Tuesday, October 16, 2018

If Only

At the ripe ol' age of 62 I have begun thinking about the things I always wished but never quite had the ability to bring to fruition.  So, in no particular order, I wish . . .

  • I could sing with a rock band to a sold-out stadium (and be good).
  • I could play my piano well enough to feel encouraged to continue playing.
  • I had a good sense of rhythm (see above).
  • I didn't always have to fight with myself about my weight.
  • My feet weren't so big or ugly.
  • My hair had natural body (anything but this straight, limp mess).
  • I could be famous for something good.
  • I was more generous, loving, and caring instead of being so selfish.
  • I could play the drums like Phil Collins.
  • I laughed more.
  • I would have spent more time with my mother. 
  • I never injured my shoulders.
  • I learned to swim before I became so afraid of water.
  • I lived someplace with a great view of an ocean, forest, and mountain (at the same time).
  • My near vision was good enough to not require reading glasses.
  • My dogs would live as long as me and we'd all be in great health.
  • I hadn't already lived the majority of my life (yet I don't really want to be much younger).
  • I would have graduated college early enough to make law school a possibility.
  • I was a better friend.
  • I didn't cry over TV commercials.
I'm sure there are other things but this is what popped out of my head.  Some of these things can still happen (although realistically probably won't).

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Voice of Strangers

Last week we went to Bryce Canyon National Park for a long weekend.  It is one of my most favorite places and we go nearly every year.  We typically do a lot of hiking but this time we took our bikes.

Erosion has produced many incredibly beautiful formations.

Hoodoos are where erosion has left stand-alone formations

There are many hoodoos and windows.

The skies are blue and the stars are amazing due to dark skies, free of light pollution.

Even a stroll along the rim is stunning.  

There is a bus system in the park that will take visitors from one lookout point to another.  But I really feel that it's better to really experience Bryce by hiking down into the canyon.

We've been to Bryce every season of the year.  At one point or another, we've hiked every trail, many of them multiple times.  This photo shows hikers doing the Queen's Garden and Navajo loop.  

There are many paved trails within the park to ride a bike.  Additionally, there is another long (paved) trail connecting Bryce Canyon with Red Canyon.

We decided to ride our bikes to the farthest lookout point, Rainbow Point.  Unfortunately, the map we consulted did not give us a clue how much climbing we were going to have to do in order to get there.  Although we've driven the route MANY times, you never realize how much of an incline, and for how long, until you ride a bike (or run) up it.  We had no clue that overall we were going to have to climb just under 3,000 feet!  Because of all the curves in the road, we didn't know that much of the climbing would be for miles at a time, affording little opportunity for legs to rest.

We stopped at a couple points but for the most part, just headed straight up.  There were a few times where I had to stop and just let my legs take a break.  My quads went from being on fire to complete fatigue.  (It is just over 38 miles round trip.)  

A couple of miles from the top, I was stopped, just standing there straddling Lila.  I pretty much had decided I did not have the muscle strength in my quads to make it the rest of the way to Rainbow Point.  I was contemplating what to do since Bob was ahead of me (and out of sight because of the curves).   I was ready to give up.

As I stood there, the driver of a vehicle going downhill, shouted out to me.  I can still recall the tone of his voice.  In a very deep, solid sounding tone, he slowly yelled, "YOU CAN DO IT!".  His words bounced around my head for a moment and then the thought occurred to me that he thought I could do it, so dammit, I guess I better do it.

I put my feet back on the pedals and slowly continued uphill.

I guess he was right.  I could do it, I just didn't know it.


PS - There are rumblings of having a mini-BAR at Bryce Canyon next year. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Mission Accomplished!

After having to postpone several times because of weather (high winds) we finally were able to head to Bear Lake for our bike ride around the lake.  It's just over 50 miles, across the Utah/Idaho border.  It would be our farthest ride ever!  Our friend Mary was with us.  She often accompanies us on the longer rides.  Mary bought her bike about a month before we bought ours.  Actually, she was the one who told me to spend some extra money and get a bike I would actually ride.  She was right!

I didn't get many photos of the lake itself.  It is a beautiful blue lake (caused by algae).  It's a really hot spot for the summer months so we intentionally waited until after Labor Day, then ultimately planned it for a weekday.

I couldn't get close enough to this Shoe House to really show you that it's in the shape of a shoe.  It has been around for several decades that I know of.  If you Google Bear Lake Shoe House there are other photos.

This is a great place for old houses.  I have a thing about old houses and snapped a few photos.  I didn't want to keep stopping for photos as the weather forecast was that in the afternoon the winds were supposed to kick up so I didn't want to cause us to have to ride against a strong headwind.  Can you see the Black Angus to the left of the house?

I have certain "rules" for my old houses.  I like the wooden ones, paint stripped off by age, and mostly intact.  Having windows and curtains are a bonus find!

Due to road construction, they turned us back just past the halfway point.  So I guess next fall we'll shoot for a true loop around the whole lake.  But as for the distance . . . 

Yup, mission accomplished!


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Millie Supports Emergence Responders

Yup, still doing the bike thing.  Now that the 1,000 mile goal is completed, we're working on a 50 mile ride - a Half Century.  The plan was for Saturday, then moved to Sunday due to weather (high winds).  Now, the plan is for Wednesday.  Wish us luck!

Yeah, he had to hug Millie!


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Millie About Town

This is similar to a smaller Viet Nam Wall except it is for firefighters killed in the line of duty.  There is a panel for every state.

A local pioneer.

Millie was feeling musical.

 Millie racing a train.

Millie stopping a train.

Millie pretending to be a crossing guard.

Taking a photo of Millie & me in the reflection of a window.

Millie was thinking about ordering some fries.

This week I am working on breaking the 100-miles-in-a-week goal.  I am doing really well so far.  


Thursday, August 9, 2018

More Millie

I don't know why I enjoy taking photos of my bike but for some reason I do.  We'll be riding along and I'll see something that captures my interest and I holler to hubby to "pull over".  I'm from northern Indiana and we have quite a few Amish in the area so anything Amish usually intrigues me.

A constant problem between bikers and drivers - Share The Road!  We try to be as courteous to drivers as possible, riding as far off to the right side as we are able.  Unfortunately, sometimes that shoulder area is full of broken glass and other debris.  I won't ride through that mess!

The west is on fire nearly every summer but this year California is having it worse than ever.  We have some fires in Utah (seven I think) but most of our smoke-filled air is coming in from California.  On the day I took this photo it was the first time in a long time that the air was clean.  Part of it was due to elevation and the other part was due to a shift in wind patterns.

Even though we are in the upper 90's more often than not, we are still running 2 days a week (three days is normal for us) and riding bikes another 2-3 days.  Once it cools off we'll be able to resume our 3rd running day and ride bikes in the afternoons.  When we run or bike we end up having to get up between 4:45am and 6:00am.  Once the sun is up it starts heating up quickly.

I still haven't lost any weight (actually gained a couple pounds) but I am having fun!