Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas in Arizona - Part 4 - Sneaking in some Rides

Joanne and I shipped our old mountain bikes to Mom & Dad's place for a new home in the sun.
It was an excellent surprise to find that there are TWO great trail systems within 3 miles of Mom and Dad's home in Mesa, AZ.
We did a 16 mile loop on the easier Ussery Mountain Park trail sytsem on both Friday and Sunday.
We had to bundle up a little, but it was sooooo nice to be able to ride out in the sunshine and not freeze our butts off!
Pretty much all of the plants will scracth or poke you.  I was so glad Joanne thought to make sure we put new Stan's tire sealant in before we started riding.  She pulled out a 2" cactus needle out of a tire on Sunday, gave the tire a spin and off she went - no problem!

I am thinking that we need to plan a private Sonaran desert tour next winter and try several trail systems !

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Arizona - Part 3 - Sharing the Love of Paris

Kev, Marla, and Jordy have a GREAT dog named Paris!

Paris clearly loves Kev the most, but she is incredibly mellow, and when she gets over her shyness she comes over to share the love!
Joanne and I got to go along for Paris's walk to the vacant mansion on the hill next door.
It has the steepest road I have ever seen to the top, has incredible views, and was fun to look down onto their house below.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Arizona - Part 2 - Sharing a Present

Jordy got a cool trampoline from Santa Clause and was insistent that she share it with Joanne and me.

Joanne loves jumping on a trampoline, so it was not a hard sale! 
Pretty soon, I got into the action as well.
After a couple pathetic tries at a seat drop....
It quickly degraded to general rough housing!
Which was a lot easier on me than trying to perfect a seat drop!

It was a wise gift by Santa, I am sure that it is going to get a ton of use, and it will be fun to see what tricks Jordy can do the next time we visit.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in Arizona - Part 1 - Christmas Eve Bonfire

Joanne and I had a wonderful time enjoying Christmas in Arizona with my parents, and my sisters' families.

It started out with a Great Christmas eve meal at Marla, Kevin, and Jordys. 
Followed by a bonfire!

It was very relaxing,and it seems that the whole family enjoys sitting around a fire!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hard to Beat

Hard to beat a warm sunny day with dry trails and a mountain bike ride with a December!
Jeffrey and I took a loop on Erin's trail north of Golden. 

That is what we call it, since Joanne was not along to remind us of the proper name, and it was Erin's first mountain bike ride.
I love the rolling golden grassy hills, and Jeffrey's ever optimistic / happy attitude!

What is even better is that there is another trail across the highway we haven't even explored yet!  We are pretty blessed with a great variety of riding opportunities here!

I know we are probably walking into another drought, but it sure is sweet to go on a ride in the winter!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Longing to go outside and stalk the birds!
But, unfortunately moms says it is too COLD !!!
Fritz, is even trying to figure out how to wear a down jacket.

All of us cannot wait until there are longer, warmer days to play outside in!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Very Different Winter Vacation

Joanne agreed to go on a very different vacation with me this winter.

Defensive hand gun training.

So, we packed our gear, flew into Las Vegas, and drove an hour NW to the Frontsight defensive weapon training facility for 5 long intense days of training with a hand gun.

Frontsight claims to train more people in a year than all of the other training facilities in the US combined.  It is a very large facility and the average amount of attendees every day is about 300 to 500.  But the classes are broken down to no more than 40 people per range.

 The outdoor on range training is done by three instructors for forty students.  Twenty students on the firing line, with the student's training buddy standing behind them as a second coach in the 2nd wave.   So, you get to watch your buddy go through the exercises and get the advantage of their corrections when you are on the firing line.

The instructors are very skilled, and used to dealing with novices to experts.   The training outdoors is pretty fast paced, yet very controlled for safety.   They thow out a lot to learn, and yet after just two days I can already see how much more comfortable and proficient Joanne has become.

Unfortunately the indoor class room training is painfully slow and boring.  It is all I can do to keep Joanne from shooting her self from boredom....  I keep telling her this is pretty good compared to most of the stuff I had to sit through in the milityary.  Although tedious to sit through, a couple topics have changed my perspective on several things, and much more to the passive side of things, rather than aggressive.

The days are pretty long.  We get on sight aroung 7 am and start to leave around 7pm, or about a 12 hour day. 

Hand gun training is definitely not Joanne's kind of thing, not her first choice on the adventure list, and probably not on her do again list.    I realize that I am pretty lucky that she even agreed to come and be my training partner!

I wonder how long it will be before I get to pick the next vacation .... LOL!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's always better when your breaking a rule

Our basement and guest bedroom are normally off limits for the cats.
But since Joanne was suffering from a cold and coughing for hours when she lays down, I have been using the guest bedroom.  

Along with our rule breakers - Rex and Fritz. 

They swear my Mom's quilt it is the BEST!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Two Weekends without Dabbing! :)

My favorite mountain biking trail is South Table Mountain.  We can ride to it right from our house, and it is not too hard technically.  
( although about any trail can send to you to the hospital )

The dry weather so far has allowed me the opportunity to sneak in a ride the last couple weekends, while Joanne is healing up from her wicked clold!
I am especially happy that I have done the Ancient Palms Trail on the NE corner two weekends in a row without dabbing! 
( Dabbing = putting your foot down because it was too hard or scary )

Since it has been cold, I only see several riders and a handful of hikers, so it is like have the whole place to yourself!  
The only thing that would be better is to have Joey tagging along!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


It is always a treat to come home and see someone has been using our adjustable height basketball hoop.
Joanne and I have one of the few flat driveways in the neighborhood, the only adjustable basketball hoop,  and a driveway that you can jump off in a couple directions, so we openly share our driveway with the kids in our neighborhood.

Two simple rules.  First, if you are on wheels, which includes skateboards, bikes, and scooters you have to wear a helmet.   Second, try not to break things.   I know that with boys, that can be a challenge, so that is why I say "try" and have a talk when I see they throwing rocks, etc.
We are lucky that we have a bunch of young kids in the neighborhood and have about 16 years before the current batch is out of highschool.  They grow up in a blink of the eye, but we really enjoy having them around while we can.

Occaisionaly we even get to barge in for a game of pig!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fighting a Cold

Joanne has spent the last two days fighting a wicked cold, that she caught from me.
I have seen studies that not much really helps in shortening a cold's duration, but we can see here that Joanne is testing if pumpkin pie will help.
The real secret remedy is to have the pumpkin pie with a Hibernation Ale! 
Very Yummy, and I felt so good that I went on a 50+ mile road bike ride today!

If this home remedy doesn't work for your cold, I prescribe to have several until you can't feel your achy nose anymore and crawl off to bed for a solid "Hibernation Ale" induced coma!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Thanksgiving Weekend Watching Huskers vs CU

  Joanne cooked a great Thanksgiving dinner at our house!   Rich, Barb, Rachel, her friend Jared, and our good friend Jeffrey had a whole lot of fun eating, drinking, and playing a game that Joanne had gotten.  Each of us took turns drawing a card and answering the question on the card.  Most of the questions were serious and thought provoking.

Then on Friday Joanne and I got to go to the Nebraska Huskers vs. Colorado University in Lincoln, NE with my boss who is a season ticket holder.
The trip did not start out smooth, but we made it there, had excellent seats, fun fans around us, and had a whole lot of fun watching Nebraska beat CU.

Unfortunately, Joanne has caught my cold that I brought back from Illinois, and is suffering today.
Hopefully, she will be on the mend tomorrow.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sneaking in a Favorite

Yesterday, Joanne said that she was not ready for a winter on the trainers in the basement.  Then she said she wanted to brave the cold and sneak in a ride on South Table Mountain. 
She did not have to twist my arm!
We have a lot of gear for riding in the cold, but Joanne's asthma really kicks in at 40 deg and below.   I could tell as the ride progressed and the temps dropped that she would pay for this fun ride with a lot of coughing.
The trails were dry and we only had to share the whole area with two other bundeled up adventureres.   I hope we get to sneak in some more of these this winter!

After hot showers to warm up icy fingers and toes, it was off to the Red Tango for an excellent dinner date!

I am off to Illinois on Sunday to work on our first well out there, and I don't get to go to Seattle with Joanne as planned.  I was really disappointed, but that is how it goes with an oilfield job. 

So, the next post will probably be from East of here.    A long way East.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday Evening Walk for a Beer and Green Chile with Erin

Last Friday we took a fun walk with Erin after work to the Golden Hotel for a beer and some of their famous green chile.
Our typical routine is to walk down the alley and spy on the neighbors, and stumble back with smiles on our faces with full and happy tummies!

We are trying our best to coerce her into moving to Golden!  :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Erin's First Mtn Bike Ride

We took Erin on her first mountain bike ride on a sunnny fall day between Golden and Boulder.
Unfortunately, Erin had the only camera and we didn't get a picture of her - damn!

The trail started out as a rocky single track and got better and better as we went.

I was worried at first, but Erin did GREAT !

We did a fifteen mile loop and then we went to Woodys for pizza and a beer.
Simply fantastic!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall in Golden ( pics by Erin )

It has been probably the nicest weather in the fall that I can remember.

Our neice Erin has been occaisionaly staying with us, and we are hoping that she will like Golden enough to set roots down here.
She certainly has a talent for taking good photos.
How she gets Rex to pose I'll never know!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Day at the Movies

One of the fun things about doing the Leadville 100 Mtn bike race the last two years is that a botique movie was made both years on the event.

When your in the race you experience your little slice of the event.  It is really fun to watch it from a different perspective months after all the training is done and the pain of the event is long gone.

Last year, the movie was mostly about Lance Armstrong battling 6 time winner and local favorite Dave Wiens. 

However, there was a cameo closeup of Joanne at the very end that made her squeal "That's Me!"

There are 1,500 plus stories of people taking on the challenge that day, it will be fun to see which one's they capture this year.  

Training for the Leadville 100 has changed Joanne's and my life.   I guess our story would be that it is a hard event that is barely within our grasp, that we prep for togethor, all year long.

Normal people trying to accomplish something a little beyond the norm.   

If you get to see the movie you will undoubtedly see footage of some of America's best mountain bikers pushing all out for a top position or win.

You'll also see a lot of normal people, going a little beyond the norm.

All with stories of a journey.

RACE ACROSS THE SKY 2010 - showing Thursday 11-4-2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Two Months to Catch Up On

Two Months of Catching Up

It has been an excellent Indian Summer!

Riding for fun !
Spending time with friends!
Neighbor Hood Bonding!
Chalenging Projects at Work
And at Home
And Dreaming of Our Next Adventure!
We Hope Your Summer Has Ended As Well As Ours!

Friday, October 1, 2010

How Trusting Would You Be?

Would you trust your spouse to do this to your back yard?
A 5 foot deep trench across the entire yard
Ending about 4' under the house to tie into water & nat.gas

So, now you know what I have been up to since the Leadville 100 mtn bike race.  

We have managed to sneak in a couple of rides, but only a couple in the last month.  Almost all available free time has been a race to get the mess I have made cleaned up before bad weather arrives.

Almost there!  
I am very thankful for an indian summer so far!
{ and a very trusting wife ! }