Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back in the Van

In the early hours of Monday morning, we arrived back in Vancouver... this time to stay. Since getting back into our apartment, we've made a pretty pleasing start at re-assembling normal life (like getting the Internet connected so I can post this). We've also torn up the nasty old carpet that was in our loft and tomorrow I go and pick up our bankrupt-stuck bamboo flooring that we bought today. With the carpet torn up we decided to paint some things orange, and sort out some dubious wiring work in "the hole" where most of our stuff lives. This is a prelude to the main event of replacing our kitchen, which will no doubt be a battle of epic proportions. I feel appliance shopping looming on the horizon. 

Speaking of horizons, here are a couple of HDR pictures I took of a dry lake somewhere in Nevada. They turned out a bit strange, but I like them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lake Tahoe Bicycle Action

Flume trailOh, sand and rocks.Unnecessary obstacleMore sand and rocksMarlette LakeFlume trail
Sand Harbor from aboveBouldersSand and rock - a theme onIMG_4827 the Tahoe Rim TrailThe only picture I took on Mr Toad's Wild RideAncient Lay-Z-Boy

Lake Tahoe Bicycle Action, a set on Flickr.

Now all of the SUP action has subsided (for a few days at least) we've been riding again. Apparently today was day 16 of biking for me, which means I've had 3 days off since we left Vancouver. Slacker.

Around Lake Tahoe we've ridden "Mr Toad's Wild Ride", less extravagantly known as Saxon Creek Trail. It was a good long (two hour ish) climb up some old roads and then a section of the lovely Tahoe Rim Trail, then down. The start was a tempest of steep sand-covered boulders, which was as the name suggested... a Wild Ride. Then there was a lot of twisty forest singletrack all the way to the car.

Today we rode a different, and very scenic stretch of the Tahoe Rim Trail, then unconventionally circumnavigated Marlette Lake by riding up Flume Trail (an old water supply flume) and around the lake before descending on singletrack. All very lovely, and ice-cream at the end.

Tomorrow we head for Bend, Oregon... where we will pause briefly before moving on to Hood River, Oregon for more SUP racing. Then it's time to go home. We just got our last paychecks from teaching in China, so holidays have to end and real life in Vancouver will resume. I've been looking at flooring and kitchen appliances on the internet, so you can expect this blog to take on more of a home improvement slant soon. It'll be a lot like mountain biking, only with less mountains and bikes... and more plumbing. Everyone loves a good bit of plumbing.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lake Tahoe SUP race

Since arriving in Lake Tahoe, we've made plans for some mountain bike rides, stayed in a real house thanks to Jennifer and Craig, and had fantastic short ride on the trails opposite Jennifer and Craig's house near Mount Rose.

 Today Lina raced in Day 1 of the Ta-Hoe Nalu SUP festival. Tomorrow is Day 2!

Here are the rulesGo!A flock of SUPersThey're offRace for the lineCrossing the line
Winning LadiesWinning LadiesWinning MenBoxed in

Lake Tahoe SUP race, a set on Flickr.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Whole Enchilada

Double VeeDubGetting what we paid forCreek crossingsÉ I thought we were in the desertÉIt`s all down from hereMeadowsWatch out for cows
There is water in Utah, just high up.MesasPorcupine RimPorcipine RimSlickrockLina tackles a steep line
Hot rockHucks to flat are still cool in UtahThe tunnel at the end of the... err... ride.

The Whole Enchilada, a set on Flickr.

I love it when a plan comes together. After some phoning, some asking, and some waiting, we managed to get ourselves a shuttle in a stretch VW van (yes, really) up into the La Sal mountains to ride The Whole Enchilada linkup of trails ending with Porcupine Rim and back to Moab. There were around 2600m of descending to do over 55km. Passing though all kinds of unfamiliar temperate zones, from Aspen forest, though strange dwarf oak trees, into high desert with cacti, and finally back into the baking hot, dusty valley was a great ride. The trails were as varied as the surroundings, from rooty BCish singletrack all the way to sandy rock gardens. A grand day out.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Now we're in Moab

Utah desert driveMoonrockWhere's Andrew?SlickrockValley viewpointSlickrock
Wonky self-portaitThirstySlickrockSlickrockSlickrockSlickrock
Shrimp RockPoison Spider DawnLittle ArchPortal TrailPortal TrailPortal Trail
Portal Trail

Moab, a set on Flickr.

We had a slight change of plan and ended up in Utah instead of California. It's low season here... so nice and quiet, but also rather toasty warm during the day. We've been getting up very early and finishing our rides by 11am, which is working out just fine. I'm writing this from a laundromat with free WiFi and air conditioning. Winner.