Monday, July 20, 2009

Am I the last to know?

Hmmm... something wonderful has popped up in my google reader and so now I have to know. Was it always there? Am I just blind? Am I the last to notice?

I'm usually skimming through google reader at a mile a minute. Have five minutes and want to read my cycling stuff. Ready. Set. Go.

Need stamping inspiration so must read CTMH sisters blogs. Ready. Set. Go.

Last week I vaguely recall noticing that someone "liked" something. You know, like in facebook. The little "like" button. But I was in a hurry and on some kind of reading mission and I just barely registered it in my brain.

Finally I thought, I have to find this thing called "like." And have you seen it? It's at the bottom of every post in google reader!! You cannot imagine the joy this brings to my heart. I often feel pangs of guilt because I rarely leave comments on blogs I read in reader. It's just too much trouble to go to the blog. But now, now I can "like" to my heart's content!!! I can tell them I read their entry and I "like" it. Woo Hoo!!

But now enquiring minds want to know... Does it notify the blog owner? Will they know I liked it? or is it just fellow google reader fans that will share that joy?

Great weekend at my house!! A wonderful crop with my tried and true customers that show up even when I haven't been in "stamp mode" and barely made an effort to let people know I was still having a crop. We enjoyed the a/c and fun company and laughter. Great times!!

Josh scored two goals in his soccer game Friday night!

Hubby came home on Friday! (That was a miracle and a story in and of itself. Maybe he'll blog it?!)

And Sunday we went to church and then met some friends at their house in IB and walked down to the sandcastle competition.

I only have a 15 minute break to write this entry so here are the highlights.
  • Cindy said it was 12 blocks to the beach
  • She lies! It was 1.7 miles
  • Candace and I can truly make friends with anyone and jump in strangers cars!
  • I guess that means Candace and I probably only walked 1 mile there.
  • We walked the whole way back and the icepack on my foot is proof.
  • The sandcastles were a little disappointing this year.
  • The crowds were a bit overwhelming.
  • Our friends are hilarious and we had another great adventure with them.
  • Yummy food! Snickerdoodle muffins?
  • Cindy was the hostess with the mostest. (Thank you Darryl and Cindy)
  • Had to go to Otay to drop of Rick's trip packs (so he can get paid!!!)
  • The 125 toll road from Otay costs $4.50.
  • It only took us 24 minutes to get from Otay to El Cajon!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Laguna Weekend/Mtn. Biking

I read stories all the time about people who go on cycling trips/tours and how hard it is for them to reintegrate back into normal life. I thought I'd have no problems. I was only going on a week long trip, you know... Now that I'm back, I have a better sense of what they are talking about. It's not that I'm having any "trouble," it's that I'm having way too much fun! I kind of got into "vacation" mode and I'm not really wanting to let it go. It's summer. I want to play and have fun.
So instead of staying home this weekend, cleaning house, getting myself organized, prepping for my workshops... I went and hung out with my friends at the cabins in Laguna. I'd say I feel guilty, but really, I don't. I feel like I'm actually enjoying my summer!
On Saturday we went on a hike/bike. Hiking still isn't working out so well for my foot, so I brought the mountain bike and chose to "bike" the trails that the rest of the group hiked. Josh came along for the fun and we had a blast. I was slow and nervous, but I loved every minute of it. Even the part where I had hike my bike out. Yep, made the rookie mistake of not taking extra tubes, patches or even a pump with me. (last minute switch from road bike to mountain bike, left me unorganized) We were only going to go on a "little" ride. What's the worst that could happen? ha! Our "little" ride turned into three hours!

Josh ended up riding out to the road ahead of me so he could go fetch the car, while I walked. Of course this was after we had to argue about it. :-) He wanted me to ride. Such the gentleman. I believe he called me "stubborn" as he pedaled off. Hey, it was my bike and my mistake....and he's a much faster rider than I am. I made it out to the road, rested a bit and barely started walking when he came back with the car.

The hiking group and one of their many "map stops."

Of course our journey was nothing compared to the hikers in the group. Two of the hikers wanted to get their picture taken with the cows, so they ventured off the path. Josh and I were watching from up above and I said "look Josh... all the cows just stood up at the same time!" Then he said "look at the bull scratching his foot on the ground."

Thankfully the rest of the group talked some sense into the two would be photographers and they went on their way. All was well, until they attempted to go back. Apparently the cows remembered them. They let other hikers through, but they were not going to let that crazy group through. There was a bit of a stand-off and a little charge before the hikers decided to go the other way. Of course the adventure provided lots of laughter and endless stories all weekend long. Nary a conversation went by without at least one cow reference.
I'm thinking it's not such a great idea to try and get your picture taken with a cow. This view might be a bit better.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Day 6 - last Day of Bike Tour

Ooops, guess I've been avoiding writing about the last day of the tour. Maybe I'm holding on subconciously?

We were scheduled to do a 26 mile bike ride on our last day. In theory, it sounded great. It wasn't until we realized check-out was a 11:00am and we had a plane to catch that it sounded a little tricky. Hmmm...we either need to get done early or get on a plane stinky. Early definately sounded better.

We had another fine breakfast prepared by Linda and Patty at 7am. After breakfast everyone was kind of milling around and I thought... "hmmm... if I leave earlier, then it will take that much longer for everyone to pass me." I shared my thought with Judy and she said she was ready to go we were off....

It was a beautiful morning! Cool and crisp. I even saw a moose! About 5 miles into the ride we saw Ann and Deb heading back. (They left before breakfast.) Ann said she had to turn back a couple of miles before the end of the ride because a herd of cattle were in the road.
The beginning of the ride was flat, flat, flat. Then we had a few rolling hills before it started a long slow incline. It wasn't "hard." I just had to find a comfortable gear and pedal along...slowly... At some point Jane, Michelle and Claudine passed us (of course, haha). A little while later the three of them came zooming back down the hill. Ahhh...we must be close to the top!
Just after we started flying down the hill, my cell phone started ringing. I didn't see Judy right behind me so I thought I'd better stop in case she was having trouble. Turns out it was Linda and she couldn't figure out where we were. Everyone who was behind us, had already passed her. How could that be? Ummm because they didn't ride all the way to the top! I think they heard the rumors about the cows. :-) We never saw any cows!!

Judy and I may have been "last," but at least we can say we rode all the way. It was just us and the "big guys." (Jane, Michelle and Claudine.) After missing a few miles the first day, I would've had to be dead to skip any more miles.

We got back in plenty of time to take a nice hot bath. I'm sure the people on the plane were probably grateful for that. We had a wonderful picnic lunch, waited for our shuttles and then headed off to the airport. And then the fun really began....

Waiting for the shuttles

We hung out for a couple of hours and then Judy's flight left. Jane and I hung out at the cafeteria. I played on the internet. She read. About an hour or so later I looked up and saw Judy. Jane said I looked like I saw a ghost. Turns out the Denver airport was closed and they had been sitting on their plane the whole time. Finally the airline decided to let them get off for a few minutes to grab something to eat.

Hmmm....what does that mean about our flight? By the time we were getting ready to leave, Denver was open again, but Jackson was in danger of closing. It was raining and I was already hurrying to the plane when the flight attendant leaned out the door and told me to run. Me? Run? Must've been a funny sight, but I ran... or attempted to run.... As I climbed into the plane, the flight attendant started doing her little speech in super fast mode. Only problem was, we were still getting fuel. I was seated and ready to go, but the plane was not.

And then... Jackson closed....but only for about 15 minutes. All said and done, we arrived at Denver ontime... but guess what?! Our next plane was delayed! We finally landed in San Diego around midnight and I think we spent about 5 hours hanging out in airports. I was more exhausted by the trip home than I was by any of the days of cycling!

Bike Tour Posts

Monday, July 06, 2009

Bike Tour - Day 5

Thursday, July 2, 2009

We got to sleep in today!!! My own room and I got to sleep in. Life is good. After a yummy breakfast prepared by the guides, we loaded the bikes on the van and headed up Targhee Mountain. Well, some of us went in the van....

Jane and Patty (tour guide) decided to add some extra miles and ride up the mountain. I was in the front seat of the van, ready to take pictures of the super studs, but of course they were stopped at a lookout when we drove by.

Once we got to the ski resort we took the ski lift up to the top. I've never been on a ski lift and I was a little nervous about getting on and off, but it wasn't bad at all. The view was incredible! When we got to the top we walked up to the observation deck and found the coolest view!!

When you face West (Idaho) this is what you see.... beautiful green fields and mountains.
Jane and Dawn

When you face East (Wyoming) you see snow capped mountains.

Laure and Dawn

Check out the mountain bike on the ski lift.
You can take your mountain bike up, then ride down!

After our sight seeing and picture taking, it was time to ride back down the mountain. As we started getting our bikes, big fat rain drops started to fall. Hmmm... maybe if we hop on and get going right away, we can outrun the storm. I rolled up my right pant leg and in my hurry to get going, I forgot to apply bug spray. That proved to be a VERY bad thing....

As we were leaving the resort we had one short steep hill to climb. The altitude sucked my breath away so I had to stop partway up. Apparently I was the only live thing to stop in that area because I was quickly covered in mosquitoes!!!! I started swatting them away and tearing into my bag...spraying as quickly as I could. My spray was a combo sunscreen/bug spray and I hadn't been spraying my clothes, but those stinkin mosquitoes were biting me right through my clothes so I sprayed them too. I didn't even care if it ruined everything I was wearing. Soon the onslaught was slowed so I jumped on my bike and got out of there as fast as I could.

I was so excited to get to the top of the hill and start zooming DOWN!!! As I rode the rain got harder and harder. I never knew rain could sting so much. Hmmm.... maybe because it was hailing! At that point I started laughing. I was pretty much drenched. The water was flowing like a river through my shoes. I didn't wear cycling shorts because we were only going 12 miles, right? I ride that at home in regular clothes all the time. Problem is that I wore the long yoga pants because we were going to ride down the hill to yoga. Those pants are mighty absorbent!! Thankfully the rain stopped once I got down the mountain and my cycling shirt dried pretty quickly. By the time I got to the condos, my shoes and my pants were still drenched though. So much for wearing yoga pants to yoga.

I changed clothes, got warmed up and then rode over to the yoga class. Of course it started raining again, but not quite so hard this time.

Yoga was nice. She showed us some poses that I haven't done before that were geared towards our cycling muscles, but it was very different from yoga here. No soothing music or water fountains. The studio was beautiful though!

Bike Tour Posts
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

Bike Tour - Day 4

Right before our first hill. This view alone was worth it!

(Wednesday, July 1, 1009)
Today we got ready for the ride back down to Jackson. Remember that "mostly flat" ride the other day that slowly brought us UP to Jackson Lake Lodge? Well today it will bring us "down" to Jackson. But first we have to take care of some hills at the beginning of the ride.

Since we have a tighter time frame today, our guides offered to give us a "bump" (car ride) down to Jenny Lake so we could save some time and start after the "hilly" part. A "bump" was not even an option in my mind. After skipping the last 10 miles the other day, I was anxious to try it. If I ran out of time towards the end of the ride, I'd let them help....but I wanted to see how far I could get.
It wasn't easy, I was sucking wind and I was slow, but I am happy to say that I rode those first 10 miles and loved it. It was beautiful, especially the trail from North Jenny Lake down to South Jenny Lake! I joked around when we pulled into the parking lot and I said "there are no tears at Jenny Lake today!" Turns out nobody really knew I shed a few tears behind those sunglasses the other day.

After a brief restroom stop, we continued on our way. I have to say I definately enjoyed the bike trail much more this time! But then I heard that telltale noise that meant.....flat tire....grrr..... Thankfully I was with Jeannie and Lori and they were anxious to practice some of the skills they learned at the bike maintenance class yesterday. I got the tire off and Lori was happy to inspect the tire. We were almost done when Rose (the Teton tour guide) showed up with the SAG wagon. Good news is that Rose helped me get the tire back on and put the stinkin difficult brakes back on. Bad news? She didn't have the floor pump on the van?!? That meant we could only put in as much air as we could with a hand pump.....and it's virtually impossible to get enough tire pressure that way!! (When I checked my tires the next day...I had 20 lbs. of pressure!)

Again, we were given the option to get a "bump." We were getting to the fun downhill part and we wanted to ride. So after contemplating whether we could make it by 12:30....we hoped on our bikes and went for it. They could always pick us up later... So I rode the last 15 or so miles on an underinflated tire and made it by.......12:15!!! Oh yeah baby!

After a picnic lunch, we loaded all the bikes up on the van and shuttled over the pass to Driggs, Idaho....after a brief stop in Victor for Huckleberry Shakes.

The condos we are staying at are absolutely beautiful. We have washers and dryers and..... our own rooms!!!! Jane is a great roommate, but it sure is relaxing to have my own space. There's a router in the master bedroom, but I haven't been able to connect to the internet. I can plug in directly....but it's not my room, so it's not really convenient. (which is why I'm behind on posting!)

My bedroom at the Condo

The view out the door of my bedroom.
Can't you just picture that pond frozen over in the winter?!

I plan to post laster about all the amazing food we have eaten...but just know that I had some fantastic prime rib and shrimp at this restaurant that was right next to the airport!

Bike Tour Posts
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Bike Tour - Day 3

(I'm home safe and sound from my trip, but I'm a little behind on the blogging. Wifi was hard to come by for a few days so I got a little behind. Stay tuned for the rest of the updates.)

Jane and Dawn - River Float - Snake River
Day 3
I woke up feeling good. I’m not even sore from yesterday. Too bad I was struggling with my cold and the altitude, otherwise I think I could have finished the ride yesterday. The good news is that I’m on antibiotics now, so maybe I can get rid of the stuff in my chest and be ready for our ride on Wednesday.

I had planned to go on a little hike this morning, but ended up riding a couple of miles down the road towards Colter Bay. It ended up being a great decision. As soon as I got on the bike my right shoulder was killing me. I rode a while to see if it loosened up and then headed back to the cabins. Linda (one of the guides) was prepping stuff in the trailer when I got back and she helped re-fit my bike. We couldn’t adjust the handlebars, so she had me lower the seat a bit and boom, it was instantly better. It’s amazing how tiny little adjustments can make such a big difference.

This afternoon we had a bike workshop. We learned some bike maintenance and some tips on shifting. Every time I go to a bike maintenance class I remember something different. I think I could learn how to change a tire a million times and still learn something different from the person teaching it. Everyone has their own little tips/techniques.

Tonight we went on the Dinner Float trip down the Snake River. As we were walking down to the dinner area, it started to rain. Next thing we know, it’s raining pretty hard and we are all huddled under a canopy. By the time dinner was done cooking, the rain had cleared and the sun was coming out. It was amazing.

Our group was split between two rafts. Apparently the other group were the trouble-makers. I heard their guide "chastising" them for tightening their own life vests. :-)

The dinner was delicious. They bbq'd steak and trout, plus had corn on the cob, salad, mashed potatoes, rolls and cobbler.


We ended up having perfect weather for the rest of the float trip. Our guide (Luke) was really interesting. He shared so much information about the park and the animals that the time just flew by. The water is incredibly high on the river right now and it is cutting new channels every day. We saw many trees leaning into the river because all the soil around them was being washed away. We also saw a bunch of different animals including a bald eagle.

If you look closely you can see the Bald Eagle in the tree.

Michelle, Lori, Jane and Roberta

I felt so relaxed after floating down the river! I think I’m going to sleep good tonight.

Bike Tour Posts
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bike Tour - Day 2

Bike Tour – Day 2

The plan for today was to ride approximately 42 miles to Jackson Lake Lodge. We got started bright and early and the weather was perfect for riding. It was crisp and cool. While the tour brochure says that it this tour is “mostly flat,” it does not say it is all flat. We figured that out right away as we started our first little climb. I’m not the best hill climber in San Diego. Add 6,000 feet of elevation and it’s even harder for me, but I’m happy to say I did it.

In fact the first 22 miles were an absolute breeze. I loved it, especially the National Elk Preserve. The road was so smooth! And then we hit this section with rolling hills where you get enough speed going down that it almost carries you up the next hill. We were having so much fun that I completely blew right past our turn. We figured it out soon enough…when the road became a dead end. Thankfully we’d only gone about one mile. Just as we were turning around, the Teton guides caught up with us. Ooops. I’m sure I should feel bad about going off track, but it was so much fun. And we got to see a bull Bison too.

Once we got back on track, we got stopped again by a herd of Bison. They were crossing the road. Apparently Bison are not all that friendly. Thankfully the Teton guides were there with the van and they helped lead us through. We waited for a break in the herd and then continued down the road. I was watching the approaching herd as we rode by and then I turned to look to my right and looked at the part that had already crossed and several of them had turned back and were paying a little too much attention to us little bike riders. I was more than happy to scurry along. I was able to take one picture while we were waiting to cross. Sadly I couldn’t capture the little baby that was on the other side of the road.
When we stopped at the visitors center, I was feeling good and flying high and so we continued along on the new bike path that goes to Jenny Lake. It was “mostly flat,” but you pretty much had to pedal the entire time. It was a long slow incline. Nothing too difficult…but suddenly I was struggling. My silly cold was moving into my chest so I was coughing. I had no energy and had to stop a couple of times once I hit about 30 miles. I was getting a little dizzy and it took everything I had to get to Jenny Lake.

Once I got to Jenny Lake, I sat down, snacked a bit, drank some Gatorade and hoped it would pass. Sadly, it didn’t. I was done. I had to face the reality that it would be irresponsible for me to continue on when I knew I was feeling so bad. I’ve ridden a lot and I have never felt so awful. It was such a hard decision to make!! I really wanted to ride every single mile available. It took another hour or so, and lunch and water and soda and Gatorade….before I started feeling better. Of course, by that point, I probably could’ve floated up the hill with all the fluids I drank!

We’re staying at the Jackson Lake Lodge and it is absolutely beautiful. We have adorable little cabins with the most amazingly comfortable beds! Tonight we were even treated to a little thunderstorm. It was so fun listening to the thunder and the rain.

Bike Tour Posts
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6