Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Word Games

Kill time, learn new words, and help feed some people all at once:

For each word you get correct, they donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations. They're up to 477,995,590 since they started earlier this month.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Busy weekend

Our weekend started out after work on Friday with a trip to Denver.

Monday, October 22, 2007

CX results

I managed to get 44th out of 100+. Sweet, I'm in the top 50%. Only 43 more people to pass before I start winning. And if that doesn't work out, I can always work on my calf modeling career:

Yikes. Looks like those horse steroids I've been taking are doing to trick.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Boulder Cyclocross

Today was my second cyclocross race. On today's menu was the a course at Interlocken that consisted of a lot of grass, some sand, and a deep stream crossing. The Senior Men cat 4 field was huge, with something like 110 people. As I'm not too concerned about placing well, I started pretty much on the back row and just worked my way up the whole race. Not only is it more relaxing for me that way, but it's quite fun passing people the whole race.

My team (Blue Sky Velo showed up in force today and set up a tent near one of the major course features. Also making the trip out to watch some pain in action were John and Annette Dyer. I can't even begin to tell you how great it is when your friends show up and cheer for you at a race. If you're miserable on the whole rest of the course, you can at least look forward to riding by your friends cheering you on, as well as taking jabs at you when they can.

I'm not sure where I ended up finishing (they'll post the full results in a couple days), but I had a good time riding around outside. Plus, I kept the rubber side down which is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Grand Canyon Part 3 - Roadtrip home

After we left the canyon, we drove to Page, AZ. Not exactly your hippest town in the world, and I wouldn't recommend it for your next vacation destination. Christine and I started our road trip with a stop in the Glen Canyon Dam visitor center. There's a lot of controversy surrounding that dam (and the amazing canyon that they flooded) and it was really lame that they didn't mention it in *any* of the educational displays. The dam and the Lake Powell have done a lot of great things for the area, but to not even address any of the controversy is completely dumb.

After Page, we drove up to Durango via Monument Valley. Monument Valley is pretty cool, but I must admit that it would have been way more impressive if we had stopped there before we experienced the awesome scenery of the Grand Canyon.

2007-10-05_06_monument valley

We stopped in the small town of Bluff, UT for some lunch and we stumbled on the type of road food place that I imagine when I think of a road trip. It's no gourmet cuisine, by the old lady that was running the place solo cooked up a tasty ham and cheese.

2007-10-05_17_dairy cafe, bluff, ut

Note the "Beer to go only" sign
2007-10-05_13_dairy cafe, bluff, ut - beer to go

On the last day of our trip, we drove from Durango back to Fort Collins. The drive from Durango to Ouray is pretty spectacular. The low clouds and moisture in the air made for some cool sights, although they were difficult to capture with a camera. We stopped in Silverton for a bit and checked out some shops. One of the places we stopped was a combination coffee/bike shop. What a great idea. I could probably pass the time in a town like Silverton playing with bikes while Christine serves up coffee...

2007-10-06_08_view driving between durango and silverton

2007-10-06_14_view down valley into ouray

We also stopped in Montrose for a bit to shop at the farmers market and find some lunch. We found a great place called Daily Bread and enjoyed some great breakfast food for lunch.

2007-10-06_19_breakfast at daily bread in montrose, co

It was a great trip, but it's always nice to get back home.

Grand Canyon Part 2 - In the Canyon

If it's not the hardest day hike I've ever done, I bet it's pretty darn close. Conceptually, having gravity help you down a canyon seems like a good idea, but in all actuality it takes a lot of leg strength to slow yourself down. The canyon profile looks something like step-slope-step-slope.... and the way you get down the step portions is be zig-zagging down rockslides that occur in a weakness in the step.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Grand Canyon Part 1 - Roadtrip to the Canyon

I've been looking forward to our Grand Canyon backpacking trip since I got the permit in June, and finally the time arrived. We spent Friday night packing up the car with all our backpacking gear plus our roadtrip stuff, and Kuzca was none too happy about her backpack not coming up from the basement. She pouted all evening and into the next morning, but I think she forgave us when after our her dog friend showed up for a week of playing.

We rolled out of the house Saturday morning and started driving west without much of a plan. We figured we'd try to make it to Bryce on the first of our two driving days, but we agreed that we didn't really care if we stopped earlier. We've driven I-70 across the state numerous times, but I can't remember ever doing it in the fall. It was a pleasent surprise to see all the aspens changing into their autumn golden colors.

Aspens along I-70
2007-09-29_02_fall colors along i-70

After we got into Utah, we got off the main highway and took some smaller roads and drove through Capitol Reef National Park and Escalante Staircase before making it to Bryce in the evening. Having not made any advance plans, we didn't have any reservations. We figured that it'd be no problem this late in the year, but we were quite wrong. Long story short, we ended up staying about 20 miles away in Panguich.

The next morning, we got up really early and drove into Bryce Canyon National Park to catch the sunrise. It was super cold (25 degrees), but we put on our down jackets and braved it until the sun started peeking up over the horizon. Totally worth it. From Bryce we drove over to Zion with a quick stop for some pie in Mount Carmel Junction. Just in case you go some time, the pie at the Thunderbird Cafe is really good. The pie at the dive across the street sucks. A few years ago, the park service closed one of Zion's roads to normal traffic. Instead, they have a shuttle that takes visitors around. It's a cool idea because it cuts down on traffic an polution, but I must admit it felt a little weird to be taking a bus tour. There were plenty of stops where you could get out and walk around, but we unfortunately didn't have much time. It'd be nice to go back sometime and hike around.

Bryce at sunrise
2007-09-30_16_bryce canyon national park - inspiration point

Thunderbird Restaurant
2007-09-30_34_thunderbird restaurant - mount carmel junction, ut

From Zion, we drove to Kanab ,UT to meet up with Owen and Erin at the Rocking V Cafe. Cheesy name, but really good food. And they're open on Sunday in a town where everything else was shut down. We enjoyed our last meal in civilization and then drove down to trailhead at the edge of the rim in the Kaibab National Forest.

View from Crazy Jug Point on the Grand Canyon rim
2007-09-30_45_grand canyon national park - view from crazy jug point

Grand Canyon

I'm working on getting all my photos organized from our Grand Canyon trip, and I'm hoping to have some stuff on LJ this evening. (I need to hurry up and get it posted before Jamie gets back from Italy and puts our little week long desert trip to shame.)

Pumpkin Carving

HP and the World Wildlife Federation put some endangered species pumpkin stencils online:

Go forth, and carve away.