Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Summer of Possibilities...

So I’m sitting at home contemplating an entire of summer activities and possibilities and it just brings a smile to my face! It’s not just about doing, although that’s most of the fun, but it’s also about thinking about the possibilities. And the air is filled with possibilities…
What to do when you want to do so much, but sometimes work and health get in the way? My guess is that you close your eyes, click your heels three times and… do the best you can.

This summer will be a mix of motorcycle riding and bicycle riding… two of my most favorite things.
Now, those of you that know me well, know I am like a kid in a candy store… there are so many wonderful things to do.  I don’t like repeating the same trip, so although every bone in my body wants to take a second crack at Inuvik, not this year.  Instead my big summer ride will be the Klondike Loop added to the Dust2Dawson. This ride will start in Anchorage and head North over the wonderful pothole filled Top of the World Highway to Dawson, drop down to Whitehorse, over to Skagway, Alaska, a quick ferry to Haines, AK then on to Kluaine, Tok, and back to Anchorage.  The ride will be Alaska and the Yukon Territory of Canada and cover roughly 1500 miles.  It will be with trusty Ice Gal.


I also want to ride out to Manely Hot Springs… where a friend in Fairbanks advised that “Standing under the grapes naked is memorable”… I have no idea, but I will find out for you… later in the summer.


Another shout out to Cordova, although I did this last year, and I am breaking my earlier stated rule… it is worth a re-visit for the Cosmos at the Reluctant Fisherman!
If I can find a volunteer with a couple of 4 wheelers and rifles to escort me back all the way to the ghost town of Petersville, right at the fork… I want to really do this ride.  This is big bear country though, and I am not about to do this one by myself or unarmed.  Takers (email me)? I don’t carry a weapon, but it would be piece of mind and help me squash the image of me looking like dinner riding way back into that area by myself.
For cycling, I am toying with the idea of doing a small relay for the Fireweed 400 (the 200 mile race), commuting as much as possible to work, and maybe even the ride to Seward again.
Out of state, Minnesota, Utah, Phoenix, and Seattle all have targets on them.

Ice Gal is Spreading Disease...

Ice Gal recently said she was home with the crud... the doc says all those years of smoking add up.  Well... I don't smoke and I seem to have caught something... over that last cappuccino I had in her presence. A little down time will afford me some time to catch up.

Cinco de Mayo

It's been a long time away... I've neglected my blog. Between recovering from broken bones, heart surgery and trying to launch a new web platform, well... Enough said. I'll use this tool until I have the other platform ready. Since my broken arm has not healed well enough to cover the distance this weekend... I'm doing something I never do...riding "bitch"! For those of you that don't know what that means.... Instead of riding my own motorcycle, I'm riding as a passenger. What makes this trip special is I'm riding behind Michael on a 2005 Honda Goldwing Trike... a monster of a motorcycle.

We left Phoenix for the small town of Patagonia, roughly 20 miles from the US Border. The drive south of Tucson on our way to Sonita was gorgeous as always. This area (of what I have seen) of the Sonoran Desert is my second favorite. Flowers were in bloom all the way; I'm going to have to learn more about them. All I can say is there were yellows, pinks, vivid reds, whites and everything in between. They were short and tall...the red ones were at the top of plants that towered as high as 20 feet! Sonita and Elgin are the wine communities of AZ. We didn't stop for that this trip, I didn't want to juggle wine bottles in the saddle bags. This trip was about finally getting my Native American flute - something I have been trying to do for 10 years.

You can purchase High Spirit flutes on the Internet or occasionally in shops in the southwest, but I wanted to go to the area they are created, see the shop, meet the folks that make them, and hand pick the right one. They are made from several types of wood, each wood has a unique signature grain and personality, and the pitch range is wide. Finally, after narrowing my choice to "D" Condor pitch and aromatic cedar, all that was left was grain and style. He laid out my 5 favorites on the table and I narrowed it down to 2, finally settling on a turquoise inlaid piece with a series of knots and grain lines that had character I appreciated. I got a nearly bullet proof case.. and headed out the door.

 All the hotel, motel, and b and b's were booked from Tucson all the way to north of Nogales on account of a big horse race. We did not want to stay in Nogales - we didn't want to be robbed. We pushed on to the small Spanish community of Tubac (now and artsy place filled with quaint shops, good food, and tequila bars); what better place to spend Cinco de Mayo? We stayed at a lovely b and b called Secret Garden in the historic part of Tubac, and walked the town, visited shops and finished at Elvira's. The food was wonderful. We walked back to the b and b and practiced playing my new flute with a beer buzz. In the desert, I'm having a hard time staying hydrated. I'm drinking tons of water but peeing all the time! Drinking beer doesn't help.

We climbed in to bed after a very long day... and you know how it is when you wake up in the middle of the night...exhausted, in a strange new place, and perhaps a little tipsy? At some point in the middle of the night I stumbled out of bed and did a landscape Braille trying to find a cup to drink water. Michael wondered what the heck I was doing... which I sort of remember, but I clearly remember how horrible the tap water tastes in Tubac!

This morning, after coffee in the local coffee shop, we are planning to door more walking around the shops, and were considering going to Tumacacori, but I have already been there in the past... And I hate doing things twice. Tonight we are spending the evening/late night at Kitt Observatory to view the stars and planets through the largest telescopes in the world. It will also be a full moon!
*Update: No Kitt Observatory. We got a call that cancelled  due to high winds. Bummer... something for the bucket list.