Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bend Departure

We've been busy! The Hancocks came to Bend, followed shortly thereafter by the Waddles. It's been fun having friends in the area.

The weather cooperated and we were able to have al fresco dinners with our friends. That was pretty cool being to sit outside and have cocktails and food.

Another cool thing in Bend was US Cycling racing. There was time trialing, road racing, and a criterium through downtown. I have to tell you, those people are not from the same end of the gene pool as me. They are fast.

One of the rides we did with the Hancocks was out of Sisters. It was just gorgeous up there. The next two photos were taken on that ride.

Then we had lunch in Sisters at a cafe whose name escapes me, but it was very nice. Sisters is just cuter than a bug. These are poppies in front of a store.

We were also able to do a car shuttle and park over on Hwy 46, and then start riding from Phil's trail head up beyond the Lower Whoops entrance to pick up the Storm King trail. It was (to use an over used word) awesome. Bend mountain biking has totally and completely exceeded expectations.

This is a wall behind the Old Mill shopping area in Bend. See the furry little creature? It's a marmot. Cute, just cuter than a bug. It's cool to see wild life in the city. The whole hill side is covered in wild flowers.

Today we were forced to leave Bend by our schedule. We miss Bend. We drove 97 up from Bend towards Ellensburg, it's very rural and nice to look at. Here are blue wild flowers.

This is on the road on the way down to the Columbia Gorge. Steep!

Wind turbines in Washington.

We're at the KOA in Ellensburg for an overnight. It's an ok park, our site (#63) is long enough and level enough that we were able to stay hooked to the truck. Jim put the satellite antenna on top of the truck so he didn't have to move the ladders, which he would have had to do if it went up on the roof. This is the Yakima river, which runs along the park boundary.

So, Bend is definitely on the list of places to which we shall return. The mountain biking is just superb. If you ride off road, you should ride in Bend. Bend is good. The jury is still out on Petaluma. It's a pain in the butt to get to, very expensive, and not as high on the fun-o-meter as it should be.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Climb up Hwy 42

Monday night Jim came down with something intestinal. He spent most of the night being sick as a dog. Poor baby. Tuesday he just felt awful from lack of sleep, lack of food, and dehydration; so it was a pretty low key day. I walked him through the RV park in the afternoon and that was it for movement for him.
Today I rode up State Hwy 42 from Sunriver up to Highway 46. It's a pretty good 13 mile climb. Jim functioned as support. It's always nice having a dedicated driver.

This is the view of Mt. Bachelor at the top of the climb.

We drove out toward the ski areas which are closed. We kept on driving and found snow. People were out road biking by the snow. It was 63 at the top, which is pretty warm.

The road surface on 42 is just wonderful. No cracks or bumps. It's much nicer than 46, which is the other climb we've been doing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sisters, Oregon

Saturday the weather was iffy so we decided against riding. Instead we drove up to Sisters, Oregon. It's a small town, 1,700 or so people, north west of here. It used to be a logging town, but that's over and done with. They're reinvented themselves as a place for tourists to come and spend money. They just had a rodeo, and in July they have an enormous quilt show. The architecture of the town is consistent with the storefronts and wooden sidewalks. I'm not sure what period it represents, but they've got a theme and they're sticking with it.

Bearded iris in a courtyard.

The Sno-Cap drive in has been here since 1954. We had lunch there, it was pretty good. We exercised restraint and did not have the fries.

Then we drove out towards Santiam Pass. In 2003 there was a fire that consumed 96,000 acres. After that fire, forestry practices were changed to thin the forests and decrease undergrowth. The fires were so hot, the flames jumped to the crowns of trees.

This chipmunk is so cute it hurts me. Look at his little nose. Cute cute cute.

More of the burned areas.

We started out to ride Sunday, but it was so cold we couldn't stand it. We went to an RV show instead.

Happy first day of summer! Bend has had below normal temperatures for 75 of the last 93 days. It was finally warm today. We went mountain biking. It was warm and sunny. Nice.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heart Attacks in Women

This is a cut and paste from this post, it's very informative, and might just save your life. The entire site is worth reading.

An asssortment of gender differences if you find yourself having a heart attack:
  1. For women under the age of 50, heart attacks are twice as likely to be fatal as men’s.
  2. Women are twice as likely as men to die within the first few weeks after suffering a heart attack, and 42% of women die within the first year following a heart attack compared to 24% of men.
  3. Marital stress worsens the prognosis in women with heart disease – but not in men.
  4. Men’s coronary artery plaque tends to distribute in clumps whereas women’s tends to distribute more evenly throughout artery walls. This results in women’s diagnostic tests frequently being misinterpreted as “normal”.
  5. Women wait longer than men to go to a hospital Emergency Department when having a heart attack, and physicians are slower to recognize the presence of heart attacks in women because ”typical” patterns of chest pain and EKG changes are less frequently present.
  6. Average risk of being misdiagnosed in mid-heart attack for both men and women is about one in 50 – unless you’re a women under 60, in which case you are seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed compared to men.
  7. After a heart attack, women are less likely than men to receive standard treaments like beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and even aspirin – therapies known to improve survival. This contributes to a higher rate of complication after heart attacks in women, even after adjusting for age.
  8. Over 46% of women but only 22% of men heart attack survivors will be disabled with heart failure within six years.
  9. Women are 2-3 times more likely to die following open heart bypass surgery. But younger women between the ages of 40-59 are four times more likely to die from bypass surgery than men of exactly the same age.
  10. Women with diabetes have more than double the risk of heart attack than non- diabetic women. Diabetes doubles the risk of a second heart attack in women but not in men. Diabetes affects many more women than men after the age of 45.
  11. Women who are eligible candidates to receive life-saving clot-busting drugs in hospital are far less likely than men to receive them.
  12. The best course of treatment for a woman with heart disease has yet to be established, but women currently receive fewer cardiac procedures than men.
  13. Women comprise less than 24% of participants in all heart-related research studies.
  14. More women than men in North America have died from heart disease every year since 1984.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MTB up to the top of Phil's

Today was cold and windy, so we went mountain biking. I think I was still suffering the after effects of the hike from Hades Sunday. Anyway, we decided against doing Whoops because it requires standing on the pedals for most of 2 miles and I just did not have the quads for it. So, we rode up the top part of Phil's trail to see why it's marked double black diamond. And the answer is -- it's beyond steep! We pushed the bikes up part of it. So here we are where it leveled off. The red rock is lava. This whole area is an old lava flow.


Me on the lava. Right after this I put my arm warmers back on and re-zipped everything. It was an amazingly cold descent. My knees were loving those knee pads, they are warm.

So, that was today's entertainment.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Smith Rock - Terrebonne OR

After two days of riding pretty hard, we decided a rest day would be in order. So Sunday we drove out to Smith Rock for a relaxing little recovery hike. HAH! Double HAH HAH HAH!!! Smith Rock State Park is about 21 miles north of Bend. Due to a navigational error, we ended up going the back way, and it's a lovely little drive up the Old Bend-Redmond highway. Much better than the new highway.
This is the view from the top of the trail down to the river. It's pretty spectacular.

See the switch backed trail up the side of the hill. That's called the Misery Ridge Trail. The name should have been our first clue. It's only about 3/4 of a mile, but it was just giving me the heebie-jeebies because it gets very narrow, and very steep. I did a lot of it looking at my feet, holding Jim's belt. He's lucky he did not get a wedgie.

Here we are at the top. It's just stunning.

The junipers in the area are really twisted and bonsai looking.

In addition to hiking there is climbing in the park. These people are doing roped climbing. They obviously have a gene that I do not have.

After starting down the other side of the rock, we saw a rescue in process. I didn't get a picture of the injured, I think it would have been in bad taste. Anyway, she was by the side of the trail, under a white field expedient sun shade. Two firemen and a park guy were keeping her company. She was not in a location where she would have fallen climbing, she may have had a panic attack from the route down! Anyway, I really hope she had no broken bones.
Here are some of the rescue guys coming up the back side of the rock. Note the wheel underneath the gurney. Pretty cool method of transporting the wounded.

Finally, we got down to the river and away from the death defying switch backs. Note the rubber boat in the bottom middle of the photo. All the rescue people had to boat across the river from the Search and Rescue Vehicles. The injured party would be boated back across the water to an awaiting ambulance.

We, however, had many miles left to go. We saw more climbers. Climbers not only have massive quads for climbing up the sheer face of the rock, but they must also be flexible.

Is it not lovely here?

All in all, it was way more hike than we had anticipated, but it was worth it. It's an amazing area. After we got back to the car we headed to McDonalds for hot fudge sundaes.

Update to post: We heard on the news the next day that the injured woman had an ankle injury. It took them 3 hours to get her down the trail. After she was off, a roped climber was hurt but able to get back down, and several people were treated for heat exhaustion. Rescue was busy yesterday.

Friday, June 11, 2010

More Bend MTB and Robert's Field

Tuesday it did not rain, so we took an MTB tour with Cog Wild. They run tours, shuttles and stuff in the Bend area. We figured it would be more efficient just to pay someone to show us where to ride, than to suffer through map reading and painful trails. It was money well spent. We did about 8 miles up, and then rode down a trail called Whoops that is just a kick in the pants. It's full of bermed turns, jumps and table tops and is just in perfect condition. I use my brakes on it, but it is still fun. Then there is 5 more miles of mostly down on Phil's trail that is less arduous. After riding with Chris from Cog Wild I was seriously cooked. We did it again today, and it was really fun.
This is a round about where 5 trails intersect.

Somewhere in the Deschutes National Forest.

Jim going up to look at an unsigned trail today. The Forest Service and local mountain bikers are able to work in harmony here and allow the MTBers to build and maintain trails. The local community has been very good about coming out and working on the trails. It's unfortunate that it can't be like this everywhere. Another good thing is that the horses are segregated from the bicyclists, which I really like. I hate riding through horse poop.

Wednesday the weather was awful, so we drove up to Redmond to the only Walgreens in Central Oregon. After leaving the drug store we drove out to Roberts Field, which is the airport in Redmond. Many years ago, Jim was a co-pilot on a DC6 dropping slurry on forest fires, flying from this airport. He was stunned at how much it has grown since then. This is a DC7, the protuberance on the bottom of the plane is for slurry. It was originally delivered to United Airlines in the 1950's and had many owners before ending up here at Butler Aviation in Redmond.

So far we like Bend, especially since the sun has come out. The mountain biking is very good. Road riding is not great, but there aren't that many roads. There is a lot of forest. So, we are glad we have come here. The goal is to develop a circuit for the year so we can minimize moves and maximize good weather and time on a bicycle. Last summer was fun but I don't want to do that again for awhile. Too much time in the truck! I think I like Bend more than Petaluma.

Hope you are all well and happy where you are.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mountain Biking in Bend

Today we went mountain biking. The first place we went was on the Deschutes River trail. It's gorgeous out there. Especially since the sun was shining. We did not like that trail, at all. Bad trail, bad! There are sections that are full of big rocks that I do not know how to ride, it's a side hill trail, and all in all it just looked like certain death or maiming.

There were, however, lovely vistas to enjoy.

Next we tried part of Phil's trail system and liked it better. It has rocks as well, but the trails we were on today were not side hill trails, so while a fall is never desirable, at least one will not be plummeting off the trail down to the river below.
So, that was today.

Update to post: One should start riding south of the lava island. They trail is not as rocky there and is more pleasant.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

More From Bend

This is Crown Villa RV park. It's quite nice, it's groomed to within an inch of its life. This morning one of the grounds guys was using a trash picker upper to remove pine cones from the grass. Yesterday was very windy and a bunch of them hit the ground.

On the left is the office, on the right is the spa, guest lounge, restrooms/showers and the laundry.

However, this is the best part of the park, the storage shed. It is so cool to be able to roll 4 bikes in there and not have to mess with the mtb rack and cover, and putting the road bikes in and out of the basement. We like the shed a lot.

Today we set out on our 13 mile climbing route. We bailed after 10 miles, we were freezing. It was cold going up, and we knew it would be even worse going down, so we shortened it a bit. We met a really nice young woman loitering at the place where we had parked. She was on a mountain bike, and had ridden down a trail that started about 5 miles up the road. Her goal was to get a ride back up the hill. Apparently many mountain bikers here don't enjoy the climb. So we took her back up to where she was parked. It was good, she gave us the names of trails we should try riding. Apparently they actually sign them here, and the signs match the maps. That will be good.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Crown Villa RV Park - Bend Oregon

Well here we are in Bend. So far the weather remains abysmal, but is supposed to improve next week. Yesterday the RV went in for maintenance, leaving us homeless for the day. We drove down to the Old Mill historic shopping district and walked around for a bit. It used to be a lumber mill. There are many Canadian geese, and there is a guy with a hose whose job it is to hose off the goose by products from the side walks.

After the rains returned, we went to Hutch's bike store and talked to a nice young man about hikes in the area, and bought two bicycle maps. We drove out Century Drive for a bit (no pics, it was a dark and dreary day). A 13 mile ride will give us almost 1900 feet of elevation gain. Remembering the lapse rate will be critical for enjoying that descent. So that looks promising.

Then it was off to a local park. Chipmunks....... cute.

We think these are juvenile chipmunks. The have the same white eye ring, but they're smaller. They're also very cute.

I'm certain you're wondering what was wrong with the RV this time. We had a few minor issues, but the main one was the difficulty of opening and closing the valve for the shower holding tank, and the fact that after a transit we were seeing a lot of fluid leaving the sewer outfall and what appeared to be solids (that's an RV euphemism for something from the black tank). This is never good. As it turned out, the valves were all good, the cables were good. However, both valves were impeded by the amount of paper and assorted trash that was left in both tanks by those consummate professionals at the Keystone factory; thus the difficulty in opening and closing the valves. $500 was spent by the consumer to remove trash from the tanks because those bozos could not be bothered to clean out the tanks before gluing the tops on. To say that I am peeved would be an understatement.
It's all fixed now, I shall take 3 cleansing breaths and put this, and all my other recent calm destroying events behind me, and move on.
We do have a storage shed on the RV site which is just beyond cool, it means the bikes can live in there. That is a serious bonus.

Hope you are all well and spring has arrived in your neck of the woods.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Peeves and the Mt. Shasta KOA

I have many peeves, certainly too numerous to enumerate here. One of my biggest peeves is an employee who can not provide directions to their place of business. We decided to stop at Camping World in Vacaville. I called for directions. After exiting the freeway we got totally lost because they were wrong, and I called back for clarification. I asked what I thought was a very simple question, are you on the east or west side of the freeway. You know what the lady on the phone said? "It depends on which way you're coming from." It went downhill from there.
We are now at the Mt. Shasta KOA. It's chilly here! We may have to bring back the faux down blankie for the night. This is the lake, which is just lovely.

I5 is much better north of Petaluma than the southern end of the state. Tomorrow it's on to Bend, OR.