Trials,Tribulations, Travels, Tastings...and Occassional Transcendence

Trials,Tribulations, Travels, Tastings...and Occassional Transcendence
Sock on the Great Wall

Friday, June 26, 2009


Tomorrow is Saturday - FINALLY! Next to Sunday and Friday (or any day that finds me on a bike rather than in an office) it has to be my favourite day. Tomorrow is also a road-trip-to-mountain-bike day. What does all this mean? Me in a very happy state of mind, body and spirit! It seems that I have been going somewhere each weekend since the weather has turned nice (debatable as it has been raining pretty much every weekend - but it's a warm rain, so...). No complaints here as any excuse to get out of Rottenchester is a good one in my mind.

Last weekend we spent in a torrential downpour at Allegany State Park for two of my friend's wedding reception. Even though the skies opened up on us early that Saturday and didn't subside until...well, I don't know exactly because it was still raining when we left Sunday morning...the weekend and reception were absolutely lovely! Despite the rain, event goers decided to hold a friendly tee-ball game. This started off with two people and eventually ended with almost all the attendees participating - in the pouring rain! Quite impressive how people persevere through the gloom to make for a great day. The other perception I had of this gathering was that, unlike most wedding receptions, the focus was on the guests and the enjoyment of the day rather than on the couple. This spoke volumes about this particular couple. They are two of the most gracious, sincere and wonderful people I have ever met. Genuine and kind. Most people don't shine a light to these two, however, they took the focus off of themselves that weekend and diverted it to us. I never realised it until T and I recapped the weekend on our drive home. I thought 'wow that just says it all right there about who they are'. May they have a long and happy life full of love, laughter and adventure. Something tells me they will!

Anyway, back to this coming weekend - Shindagin Hollow! Yeah! T asked me earlier in the week if I wanted to go down and ride there this coming weekend. 'Of course I do!!!' was my immediate response. Or maybe it was 'Hell yeah!!!' Whatever - it was a no brainer. This place is magical. We rode it last year for the first time and fell in love with it instantly. Even though the first day out we rode in the rain (it seems to rain alot around here). This forest meanders from piney to deciduous to plains, from rooty to rocky to hilly climbs to man-made ramps, jumps and rollers...well let's just say this place has it all. To say the least, I am just a little excited! After last year's ride I swore the next time I would ride here would be on a full suspension bike. I guess I am holding true to my promise as tomorrow will be Vlad's inaugural ride in Shindagin! Now to plan whether or not we camp out tomorrow night or just drive home after riding all day...decisions, decisions. When these are the toughest ones we have to make, life is definitely good!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Harsh Reality

I have to come to realise that finding time for writing has been pushed to the bottom of my priority list and getting back into the swing of it just isn't as easy a transition as I thought it would be. It has been a busy spring/summer so far and there doesn't appear to be any reprieve in the near future. Not that I'm whinging or anything, but walking around the facility this morning made me wish for such a break.

The sun is out in full force this morning. It's already a hot and hazy day, but the presence of a wonderful breeze dissipates the heat beautifully. The sky is the perfect shade of blue and it finally feels like summer! Those few moments of walking from one building to the next made me drift off into a lovely daydream...for a brief yet delicious moment T and I were up at the Lake under the cool shade of a tree feeling the warm breeze in our hair watching the white-puffy-perfect clouds go by while the sound of the waves lulled a sweet melody...

Then, just like that, a truck rolled by, the roar of it's diesel engine snapping me back to the harsh reality of my situation. Right, I have to go back inside to the meat locker of a cube-farm and be a productive member of society. *sigh* So here I am - delaying my productivity creatively :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Can't Trust That Day

Ugh - Monday. Not only Monday, but a rainy one. Did I mention I have to work outside all week? Oh and that I've been up since 4:45 a.m.? Yeah. Good times. The dogs woke me up due to a little, itty-bitty thunderstorm at that ungodly hour. Why do dogs seem to want to go outside in the most inclement weather? It's as if they have an instinctual sense to go storm chasing. Especially Sergei since he is deathly afraid of thunderstorms. Perhaps he is trying to conquer his fear? Meh, whatever. Does not make sense to me...especially before my first cup of coffee has had a chance to soak into my system. Ok, so that is all. I figured I would ramble before heading off to work in the rain. Ugh...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mullet with Headlights

I haven't laughed this hard since L'autobus was brought to my attention! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Time

It's time for me to blog again or rather attempt to none-the-less. It has been (wait a minute) 7 months? Really?!?! That long since my last entry? WTH? Where did all that time go?

Well, I am in no place right now to recall the last 7 (I am still trying to wrap my brain around that) months, nor does my one reader (do I really even have that going for me?) have that kind of time. Anyway, the real reason that I haven't been on this thing is that I have been extremely busy with life and truthfully just not in the mood to write. Poor excuses? Perhaps, but between working odd, long hours, keeping up with home improvement items, riding my bikes, spending time with those important to me and sleep...well, blogging has just taken a backseat to it all. But here I am, at last, with a spare moment in front of my computer...I would like to say that 'I'm back' then again who knows if I will even have the time or motivation in the next 7 months for the recall of any of my daily occurances or ramblings. Regardless, let me revel in this moment.

Again, I am not going to go back 7 months into the past, however I will go back roughly one month into it. Approximately one month ago I did acquire a new man in my life. I say 'acquire' because this special encounter involved me dishing out a large sum of cash for his permanent company. But in this most unorthodox union, I have found incredible happiness, confidence in my skills, some pain (due to my lack of caloric intake while testing those skills) and miles upon miles of sweet, sweet dirt! Without further ado, I present to you Vlad:
Isn't he dreamy? His big, nobby tires and they way they grip the muddy roots we climb is nothing short of amazing. The way he absorbs our jumps - it's as if I am landing on a soft down throw instead of a rocky downhill. His disc brakes stop on a dime not that we use them that much (ha, ok so we do and when we do they squeal - which in turn makes me squeal with the joy of knowing I won't be biting it any time soon). And don't get me started on his handling skills...whoa. Now I want to ride, instead of work. Ok later, later. Since Vlad has come into my life we have been riding quite a bit. From the hilly mountain climbs with sick views of Jim Thorpe, PA to the hilly, rocky, rooty, crazy-ass-steep-stream-crossings of the Finger Lakes Trail. Of course the main man in my life who is still my first and favourite riding partner (who I also might add was not acquired but rather partnered into my life :) is shown here demonstrating his log riding skills on the FLT in Letchworth. Even with my new ride, I still can't catch T...but I sure do get bruised and battered trying. Did I mention this is fun for me?
The one day we went out to Letchworth, it was post torrential rains and chilly. This was Vlad's first mud bath. No worries, I washed him off afterwards - but he did look pretty sweet covered in a layer of mud and grit!
During my 7 month haitus I also took up a part time gig as a professional tree climber...ok, not really but for some reason I still find trees as enticing to climb up into now (at the ripe age of 29 :-D ) as I did when I was 7. I must assure you it is not as easy as it looks with bike shoes on. Crank Bros. cleats are slippery on bark!
Ok so there it is, the past more than half a year of life recalled. Let's recap shall we? Work, Ride, Eat, Ride some more, Eat some more, Sleep. Got all that?