Monday, August 29, 2011

Bend, Oregon to Mesa, AZ, the long way.


Hey, its been a while.  Here’s what has been happening:
From bend to cleveland to mesa

The Pedal-pub. Think of it as a human-powered limo with a bar tender. I spent 90 minutes on board and it was a hoot!

From bend to cleveland to mesa

Very large squirrels in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Feed them at your own risk!

Well, the racing season has ended.  I’m back in Arizona, where this wild ride began.   The big difference?  In February, when I left, the hi temps were in the low eighties.  Now?  The low temps are in the mid-eighties.  And that’s at night.  During the day, it’s over 100 degrees by 11 AM.  Sure, it’s a dry heat.  But it’s a very hot, dry heat.
From bend to cleveland to mesa

The Boat Ride. Greg insisted that I call him "Captain Stubing."

The last race of the year for me (till November, stay tuned) was a 3-day stage race in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.  It is an interesting event, in that the entire thing takes place in a very urban area.  The team did great this year, but the highlight for me was the wonderful people we stayed with.  They opened their home to the team (second year in a row) and do so during their wedding anniversary... In a way, typical of the gererosity I’ve seen from the places where we stayed in “host-housing” this year.  But also, very unique.  Jeff and Betsy hosted us two years in a row and better than feeling at home, they made me feel like an honored guest.  

But the racing did end, I have made my way back to Arizona.

I’ve been trying to get back into the retired-mode but the weather has worked against me.  A few days ago I went for a bicycle ride.  I planned a nice 20 mile ride, but after thirty minutes, I had drained one of the large bottles I carried and was worried about my ability to complete my planned route.  I turned for home but when I was within two miles of home I began to feel cold.  I developed goose bumps and felt a chill.  I still had enough sense to know that these were odd symptoms in +100 degree temps.  Back at home, I sucked down large quantities of water and electrolytes.  And called a friend.  This heat is too much.  The next day I’d head to Los Angeles, hoping to get out of the heat and as a bonus, a chance to go sailing!

The drive to LA was hot (not surprising) and seemed to go on forever (400 miles).  Greg was looking for someone to take a boat ride with him, and I was looking for an escape from the heat (did I mention it was hot?).  We sailed from Seal Beach to Catalina Island.  

As we left the dock around 10:30 in the morning, Greg told me it was a 4-hour sail over to the island.  After more than a couple hours on the open water with no land in sight, he admitted that 4 hours was not the average time it took to sail.  It was actually the fasted time he had ever made the 22 mile passage, and he’s been sailing the route for over thirty years!  We arrived at the anchorage around 6 PM.    
From bend to cleveland to mesa

Dinner at the anchorage.
From bend to cleveland to mesa

Happy hour* at the anchorage. (*Duration of your own happiness may vary. See bartender for details)
From bend to cleveland to mesa

Tough hike to get here. Later I bought a postcard with the exact same view!
While there we spent a couple days on the island gawking at the tourists and checking out the other sights, and sleeping on deck under the stars, with the not-quite gentle waves trying to fling us over the rail (the second night was better).  Then we the sails were hoisted again and we headed back.  Pretty soon (8 hours!) we were back on dry land, laughing at our wobbly legs.  And then I was headed back to Arizona for a couple more days with Mom before the next adventure.
From bend to cleveland to mesa

Camo-bus. I wonder why they didn't go with a desert-camo theme.




“Old longings nomadic leap,
Chafing at custom’s chain:
Again from its brumal sleep
wakens the ferine strain.”

Yes, I hear you calling.  But I can not answer right now.  Soon, I will be there.