Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Working in the West Desert

A couple of weeks ago I had some field work to do out in Utah's west desert. Here are a couple of pics from the field area.

It is an amazing place. So much wide open space, so few people. One of the days I had to go around to 7 different springs spread out over about 200 miles to evaluate them as potential flow monitoring sites.

The trees and green vegetation you see in this picture are two of the spring sites. You can see that the springs are the only source of water for many miles, which is why we want to monitor them. When Las Vegas begins to pump very large amounts of water from eastern Nevada, these springs could be the first to feel it.

At one of the springs I think I saw some wild horses, but they were so far away I couldn't be sure. It just added to the mystery of the place. I had to leave immediately and could not go investigate them because I was running very low on fuel and the nearest gas station is about 60 miles away. The nearest grocery store to where we stay is about 90 miles away. (The gas station at 60 miles has about 40 different kinds of ice cream in a case like at Baskin Robbins though, which I find rather peculiar.)

Whenever I come back from being out there for even a couple of nights, I always find myself slightly repulsed by civilization. The desert gives me a genuine sense of peace, but in the city, that peace is elusive. Too many people, too many tasks to do. Have to update our blog... and on and on.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Time for giving back and taking it in

Drew and I did some trail building today in Emigration Canyon. Couldn't have asked for a better day for it. Nice scrub oak colors.

Then we went to a University of Utah Utes tailgate party. Our friend Doug had his fifth-wheel camper up there, as always. You can see I was trying to get into the spirit with pseudo red and white Ute attire. WHAT A CRAZY SCENE. The level of fan-ness was unmatched at any tailgate party I've been to. Perhaps that is because at my schools, we all wore down parkas and made snow caves to party in before the games. (not really) Doug's friends had their whole camper painted red and white. That was quite fun. Thanks for the invitation, Doug!

Autumn in Park City

Oh what a fun day!

Drew and I finally went for a fun ride. Just for fun. No training, no pushing, no timing; I didn't even look at my heart rate monitor (hardly). Weather was warm but there was the crispy fall tinge to the air. Them colors they is a changin' up thar in the high country. We went up Deer Crest to the meadow up above Deer Valley ski area, then down Tour de Suds. Nice 2 hour ride, with time for photos and smooches.

After the ride, we checked out the Park City recycle center. We heard they had good building materials for dirt cheap. Not so much on this day, but it is a v. cool place. Yay, recycling!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My fault

My coworkers made this really cool video about the Wasatch Fault here in Utah.
Our house sits directly on the fault. Yes, I'm very uneasy about this, but we do carry earthquake insurance. Guess that doesn't help if we are IN the pile of rubble that will be our unreinforced masonry house-be-gone.

It is educational and appropriate for non-geologists. Tax payer dollars to go to produce a good product sometimes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Night Riding in the Wasatch Mountains

This past Friday Lucy and I ventured up in to the Wasatch Mountains for a night ride on our bikes. We started in the upper parking lot of Mill Creek Canyon at 6:30 pm. From the parking lot we climbed up to the Crest Trail. The sun was setting as we climbed through the Aspens. The meadows took on spectacular hues of red as the last rays of sun disappeared over the Great Salt Lake.

We reached the ridge overlooking Park City just in time to set up our light systems. The temperature dropped quickly and we made our way back to the car in the dark. The lights allowed us to ride a very popular trail all by ourselves. We descended back to the car on wonderful singletrack guided only by the lights on our helmets and handlebars. The darkness surrounded us as we descended and the trees became more dense. We reached the car with big smiles on our faces which were unfortunately frozen in place. We think the temperature was somewhere in the very low 40's as we scrambled to stow everything in the car and get the heater going.
Before we left we turned all of our lights off and enjoyed the total darkness for a moment. We became scared though and drove out of the Canyon and had dinner at Rocky Mountain Pizza. It was a wonderful date night before I had to head off to work the next day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tour de Suds

Today was the 28-year running Park City institution that is Tour de Suds. This is where "racers" are encouraged to dress in costume, many of which seem to have a beer theme. Most people don't ride very fast, and instead, like us, just take in the gorgeous scenery and perfect fall weather in spectacular Utah. Drew had to return to work today, even though he has been wanting to ride this event all year. So sad! So I went with Jim and Shelly as the Cat-in-the-Hat, Thing 1, and Thing 2. We were VERY cute. Cute enough to get 5th place and $10 in the costume contest! Thanks to Seamstress Shelly for making our costumes.
Fine beer and burgers afterward. Thanks, Park City. You are fun. If you weren't so cold and snowy in the winter, We'd live in you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Bike!!

A big day for big Drew.

New big bike. Drew is so excited about his new Titus Racer X 29er. To those of you unfamiliar with fanatical bike lingo, the "29er" refers to the 29-inch diameter of the wheels. Most mountain bikes have 26-inch diameter wheels. The big wheels roll over obstacles better, and the geometry fits him better. So far, it is a dream to ride. It is the first bike Drew has built up brand new in 9 years. Previous "new" bikes had old parts. He put SRAM X.0 and Shimano XT components on it. Wheelset is Mavic Cross Max. Richy carbon riser bar. Elixer haudraulic disc brakes. Fox F120 RLC fork. Ergon grips adn Thompson seatpost. He is spinning Hutchinson Python tires. Sweeeeeeet.

We took it out for its maiden voyage last Friday and checked out the burn area adjacent to Salt Lake Valley in the Corner Canyon area. These photos are taken on Bonneville Shoreline trail. Personally, I think the landscape looks really cool and stark after a fire. Plus, you can see the rocks better.

As a bone, Drew threw me a new drive train: all new Shimano chain, chainrings, and cogset plus cables and housing. Jube runs smoothly now.

Thanks to Jim and Steve for playing with us and to Heather for cooking us fabulous pasta feed afterward.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Our belated garden

Yesterday I harvested a red tomato at last! With all the stupid biking we did this summer, I was not able to plant my tomato starts, which our awsome friend Wendy gave me (Thanks, Wendy!) until July 4th. Needless to say, the tomatoes are a little late this year. Last year I had a RED tomato on June 27th. This year the plants were just wee seedlings then.

Below picture as taken a few weeks ago with the giant plants. I have since trimmed them back so they will put their efforts into making big, juicy, delectible fruits. The tree to my right is the Ginkgo tree we planted at our wedding ceremony. It has survived two transplantings already, but it didn't much like this year. No new growth on it. It was supposed to be symbolic of our marriage. Hardy, able to grow through the years, etc. I hope this isn't a bad sign ;-).

Tonight, Drew and I put together my anniversary present. It is a potting bench. Maybe he got me this so I don't mess up his garage so much. Isn't it so cool? What a good present. Oh, and I am holding the 2nd tomato from our mini garden.

I'm in the garage. You can see, we have not really got around to finishing the inside yet. Someday, when we cut back on this incessant biking.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A relaxing weekend in Salt Lake City

A wonderful weekend just relaxing in Salt Lake City! Lucy and I took advantage of the free schedule and took in the Farmers Market, worked on the house and just relaxed. A much deserved weekend after so many weekends filled with wonderful activities and events!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Our old blog dies a sad death

Announcing our new blog! We have migrated to blogger.com because that Smartpunters site had some weird company and the site was blocked on many peoples' work computers. We don't want to get in the way of people goofing off at work.

If you want to read our old blog, here is the site.

Posts include

American Mountain Classic Endurance Mountain Bike race in Brian Head. Aug 2008

A trip to Portland. July 2008

The BC Bike Race, a seven-day endurance mtb bike race in British Columbia. June-July 2008