Friday, March 27, 2009

So You're Telling Me There's A Chance...

photo - Chris commuting to the store in a previous snow storm

It's official - we do still live in Colorado. Yesterday the entire state finally got a good dose of that spring snow. I almost forgot what it's like.
Colorado is no stranger to white stuff in spring. Yesterday's storm was considered a blizzard. This winter storm condition can actually be defined and is not just something that the media invented to spice-up newscasts. The last March blizzard that struck was in 2003 and dumped over 30 inches.
A blizzard is defined as: a sever winter storm with low temperatures, strong winds, and heavy lowing snow. It is formed when a high pressure system clashes with low pressure. This causes advection: The transfer of a property of the atmosphere, such as heat, cold, or humidity, by the horizontal movement of an air mass (taken from the Blizzards occur in many different regions across the US and Canada. This type of weather also affects Russia and areas of northern Europe.
OK, so what does this have to do with bicycling and the picture above? Simple, we can put our studded tires back on - yeah!

Here's to moon-boots and snowcaves,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sharing is Caring

Just a short one:

Chris passed his teacher certification exam. We can't call him Mr. K until he actually gets a job.

Leslie got her first article published in print. Check out There and Back magazine at your local REI.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Otago Anniversary

I looked on the calendar this morning and noticed that today is Otago Anniversary. Otago is a region on the South Island of New Zealand where we spent a lot of time during our bicycle tour. One of our favorite adventures was the Otago Rail Trail. We figured that it was an area that not many travelers found their way through. For us, it was a very 'authentic' experience.

The map below is our route on the Otago Rail Trail. Each point on the map links to a blog for that day.

By the way - Otago Anniversary celebrates the day that Scottish explorers landed at Port Chalmers, the major port for the city of Dunedin.

View Larger Map

Have fun,

Friday, March 20, 2009

Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow

I haven't actually read the book (authored by Marsha Sinetar)- the title just rings in my head from time to time. Since we've returned home from our adventure, it rings a little louder.

Our new path is starting to come together. I've got a few projects going (maps and writing) and Chris is awaiting is test results for teacher certification. We're still learning how to be patient, but know that life takes time and we just need to see how it undfolds.

Last week Chris joined me on my singletrack business trip. I had to pinch myself a few times when I realized that I was actually working. The riding in Arizona was spectacular and I had my fair share of "geeked-out" moments. I'm really excited about this particular project because I get to combine two of my favorite things; bicycles and maps.

Here's to coloring our parachutes,


Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, Monday

We're back from the desert after making a one day push from Flagstaff, AZ. Stay tuned for the details about the singletrack business trip.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Laundry Day

No road trip is complete without one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Saguaro Wonderland

March 11, 2009
22.3 miles
6.0 mph

Saguaro Wonderland – that’s what the bumper sticker for our local KOA campground reads. I think I would have to agree. For the last two days we have been riding amongst these large tree-like cacti. Luckily, both of us have managed to keep the rubber side down. There is not much room for mistake is this prickly landscape.
The saguaro (pronounced, “saw-wah-roh”) is native to the Sonoran Desert. This ecosystem is found in Arizona, small parts of California, and two states in Mexico. The tall, green, and spiny cactus have a lifespan of up to 150 years and can take half that time to develop their side arms. Saguaros bloom in April and May and, with the pollination from bats, bear fruit in June. Different varieties of birds make their homes in saguaros. Some do the actual excavating, others just move in later. Harming this cactus species is against the law, so think twice before you build a house in a saguaro forest.
We’ll be moving on tomorrow to the southern sections of the Black Canyon Trail. I can’t begin to describe how much I’ve enjoyed the trail thus far. You can’t imagine the commitment and dedication that it takes to design, build, and sustain a trail like this. My hat is off to everyone involved. If your interest is piqued, visit the Black Canyon Trail Coalition’s website. And if you’re ever down this way, stop and check it out.

Steering clear of the cactus so far,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Black Canyon Trail

26.4 miles
4:30 minutes

We arrived in AZ yesterday under cloudy skies, and winds trying to blow us off the road. The tent site we scored at the KOA in Rock Springs was out of the wind and close to the bathrooms. SCORE! Our camping location was perfect since it is located only 5 minutes from the trailhead for the Black Canyon Trail. The trail is relatively new and currently has only 20 miles of the projected 60 miles built. I think that they could stop at 20, give themselves a pat on the back and enjoy the fruits of their labor. The trail is a tight, twisty singletrack that only interrupts itself for the occasional crossing of the Agua Fria River. The river wasn’t too cold, but it did provide us with some wrinkled feet once our shoes finally came off. We rode a southern section of the trail as an out and back. And enjoyed every minute of it. We managed to burn through a gallon of water each with each of us taking our last sips as we arrived back at home base. I even had a rear flat that was a slow enough leaker I was able to make it back to the KOA and change it in the shade. The only mishap we had today was our lack of sunscreen and the resulting farmer burns on our arms. Tomorrow we go and ride a ten mile section of the northern route and will probably reach the end of the road for current trail construction. They tacked on a 1000 feet last Saturday, so we may have first tread on the new part. Doubtful, but we shall see.
Evidently there is a Café in town here famous for its pies. I will do my duty and give a full report on those at a later date.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Road Trip!

A Road Trip? It's all part of the job. Man, it's great to be back on the road. Stay tuned...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Back To Work

Yes, it's true, I have gone back to work. My goal after returning home from our trip was to start my own GIS business. See this link for more info on Bluebird GIS.

As part of my research for one of my current projects, I've been tinkering with web maps. As many of you know, Google is one of the heavy hitters when it comes to simple maps on-line. To illustrate, I've created a very basic map with our stops in Croatia. Click on any of the little green bicycles (in addition to a couple of boats and a train) to link to our photos and/or blog that specific day. *Please note that the pop-ups of information are slightly larger than the map view.

Have Fun!

View Larger Map

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Tale of Two Bands

We had a wonderful visit to Eagle County over the weekend. We stayed in Vail and found our schedule revolving around hiking and music.
Saturday was all about the North Trail and a Bluegrass band named Hardscrabble. The hiking was great - bluebird skies and 50 degrees. The band was even better. And I’m definitely more inspired to work on my goal to learn the banjo. I wonder if Banjovi gives lessons?

Sunday was a little more edgy. Picture sideways beanies and baggy pants mixed with fur trimmed hats and one piece suits. Once you’ve got that vision, add some loud and fast head-banging music in the background. This was our treat after snowshoeing up Beaver Creek Mountain to catch The Nothings. Fronted by one of the Hardscrabble friends, this punk band definitely had the afternoon snow crowd captivated. My favorite tune was Chunks of You in My Stool...

Here’s to strings in the Rockies,