Our 2012

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Today’s Stage

Roadside snow drifts crowded the field as today’s stage wound through ancient lava flows and over a high mountain pass.  As long time pro road cycling fans but brand spanking new road cyclists, Steve and I can’t help but share cheesy commentary about our own rides. 

LTD Bend

Such a poser.

We’ve got road bikes, but no couch! We’re a half hour from Smith Rock! A town of 80,000 people shouldn’t have this many micro breweries!

While the dream of the nineties is alive in Portland, Bend is our high dessert, mountain dream town. Dismissed in our road trip of 2009 but with a second look, we’ve fallen hard. Even tossing around the H word; Home. Stay tuned for adventures as we settle down and get out the door and out of the van more than ever before. Living the dream!

Sick Daze

Now on my third box of Puffs, nothing seems to stop the tidal flow from my nasal marshland, occasionally I hit upon a combo of cold medicine that for a moment gives me hope but it lasts only a moment and I’m back creating a snowy pile of bedside tissues. The coughing has abated enough that it no longer leads to throwing up but I still find myself doubled over heaving like a pack a day granny but perhaps with a bit more gusto.

We’re on day ten of this misery. I say we in a nod toward my “in sickness and in health” partner. Bet he’d like to take that back. Poor boy is so patient. He tries to get me out and about, to explore this new place we’re trying to call home. I go along, barely hiding that I only have interest in a fresh ginger ale and reruns on Hulu.

“Toughen up! It is just a cold,” I told myself on days 1-8. “Don’t go to the doctor. DO NOT beg for antibiotics. Taking antibiotics is simply naughty. Don’t contribute to drug resistance.” Day 9 found me at the UTC lamenting my misery.

The nurse he didn’t care, reducing my tale of woe to, ” So a runny nose and cough?”

“Yes,” I said with a chastised slump.

The doctor was a bit more compassionate toward my complaints of aching gums and cough strained throat. Impressed she was that my nose didn’t look stuffy. A raging river does not stuff. A sinus infection diagnosed. Antibiotics and full octane Sudafed prescribed.

With hope restored I took my new meds, tucked in and waited to feel better. I woke this day ten as I have every morning through this cursed journey thinking, “Maybe just maybe….SUCKER.” Three steps out of bed and Granny Gusto cough returns and a river of raging…well you know.

Still Going

Somewhere in Yosemite National Park late last November.


It has been over two months since our last update. Two months! Seems updating our blog has taken a backseat to adventure, family, plotting, scheming and skiing. It is winter afterall. Thanks for checking in and stay tuned for more updates. Hopefully it won’t be another two months.

Tale of Two Volcanos

Mt Saint Helena looms large over wine country. Its 4,000 plus foot extinct volcano sitting at the northern end of Napa Valley. The mountain is a hulking mass with several summits straddling three counties. The north peak lies in Sonoma County and tops out at 4,344 feet. There is a fire road that meanders its way to the summits which are dotted with various communications towers. Its about a 10.6 mile round trip.

Mt Saint Helena from the Knight's Valley, Sonoma County.

The allure of this peak is strong, not because it is some remote wilderness, but because it dominates the horizon almost anywhere you are in the Russian River Valley.  I could see it from the winery, a reminder of where I’d rather be if I wasn’t racking juice. Jill and I hiked up Mt Saint Helena the other day. The views were spectacular.  To the west, wine country socked in with clouds. To the east, clear for miles. The peak was balancing these two extremes most of the hike.  It was a bit surreal.

The summit view to the west.

The summit view to the east.














Let me cut to the chase of this little trip report. I was wearing the same pair of shoes that I had worn up Mt Saint Helens just over a year ago. Chucked in the van at the end of our road trip last fall, these shoes lay in wait for about 10 months. I had totally forgotten about them until I returned from New Zealand.  Still in good enough shape they made the journey to California and thus up Mt Saint Helena. The irony was much appreciated.

Somewhere on the flanks of Mt St Helens in July of 09. The one in Washington.

The summit of Mt St Helena. The one in California.