Sunday, August 31, 2008

Biking - Return to local roads

Home from Vermont on Friday. It was a great tour, and you can read about it at the link in the previous post.

Yesterday, I did a few local errands on the mountain bike just to keep the legs loose, and today, I biked to Holly's house and back to help her with some yard work. It sure feels different riding not loaded. Spent a lot of time today weighing EVERY item I packed, with an eye toward reducing the touring weight I was carrying. It was WAY over the top.

Annual mileage is now approaching 1,900, and with a possible metric century this weekend, 2,000 is well within reach in the next month or so. Best year ever!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 20-28 - Biking in Vermont

I'll be away for about 8-9 days, doing a bicycle tour of northern Vermont. I'm riding alone, carrying everything, and mostly camping when available and feasible. My tentative route is shown below:

I'll also be updating an online journal during this trip, and you can follow my progress here:

Feel free to sign the guestbook!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Canoeing - Nine-Cornered Lake

We've been to 9-Cornered Lake many times before, and always remarked how nice it would be to get a canoe in there. In the past, we've packed in an inflatable 2-man boat and seen part of the lake, but those things are really difficult to steer, especially in the wind. And the lake really is aptly named - there are countless nooks and crannies we've never visited before. So, today, I carried Holly's 38-pound Kevlar canoe and she carried the paddles and PFDs, and we did it. It's about 0.9 miles from the road, all uphill, but it really wasn't too bad. And it was worth every step. We covered every corner, and even found some islands way back in the north bay we'd never visited before. Very nice lake, and extremely clear.

It's also a very popular swimming hole, with a rope swing and nice swimming area. These guys were going off the swing, and also diving off this rock, much to their mother's chagrin.

We passed a couple of dozen people, mostly teens, on their way in as we were heading out, most of them quite surprised to see an overhead canoe coming down the trail.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Biking - Another Loaded Test Ride

Loaded, as in 50 lbs. of crap on the bike. But I really do need to get one of those stickers from Adventure Cycling that reads "Ride Loaded". This was another pre-Vermont trip test ride, and it went well. Details here...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Biking - A Different River Loop

Added some climbing to my usually boring river loop, for 20 miles and 1000+ feet. Details here...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Biking - Thursday Night SWC Ride

Tonight was my last SWC ride of the season, since I'll miss next week while off touring in Vermont. It was a fast pace tonight, with a little added incentive at one point. Details here...

Golf - Hillcrest GC

A cloudy morning, but blue skies were poking through, so I decided to get in a 9-hole round. I should have stayed home. Most days, I seem to have one or two bad holes that ruin every round. Today, I went to the opposite extreme, having only one GOOD hole. I maybe had one decent shot on most of the 9 holes, but the rest was horrendous, with several unplayable lies, an out-of-bounds, a lost ball, and a few 3-putts thrown in for good measure. The one "good" hole was a scrambling par with a 10-foot putt to save it, after messing up all the way to that point. I won't even bother with the usual highlights and lowlights this time. It just wasn't a very good round. 62 indeed...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Biking - Another Test Ride

After yesterday's problems with weight distribution and shimmy on the loaded bike, I felt the need for a better test of how well I had resolved it. I just did a 23-mile loop with some hills, fully loaded, and now feel much better about it. Details here...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Biking - Pre-trip Test Ride

With my departure for 9 days in Vermont only a week away, I finally got through the entire packing list, got everything loaded on the bike, and took the monster out for a test ride. Glad I did - details here...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Biking - Grant Hill Loop, again

50 miles yesterday weren't enough, so I got out for another 21 this morning before the weather went downhill yet again. I just did the same basic loop I always do, and there's not a lot more to add, except to say that riding in the morning is really nice.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Biking - SWC Thursday Night Ride

There was some question as to whether this one would actually happen, given the weather, but it did. Details here...

Biking - Extended River Loop

With showers expected later, I got out for a long-ish morning ride. Details here...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bed, Breakfast, and Biking

Hosted some transcontinental cyclists from the Warm Showers List last evening, and got out for a ride this afternoon. Details here...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Golf - Hillcrest GC

I'd planned to get in a long bike ride today, but woke up feeling a little out of sorts, so opted for 9 holes of golf instead. That didn't go so well either, but no worse than usual, I guess. Started out with 2 double bogies, and my head just wasn't in it somehow. Finished with a 50, the same as last time out, mostly because of a couple of bad holes, as is my usual.


  • 2 pars
  • 2 greens in regulation, on the final 2 holes
  • Hit 7-iron to within 5 feet and made the birdie putt on #8
  • Out of bounds on #4, leading to a 9
  • 2 consecutive balls in the water on #7, leading to an 8
  • 3-putt on #9 gave me a bogey and a 50 instead of a 49
It was hard to concentrate, and my woods were going every which way. Maybe time for a short trip back to the driving range.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Biking - the same old loop

A little damp around here lately - not good riding weather. Got one in today, and hopefully another tomorrow. Details here...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Camping - Brown Tract Pond

We've been going to Brown Tract Pond every year for over 10 years now, just for a couple of days each summer. We canoe on the pond, or on other nearby water, and hike trails that are too far to do as a day trip from home. Aside from that, it's just sitting by the campfire, reading, and generally relaxing for a couple of days.

We drove up on Wednesday afternoon, July 30, and got everything set up anticipating some rain showers later. We canoed around the pond, while noticing a few raindrops, and headed back to the site for dinner. Setting up an extra tarp for a cooking area was a good idea, since there was more light rain before dinner. But the real downpour came around 8pm, and lasted until we finally took shelter in the tent around 10. No campfire tonight, and not much else to do but go to sleep at that point.

On Thursday morning, we hiked to Shallow Lake, about 1.5 miles from the campground. Skies were grey, and it felt like it could rain at any time, but the forest was lush and green, and blueberries were abundant. We crossed this stream on a couple of logs on the way to the lake:

When we got to the lake, the sun actually came out for a few minutes. We had come here once before with an inflatable boat and paddled out to the rocks in the center background of the picture.

On the way back to the campsite, the skies opened up again and we donned our ponchos. After changing into dry clothes and having lunch, we drove to South Pond, north of Blue Mountain Lake, to do some paddling. With a strong south wind and a long fetch, this lake was a bit rough, but we made it to a couple of small islands and disembarked for a breather. After that, it was a free ride back to the put-in spot, courtesy of the wind. A cold front had passed through, and there would be no more rain, as skies were clearing and temps had cooled.

After a quick swim with the cool air temperatures, we had dinner, started a fire, made some popcorn, and read some more. When darkness came, the stars were incredible, and we took time out to go see them reflected in the pond.

On Friday, it was time to head home. I had discovered a nearby small "mountain" (2370') that appeared to have some open rocks and cliffs on top, but had no trail. This mountain was not described in any hiking guide, but looking at Google Earth, I could see the cliffs. It was less than a mile from the road, and on our way, so we climbed it. And we were not disappointed. There was a 180-degree view from the top, including the pond where we had stayed and some other local peaks. Unfortunately, it was a very hazy day, and the pictures did not come out well, so we'll be going back next year on a better day.

Arriving home, it was time to unpack and dry everything out, and get ready for the next adventure.