16 April 2010
11 April 2010
Spring Break 2010.
Arroyo Seco to Indians Road. 4 person overnight.
Turning my favorite corner.
J gets comfortable riding offroad downhills...
J rode his pink bike (12") the whole way. It's about 3.5 miles from the parking lot to the campsite.
This is D, after having his knife carrying privileges revoked for the duration. You can't see his narrow eyed defiance. You can see his empty belt sheath and his 4" bladed camp knife on the rock in the background. He ran down the trail brandishing it and making swooshy battle noises.
No running with knives.
Same site as the ill-fated "greatest camping trip ever".
Right next to the river.
The kids helped unload after some prompting.
Stuffing beers in the boy's coat pockets for the short walk down to the river...
to "hide" them in the cooler.
D giving it 4 thumbs up. It was a little cold for immersion, but nice nonetheless.
After some messing in the creek, it was time to ride down to the bridge and check out the trail on the other side.
We hiked a ways up and conscientiously shot slingshots loaded with local ammo at imperturbable natural targets.
Apparently, that trail goes out to Marble Peak, but more interestingly there is an offshoot that goes up the backside of Tassajara Hot Springs...bummer that it is wilderness area.
Back to camp.
I loaded pretty lightly this go round. Ok, aside from the folding chairs, but c'mon. No spatula, stove or 9,000lb cast iron griddle. We cooked on the coals. Slept under the stars.
I made blueberry pancakes in a frying pan on the coals in the morning. Even remembered the syrup.
We carefully aimed BB guns at precisely placed non-corrosive cylindrical receptacles for some time.
There was no plan.
Then we rode back down to the bridge for some goofing off.
Next time, when the water is lower and slower, it will be rope swing installment. There's our plan.
That water is so cold right now that after getting my whole self in I didn't even try to trick the kids into getting all in. You know that's cold. There was snow on the higher peaks when we arrived.
We had a boat making competition...
That's my entry in the foreground on the left; it is magnificent. I tied it together with saplings. N is holding the piece of driftwood that is the children's entry. They took lots of time to streamline their design. They even went so far as to remove the leaves from the hole they'd augured in; mainly because they wouldn't stay put, but also for reduced drag.
J handled the launch for me.
Both boats went right up the eddy and lodged in some bushes stream side. N and J fetched them with some effort, and we re-launched from the confluence...
You can't see it, but my vessel clearly won.
Pack it in, pack it out:
Mid-hill pause to drink the beer that had burst in the seat bag containing it and and the camera...
Look at me go!
Topping out back on the road...
I love this picture, because D has learned well to stop in the shade. This road taught him, not me. It is merciless.
Looking down the gorge.
That's a great trip. 3.5 miles is nothing, but it feels very remote once you turn that corner. We'll keep refining this one.
05 April 2010
...winter chased by springtime...
Pushing pushing pushing. Everybody says "Join our religion and get to Heaven." I say "No thanks. Why, bless my soul! I'm already there."
You can keep your zombies and your Popes. While I like the imagery and the fancy clothes and the smoke and the mirrors, the cost is prohibitive. I'll take my Glorious Suffering in personal doses and inflict it on myself. And of course, those immediately around me...
Pinnacles Weekend 2010. So and so's Birfday Ride. A lot of us started. From Santa Cruz to the Pinnacles National Monument. 90 miles the hard way. Roads,
railroad tracks, thorn-filled meadows, and dirt roads.
Flat stops. Ok, so all these were from the same flat stop, because I got tired of pulling the phone out to "document" flats. Several people had multiple punctures per wheel at this stop, which was immediately following the bad idea to ride cross bikes on railroad tracks. You'd think it was the sharp ballast stones that gave the flats, and you'd be right. But you'd be righter still if you thought it was the thorn filled exit from those tracks that really did the trick. It soon became ridiculous. We tried to roll out several times, only to have another cry of "Flat!"
Alls I know is, if you are amongst a peloton of flat receivers and you yourself just stand there smugly not checking your own tires: you will find after everyone else has fixed their flats because they did check their tires that they will not wait for you while you fix your front flat. The one that you get 5 minutes down the road. Especially if your tube of glue blows out at the seam, and your patches are old and dried out, and you use your only spare (after that very morning reflecting on your County Line experience with this same general bunch and declining to pack more than one extra tube. Like an IDIOT.) and then you find your rear has 2 more goat heads in it, and you have to borrow a tube which has already been flatted/patched from someone else...
LESSON: pack 2 extra tubes.
LESSON: check your tires for thorns if everyone else has thorn flats!
So it was a Good Thing I bought those 2 extra tallboys after we got lost and missed everyone in San Juan Batista. Because it was dirt:
on the San JuanBatista de Anza Trail
and then a lot more road until the dreaded La Gloria. I'd forgotten much of last year's event but I did recall the long, hot,slow climb up La Gloria and it's washboarded jackhammer of a backside.
2010 saw a cool day get colder, so heat was not an issue. Long and slow apparently are constants. At least for me.
The back side was cold and bittersweet. I felt as though I'd ridden right up to my limit and kept it there for some time. That's a Good Feeling.
A lot of broken dreams were left in tatters on that ride. Temporary alliances formed and melted. People were offered lessons in how to ride in a paceline. Some learned, some did not. Moves were made and emotions got the better of many. Desperation pedals in squares, while anger smoothly pushes circles. The finish lies deep in the night...drunk, next to the campfire, with it's shoes off if it's smart.
One of the really nice things about this debacle is the non-riding folks who show up and camp out. Families and sweethearts are not excluded. The Pagan celebration of the Magical Egg-laying Rabbit came early the next morning. Very early for those who had competed to the bitter end and only hours before stumbled to their inside-out sleeping bags.
I guess there's all kind of ways to celebrate.