Friday, September 28, 2007

On the road again

We're all packed up and ready to hit the road tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to both the road trip and the backpacking trip. Stay tuned for photos...

Free Colorado shirt

This one comes from my dad:

If you go to that site, you can select a T-shirt and then go pick it up at one of the Colorado welcome centers. I picked one up today.

Where's the Beef?

A couple of Christine's friends raise cattle, and the 1/4 cow we bought from them this year just arrived.

It's all free range, grass fed raised just outside of Fort Collins. We've had steaks at their house before, and they were really good. We don't eat all the much meat, but having some high quality meat around will change that I'm sure.


Apparently I need to work on bunny hopping curbs. At my cyclcocross practice on Tuesday, part of our course went up and over a curb. I've hopped curbs countless times, but I managed to screw this one up at like 15 miles an hour. My front wheel didn't clear the curb, and you can imagine how that went. The bike is perfectly fine, because I took most of the impact on my shoulder. It was super sore the next day, but it feels like it's gradually getting better. Hopefully I can sling a backpack over my shoulder soon, or it's going to be a long trip down into the Grand Canyon on Monday.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This is pretty fun. It's a 9V battery powered VW Van toy with a built in speaker. It has a needle on the bottom and plays a record by driving around it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

First Cyclocross Race

Today I drove down to Colorado Springs with a teammate for my first cyclocross race. Long story short, I finished 16th today out of 30 or 40 people. I'm pretty happy with that and I'm pretty happy with the fact that I could feel my skills getting better as the race went on. In particular, I was getting better riding in some of the loose dirt through corners. My dismounts need some work, but by the end of the race I was really nailing the one run-up on the course.

Cyclocross has some advantages over road racing:
  • More laid back atmosphere (mostly because there's not multiple fields of 100 people trying to register at the same time)

  • My races only last 45 minutes. It's 45 minutes of high intensity, but it's only 45 minutes.

  • The start time for my category isn't until after noon. Even though I had to drive all the way to Colorado Springs, I didn't have to leave my house until 8. Sure beats getting up at 4AM to do a flat road race in the middle of nowhere.

  • I'm more relaxed because I realize that I'm doing these races for fun and I'm not too concerned about my results.

  • I can drink a couple glasses of wine the night before a race. (See also previous bullet.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Small World

After cyclocross practice this week a teammate and I were chatting as we rode back to the car and he said something about being from Ohio. It turns out that he's from Toledo (my home town). That's relatively unusual. So then he asks where I went to high school, and we went to the same high school. Even more unusual. I tell him what year I graduated and it turns out that we were actually both at the same high school at the same time (he was a senior when I was a freshman). That's extremely unusual.

Of course, being the good teammate that I am, I went right home, dug out a yearbook, and sent his high school picture to our whole team.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tent for sale

If any of my outdoor-type friends are looking for a tent, I'm selling my Sierra Designs Hyperlight AST. We replaced it this year with a larger one.

I actually think it's a better tent than our current one, but it's not big enough for both of us plus the dog. I don't know what a fair price is. $100? It's still in great shape. I bet it's been used maybe 6-10 nights. It packs down pretty small, and is super sturdy. Set-up is super easy. Comes with footprint too.

More pictures on Flickr. Let me know if you're interested. I'll probably put it on eBay in the next day or so.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

1st anniversary trip to the American Lakes

The first camping trip Christine and i took together was to the American Lakes way back in 2004 (my lj post from back then). It seemed fitting that we spend our 1st anniversary at the same camp site.

I'm too lazy to write much but here are a few pictures and there are more on flickr

A self portrait:

Ther American Lakes are close to Thunder Pass, which is on the border to Rocky Mountain National Park. I haven't been to RMNP in years because they don't allow dogs. Her's Kuzca breaking the rules by entering RMNP at Thunder Pass:

We made a tasty lunch with salami, spinach, avocado, cheese, and cheddar bunnies:

1 year

One year ago today:

I can't believe it's been a year already. And what a great year it's been!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Emmaline Lake

For most of the holiday weekend, we stuck around the house and avoided the crowds. I even went in to work on Saturday while Christine rode her bike. (Don't worry, I'll make up for that time by checking out early on Friday.) On Monday we decided to venture out and head for the hills for a day hike to Emmaline Lake.

Emmaline Lake is in the Comanche Peak Wilderness area, and it's a lake I've wanted to visit for several years now. We were considering a backpacking trip there this year, but you can't camp anywhere near the lake so it was a good candidate for a day hike.

We started the hike under sunny skies, but some clouds quickly rolled in and brought some rain. It's pleasently unusual to be hiking in the rain in Colorado, and we found a nice place to hang out and watch the rain come down. The whole route was suprisingly damp for Colorado and there had clearly been a lot of rain up there lately. In addition to the mud, there was also a lot more mushrooms than I've ever seen in Colorado.

Most of the trail was a moderate uphill, but the last mile or so got steep and rocky. We weren't moving too fast, and that was a good thing because the rain had made the rocks and exposed roots very slippery. The skies cleared up when we got to Cirque Lake (below Emmaline), and it stayed clear long enough for us to make the quick trip up to Emmaline and snap some photos. After that, the rain came back and we just trekked the 6 miles back to the trailhead at a fairly brisk pace.

More pictures on Flickr