water or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher;
2.  One axe;
3.  And one shovel with a minimum 8 inch blade.

Just doesn't seem worth it to load the little bikes down and head of for a few hours packing the extras.

We have managed to book a week off in September.  Maybe the weather will have cooled off enough by then we can get out and do something.  We are thinking a bike trip will be in order. Right now we are kicking around ideas and are pondering a ride up to the Olympic Peninsula and along Highway 101 all the way around the Peninsula.  While we aren't fans of Highway 101 traffic, it isn't as bad on the Peninsula.  Still just an idea.

We have managed to get out on the bicycles a few times.  Nothing exciting, just riding downtown for lunch.  One evening when it cooled off we went for an 8 mile (12.8 km) walk.  Another evening it was a 2 mile (3.21 km) round trip walk to buy an avocado for my breakfast the next day.  Sure we could have taken the car, but we can always use more exercise.

This weekend we are attending Big Northwest at Portland International Raceway. It is a large Subaru rally, our first time attending.  It should be fun.  Well except for the 100˚ temperatures.  Plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat will be the order of the day.  It is a one-day event and we'll be taking the camera with us.  I should have another post up next week with some interesting pictures.

I hope everyone else's temperatures are a little closer to average for their location and you've been able to get out on some great rides.  I have been keeping up on blog reading and it looks like everyone is still having fun.

I leave you with a favorite hot weather song.  "Too Darn Hot" by Stacey Kent.  Click on the name of the song to take you to YouTube.  If you aren't familiar with her music I recommend you have a listen to this song and others.  To me, her best album is 2003's The Boy Next Door.

UPDATE:  It is 3:30 pm Thursday and it is 103˚F (39.44˚C) out back in the shade and this is a picture of the thermometer out front on the sunny side of the house.  It is under the roof overhand just outside our front door 119.7˚F  (48.72˚C).  It should be another hour or two before we hit the hottest part of the day.  Did I mention we don't have A/C in the house?

(Outside our front door - July 30, 2015, Corvallis, Oregon)
- Au Revoir

" Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means  a waste of time." - John Lubbock "Recreation"  The Use of Life (1894)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Kissing the Trail Revisited

Last year on the July 4th long weekend Troubadour and I went on a mountain bike ride at Siltcoos Lake just south of Florence on the Oregon Coast.  I blogged about it here:  LINK. You'll need to scroll down the post to the Sunday ride.

With the weather in the Willamette Valley breaking records and coastal weather a good 30˚ cooler, we thought it was a good time to ride it again.

Misery loves company so Polar Bear, his Wife Sweet Pea, and the Polar Cub came along.  Well technically we went along with them since Polar Bear drove.

They picked us just before 10 am on Friday.  We loaded our bikes onto the trailer and headed Southwest to the Coast.

(The PolarCub and the bikes on the trailer - the neighbor's house doesn't make a good backdrop)
We arrived at the trailhead around noon.  Had a picnic lunch and set off on the trail after a few practice laps around the parking lot.

The last time we rode it I was on my hybrid bike so I was quite curious to see how I'd do on the mountain bike. (It was easier and less work overall)

We set off in a row; Troubadour in the lead, then me, the Cub, Polar Bear, and Sweet Pea. Unfortunately Sweet Pea was on a bike unfamiliar to her and wasn't having any fun.  She decided to push the bike the entire way.  The trailhead sign said 4 miles but the app on her and Polar Bear's phones said 7 miles.  Such a trooper for pushing it the whole way rather than taking the bike back and hiking it.

(Siltcoos Trail, Florence,OR)

(Troubadour having fun with the PolarCub about a sticker on his helmet)

(Group photo - PolarCub, Polar Bear, Sweet Pea, and Troubadour)

(Going up......)

(My ride - might soon be traded for a different one)

(Stopping to wait for the crew- photo by Troubadour)

(C'est moi - Photo by Troubadour)

(Time for hydration - photo by Troubadour)

(PolarCub taking a break)

(Sunshine through the trees)

(A view of Siltcoos Lake taken from one of the hike/bike/boat in campsites)

(Troubadour taking a rest)

(Troubadour at play)
While the cub didn't appreciate the tree roots sticking up across the trail and the many hills, he gave it a 3 out of 5 starts when all was said and done.  Not sure if he'd be willing to do it again, but I know we would.

By the numbers:

5  -  The number of riders/bikes
8  -  The number of mosquito bites I got
0  -  The number of mosquito bites Troubadour received.  WTF?
1  -  The number of times I jammed my knee into my front tire
4  -  The number of miles claimed on the trailhead sign
7  -  The number of miles of trail according to Polar Bear and Sweet Pea's phone apps
2  -  The number of peanut butter sammiches hubby and I consumed prior to riding (1 each)
4  -  The number of Starbucks Frappuccinos bought in Florence on the way home
5  -  The number of people who slept really well Friday night.

Thank you for driving Andy!

- Au Revoir

" We are each the star in our own situation comedy, and, with luck, the screwball friend in somebody else's." - Robert Brault