Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trail of The Coeur d'Alenes

The weekend highlight was a 100-mile ride out and back on the mostly glassy-smooth Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, from Plummer at the south end of the lake, to Pinehurst halfway across the Idaho Panhandle. Much of the trail meanders along various shorelines, and is quite scenic.

With the 10 mph wind at my back I averaged 21 mph all the way out. The super flat trail also made it easier to keep up a good pace. On the way back, however, the wind plus my lack of conditioning slowed me down enough so the average speed for the entire ride was 18.5 mph.

The bridge above is where the trail crosses the lake on the old railroad trestle, and then continues north towards Harrison.

These moose enjoyed the marshy areas along much of the trail.

Unfortunately, I once again apparently consumed too much water in relation to electrolytes, and was sick for 24 hours afterwards. I think I have some type of imbalance, because it does not make sense to me that I am in okay enough shape to go out and ride for six hours without being exhausted, but a sodium or potassium deficiency results from that same amount of exercise. Maybe I should get that checked out...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Camping at Bowl & Pitcher

Our first camping trip of the year was Friday night. The Bowl and Pitcher Campground at Riverside State Park is along a scenic stretch of the Spokane River only several miles from downtown. Nothing fancy or desolate, but a good easy trip.

Despite unpredicted rain all Friday morning, the skies cleared in the afternoon, so we decided to risk it. There was only a 20% chance of rain in the evening, and the atmosphere appeared to be drying out nicely.

We made camp and got in a good hike across the wooden bridge and up around the surrounding cliffs, and then made dinner. Around 10 pm, thunder approached quickly. At first it appeared to be missing us to the north, but we had no idea the expanse of the approaching storm (the entire region got soaked). We packed what we could in the car, and then took cover in the tent.

The rain started with a vengeance. Amidst the thunder and lightening the storm preceded to drop almost an inch of rain in about 30 minutes. Of course the tent leaked, but not as bad as I expected. We basically stayed dry. Mika lucked out this time and did not have to sit in one of the wet spots, like she did on our last camping trip to Olallie Lake, which also ended with a deluge.

Immediately after the rain stopped, I took a quick trip to the restroom and was not surprised at a large lake covering the campground, as well as a rushing creek twenty feet away from our tent, slowly draining the entire area.

Ripples throughout the campsite, where none existed the night before, are always a bad sign...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Garden Update

Beans and kale are coming along. We have been eating lettuce for weeks.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cirque du Cycling

The Mississippi neighborhood in Portland was full of bike activity on Saturday with a parade and criterium race. Both events followed a 0.8 mile loop with spectators lining the entire way. And of course plenty of good food and drink options nearby.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Little Rain

We finally received rain today for the first time in over a month. This place feels like a desert. Well less than eight inches of precipitation in the first five months of the year - and that is the wet season.

After today's very modest rain, everyone is whining. It has been sunny for weeks - what do these people want? A drought with dead trees and crops? Fires? Shut the hell up. The rain is refreshing - enjoy it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Whole Valley is Green

Today's highlight was a 70-mile ride including the suburban hell known as Spokane Valley. Picture endless ranch-style homes, few community gathering centers and an overall theme in which cars come first and people second. Come to think of it, I saw few parks as well. But after all this bitching and moaning, I must admit bike lanes are much more prevalent in "the Valley" than in Spokane. Not that bike lanes are necessary, or even safer, but at least they encourage new cyclists to venture out.

The ride's highlight included several loops southeast of Spokane Valley, out through the Saltese Flats area on Chapman, Linke, Saltese Lake, Henry, etc. Smooth, meandering roads with pretty farms and mountain backdrops. Hence the picture above.

The title of this post will be recognized by fans of The Farming Game. Collect $500!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Peppers are Popping

Some of the spinach was harvested, and tasted deliciously sweet. However, a white rust fungus started spreading, so I yanked out the remaining spinach before it got established in the soil and causes problems next year.

In its place is a cherry pepper plant from the local nursery. In back, the beans are going strong.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mmm - Coffee...

Hammer is a local roaster in Spokane with several local coffee houses. This sign describes me well prior to my morning coffee.

Monday, June 1, 2009