Sunday, May 31, 2009
On Memorial Day, Drew and I participated in the Stan Crane Memorial Intermountain Cup mountain bike race sponsored by our bike shop and held right here in little ol' Salt Lake Valley. Seeings as how the course received almost a full inch of rain the day and night prior, we were somewhat skeptical that the amazing organizer Ed would be able to pull it off. We took an almost 2 hour delay to reroute the course, but happily, we were able to race and have a grand ol' time. Above picture credit: thanks Theresa. The reason we did not end up covered in thick gooey mud this time, was again, due to geology. Remember the Five Mile Pass race a few weeks ago? There we were riding across shale. Shale is more or less just clay that has hardened into a rock. Wet clay and expensive mountain bikes don't like each other. The original race course on Monday's Stan Crane race would have taken us up Corner Canyon and onto soils formed on volcanic and igneous rock, generally pretty rich in clay minerals. Instead, Ed and the good trail folks at Draper routed us entirely on the lower trails, which are carved into the 12,000 year old beach formed around the shoreline of Lake Bonneville, the humongous freshwater grandmother of Great Salt Lake. Since these trails are on sand and gravel, they were perfectly ridable only a few hours after heavy rain. See, geology really does touch our everyday lives. Kids, pay attention in that earth science class!
Afterwards, the team put on a rockin' yummy barbecue. Thanks to Steve H and Doug K for grillin' up some fine meat products. I also acknowledge our most excellent team mechanic, Ryan. He just touches my bike and it rides like a new steed.
Friday I tried to repeat last Friday's 50-miler (pic above of the Glenwild and Silver Creek area), but John and I got rained out and had to high tail it back through Park City on pavement. There is nothing less satisfying than climbing and grunting along for 28 miles on rocky trails only to be robbed of the reward of going back down all that elevation you gained on fun singletrack. Pavement stinks.
Drew came home Saturday night. We watched Milk, the movie. It is amazing how little the religious rhetoric and scare tactics about gay rights have changed in 30 years!
Today we had a great ride, after Drew found his shorts that is. We were at the trailhead getting ready to ride when Drew realized he forgot his shorts. So off he went to the Pearl Izumi store ($ka-ching$) while I rode through Round Valley. With no companions to slow down, I took the luxury of snapping a few wildflower pics. They were out in force! I counted at least 15 different kinds of flowers, plus the sage brush was blooming too. The temp was mild and the air smelled as sweet as cotton candy with all the nectar around.
I even noticed something I read about in this guy's awesome blog post. See in this photo below the very fine example of Arrowleaf Balsamroot on the right and Cutleaf Balsamroot on the left? The flowers look identical, but the leaves are very different. Kids, pay attention in botany class too.
I met up with Drew and we had a nice leisurely 2.5 hour ride. That will have to hold me for a while for my Drew fix. I just figured out that in the 30 days between May 27 and June 27, we will have exactly 2 days off together, including today. Given our perpetual state of marital bliss, that just doesn't seem right. If we didn't get along so darn well, I might welcome some me time, but I think these next few weeks are just going to be lonely.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Weather was a little sketchy at times, as you can see here by this snow squall encroaching on one of our monitoring sites.Later on in the season, in late April and with better weather this time, Drew was able to join me on a quick trip to measure the discharge at some of the very important springs. Otherwise, with our wacky work schedules, we would not have seen each other for 12 days. I was lucky to have such a capable and obedient assistant. If only he was that way all the time ;-)
We took turns using the Swoofer Model 3000 open-channel current velocity meter to measure the flows, like I am doing here.
Drew thinks I look sexy in hip waders.
Anyway, it has been a productive and interesting spring for me at work. I'm due to go out again and install permanent monitoring sites in June. I'll try to take some more pics, since I know you all live for these exciting work-related posts.
Friday, May 15, 2009
These last few years she was seriously spoiled by Drew. He would pet her and feed her multiple times a day if she so much as trotted to her petting spot or food bowl. He spent many minutes playing "string" with her in "the Tower of Power" cat jungle gym. He always made sure her heated pet bed was working.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The month of May is one of transformation here in Utah. The valley comes to life with green grass and blossoming trees. The mountains stand over us in stark contrast covered white with ice and snow. This time of year is special for Lucy and me. To mark the occasion we now proudly display our newest 2009 bauble on the kitchen sink. As the days grow longer and the sun shines even brighter our solar enabled flower beckons us on outdoor adventures. This free bauble was a gift from the staff of the Wasabi Revolving Sushi Bar located at 675 E. and 2100 S. in Salt Lake City UT. Play this video and imagine yourself in the morning standing in our kitchen with a cup of coffee in your hand dreaming of the days adventures. "Seize the creamer, the sugar, and then seize the day!
The first weekend of May was a wet and muddy experience for the two of us. The second weekend of May was a totally different experience. We packed up the truck and headed down to Moab UT where we spent the weekend mountain biking with a bunch of friends. Alison, Rhonda & Andy, and Heather, a.k.a. "triple-H", joined us for an incredible weekend.
With temperatures in the mid 70's and clear skies we hit the ground running. Friday afternoon we rode the Sovereign Trail system. The sun set as we rode slick rock, singletrack, and sand.We headed back to the condo south of town where we enjoyed a few growlers from the Moab Brewery. Discussion turned to Saturdays ride and the gauntlet was thrown. Saturday we would ride the recently legalized Upper Porcupine and Lower Porcupine Singletrack Trails. These trails were incredible! By far the most technical and exhilarating trails that Moab has in her arsenal. Setting yourself up to clear one set of obstacles is always challenging, but having multiple obstacles thrown at you in quick succession with split decisions made 30 seconds ago determining your current velocity, trajectory, and survivability will leave you giggling like a kid in the playground who just got smacked squarely in the face by a red rubber ball in a game of dodge ball!
The UPS and LPS trails dump you in to the top of the Porcupine Rim Trail system. The original Porcupine Rim Trail is nothing to take for granted and can leave you looking for an alternative hobby like "Lazy-Boy reclining" if you are not careful. Our fearless group ventured on and continued down the trail. 23 miles of incredible mountain biking ending along the edge of the Colorado River. It was an epic day for all of us!
Sunday we all thought of ways to get out of work on Monday and stay an extra day. It was a short dream when we awoke and realized that we needed to keep working in order to keep our health benefits. We finished the weekend riding some of Moab's easier trails with names like Klondike Bluffs and Baby Steps. It was nice to get out and spin the legs before we headed back home to Salt Lake City UT.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Sure enough, it started pouring at 7 AM. The rain quit at 9:30, just in time for the race organizer to reroute us to a much shorter course. Off we went at 11:00.
Boy was it muddy! But oddly fun. Here are some pictures from after the race.
Some people pay to get mud facials.
Do you have to pay for this service, too?
Even those of you that don't know bike maintenance very well can probably figure out that this is not good for the bike.