Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Japanese Students

A friend of my wife asked if we'd be interested in housing a college student from Japan that was studying at our local University- UW-Stevens Point.
We thought we'd try it out.
The first weekend we had our grandkids as well so Jason helped them experience an American extended family.

The gal on the right, Aya, spent 2 weeks, 3 weekends with us.
Local U-Pick blueberries.

Granite Peak State Park.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Downtine, 2014

Was out riding with some friends a few weeks ago, the end of July on a local trail called 9-mile.
This trail has entertained National 24 hr. Championship races in the past.

In any case, while out on the trail I decided to take a rock drop/jump.
Broke clavicle and 5 ribs all on the left side. Bruised and punctured left lung.
A tree landing will do that to a guy.

It's been just a couple of days over a month. Been back on the bike for 3 weeks. Maybe 60-70%. No single track, just rails to trails.

Monday, August 18, 2014

WEMS Underdown, 2014

WEMS Race.
Tough race.
The Underdown is brutal. Bailed in the 6 hr. after 3 laps. 4 was possible, but I'd have been walking a lot of it.

Photo Credit to the Underdown Crew.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Arrowhead 135, Adventure MN Films, Banff Film Festival

Almost 2 years in the making but it's done. Submitted to Banff Film Festival.
Be on the lookout if interested.





Monday, August 11, 2014

Texas Mtn. Biking 2014

Slipped out for an afternoon during our week in Texas. Flat Rock Ranch.
Lower Loop. Video link I stole of the internet.


My handy dandy cooler/backpack. Water and ice, nice combo on a hot Texas afternoon. Over 90 degrees F.
Rented a Trek Rumblefish from Pearl Bike Shop for 1/2 a day.
Trail was right at an hr. north of town, so got in 2 1/2 hrs. of riding. All of the Lower Loop and some of the Upper.

A few sheep and lots of deer with fawns hiding from the sun in the tree and shrub covered draws.

 One decent up hill pull called the Power Line.

Had a few technical sections. Dry conditions so not bad but could have been a different story if they had been wet.



Going up a technical section got almost to the top before I dabbed, too high a gear. This was staring me in the face as I unclipped.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Messing around in Texas

Lynn and I went to Texas to attend the wedding of the son of friends of ours from Wisconsin. They got married just north of Houston in The Woodlands.

The family of the Groom has a few interesting wedding rituals that we've witnessed over the years and even participated in. Even our son, who's good friends with the family, has attended and enjoyed the reception festivities.


The first ritual is called The Egg Drop.
Clear the dance floor, get on a step ladder....
 Nephew of the Groom.

Crack an egg.....

And let it drop. This is the Groom by the way.

 And hope for the best. The Bride did catch it!


The next is called Blowing Fire.
Get a bottle of Everclear, hold a mouthful, light a match and blow it out over top of the lit match.
Father of the Groom.

Different angle.....In 20 odd years of knowing Tim and being to a couple of wedding with him, I haven't tried this stunt, and don't think I ever will.

Daughter of the 1st guy on the ladder, cousin of the Groom.
Me on the far right, rightly impressed!

 Bride's Maid...these people are professional!


From there the next day we went to an Astros/Tigers game a Minute Maid Park. It's a very nice venue. Excellent food choices, bathrooms, brews and viewing all good to very good.

 
We left at the end of the 7th inning as we really didn't have a vested interest in the outcome, being Red Sox fans.
We walked around the park and took in the local aesthetics.
Craig Biggio.
 Jeff Bagwell.


Later that day we drove to Galveston Island and spent the night.

Boardwalk.
 


Snowy Egret I believe. Also fun to watch the pelicans diving into the surf.



Stayed on the bay at Palacious of the Texas coast/Gulf of Mexico.  Small cafe didn't sell alcohol but we could bring our own in.  Sweet!

Stayed at the Peaceful Pelican B&B. Nice setup, would go back. Had an old Sears 1902 Catalog laying out. Didn't have any Crawfords in there.

Economy model....

Top of the line.

Biking shoes don't look that comfortable.

Later in the evening I walked out on the fishing pier with a cigar to watch a local family try their luck angling. Father, Mother, 2 sons and grandson. They caught a few rough fish, crabs, turtle and a shark.


There is a real neat fishman's Memorial statue going up. All done by a local former shrimper privately.

From there headed towards Aransas Pass where we stopped for the Goose Island Oak, a 1- 2,000 year old tree.


A sailboat ride. Interesting town....might have some potential for future visits to escape the Wisconsin winter for a week or so.
 The Handsome Sailor.


Captain Tom let me steer while he entertained. Noticed 2 dolphins surfacing.

His Tiki Bar looked interesting.

We then drove into Port Aransas. Quite the tourist trap.
For our Grandson:

We then drove the length of Mustang Island stopping on the beach to swim in the Gulf of Mexico. A rather impressive area once one got away from the "trap" and then on to Corpus Christi.

Got to San Antonio. Spent time at the Alamo and decided to visit the other 4 Missions that the famous River Walk connect. A 14 mile loop that we did on the B Bikes (public rental bikes).
Was a great day.


One of the Missions.


Little buddy.

Would love to get my cactus to look like this.

One of the many bridges on the 14 mile out and back River Walk.



Drive thru liquor store....after lunch we got a brew and Margarita to go!

On the road from San Antonio to Austin on the 4th of July.
World famous Gruene Hall. From Willie Nelson to Ziggy Marley.....iconic place, down to earth just plain fun. Non-stop dance hall since 1878.
 
Outdoor garden.

Local band from Austin.

video


Bar on the road to the start of the Texas Hill country heading towards Austin. A bit commercialized, similar to Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina. Still, was a good place to grab a brew and talk to a few folks.



Austin...Tour of the Capital and bus tour of the City and surrounding area, both time well spent. An enjoyable night just walking around that included a nice dinner.
Street closed off kind of reminds one of State Street in Madison, WI or Bourbon Street in New Orleans, but not quite as extreme.
In any case, a city worth returning to.

Bike taxis everywhere.
video

Just north of Austin is the start of the "hill country". Austin reminded us of the bluffs along the Wisconsin River around The Wisconsin Dells and Devils Lake area. Looks like an interesting place to live...high tech is hot and a lot of people, mostly young, are moving in. Property appears to be a bit expensive as compared to the outlying areas and what we're used to.

My cowgirl.
Mt. Bonnell, just out of town. General George Armstrong Custer was stationed here at one time and used to picnic at the top of the knob....of course he had his military band climb up as well so he and his wife has some music to listen to. And the kids today think an ipod is cool!

 We had a real great time in Texas and plan on returning.