Saturday, September 29, 2012

Olympic Mountains

I’m not on the road yet, but that doesn’t mean I’ve just been sitting around doing nothing.  At least, not all the time.  There has been plenty of time spent doing nothing, but there have been some minor adventures as well.

Inspired by the time spent on the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route, I took another motorcycle trip.   Different bike, different direction.  Similar theme.  Here’s a couple pictures from my three-day excursion around the Olympic mountain range.  

Next week I hope to do a lap of Mt. Rainier.   Google maps says it’s about 190 miles.  It could be done in one day, but it doesn’t need to be done in one day and the weather is still great for camping.

Also, coming soon: Picked up one like this on ebay and can't wait to get to Michigan to pick it up!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Washington Backcountry Discovery Route

I was invited to ride with some other adventure minded types on this 600+ mile dirt and gravel road route that stretches from Oregon to Canada.  Timing didn’t work just right, so I decided to do the ride alone.  I spent five days in the wilderness and the worst part: it had to end.  I think I could spend a month exploring the national forests in Washington.  Maybe a whole summer.  And Oregon has it’s own backcountry route.  Maybe next summer.  Or maybe I’ll do the Washington route again, but on a bicycle.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Costa Rica

It was a  fun couple of weeks.  My friend Greg gave me a couple of complimentary surf lessons, loaned me a body board to try out in the surf in front of his hotel, we did a little maintenance on the hotel (made me feel like less of freeloader), toured a national park (saw sloths and monkeys), and spent a lot of time just hanging out.  And sweating.  It’s hot there.  Maybe not as bad as Wyoming last month, or Nebraska, or even Iowa during the first few days of RAGBRAI.  But hot and humid, and air conditioning, while not unheard of, is rare.  Something to do with the commercial rates for electricity (high) and the average wages (low).  Walking into stores in the nearby town of Jaco, we found AC in about 1 store in 20.  Supermarket, and some of the finer bars and restaurants had it.   T-shirt shops, most bars and restaurants, souvenir shops, surf shops… all did without.  Sweating isn’t a national pastime, its just something you do.  Deal with it.  Wear your bathing suit all day every day, step under one of the many outdoor showers frequently, and never towel off.  

   Learning to surf is something I’ve always wanted to do.  To short lessons and I was almost there.  And based on the passion that most surfers display, I was expecting something to experience something magical.  And I was… underwhelmed.  It was fun but the scenery never changes.

Body-boarding was no better, although I did try to learn that in waves approaching 8 feet, with not much pattern, occasionally one would be going sideways.  It was like getting into a front loading clothes washer and trying to keep your head above water.  I was literally cleaning sand out of my ears for a week.

I’m very glad I went and could imagine going again.  Meanwhile, there are other things that need doing.