Shout out to September

Looking out my kitchen window, distracted by the picture perfect snow covered pine trees beckoning just outside, it dawns on me that for the next five months or so I will eagerly embody every winter cliché imaginable. Hot chocolate, wonderfully spiked with espresso vodka and bourbon, is at my side. Heavy wool socks are pulled up high, at least two other garments are fleece. Abandoned in the middle of the floor, my boots are slowly loosing their coating of snow. Surrounded by this winter bliss it seems a mighty fine time to throw together a few notes and photos from warmer days.

September was with us just a couple a months ago, now it seems so distant. The month kicked off with a work outing. Co-workers and partners cruised from brewery to brewery on the Cycle Pub. It looks like a trolley but is powered like a bike. Pedal! Pedal! Pedal! Someone needs to tell the Olympics about this.

Pedaling off the pints?

Next up it was time to get moving again but this time not far at all. We relocated from our apartment in Bend to a little A-frame house in Sunriver, a resort community south of town. Steve now has a five-minute bike commute to work. Mine is a bit longer but overall seems like a good trade. More space for us both and Steve gets tasked with dinner more often than not.

The highlight of September rolled in later in the month in the form of Momma Peg flying in from Kentucky.  My momma if she chooses can be a touch tenacious. Still, I worried about her flying from Lexington, KY to Redmond, OR with connections in Atlanta and Salt Lake. She hadn’t flown in many years and we all know that flying these days can test the mettle of even the most seasoned traveler. She pulled it off without a hitch.  Now I can remind her of this any time she gets turned around in the mall. If you can make it through ATL you can remember which door you came in at Macy’s.

Momma Peg’s adventures in central Oregon included bagging a butte, wading in a glacial fed lake, and hiking through lava fields. We also headed over to the coast for a few days. We took in many beautiful views, visited historic lighthouses and actually saw whales on our whale-watching trip.

Less than 24 hours into the Oregon experience we hike up Tumalo Mountain, 7775' !

And then cool off in Devil's Lake.

No lack of wading in cold water. Here the Pacific.

There she blows! Starboard bow! Its a gray whale!

Now on the surface I might seem like the most eccentric member of my family. There was that whole quit my job to travel around in a van thing. But no my mom wins the eccentricity award hands down. Nothing illustrates this more than the story of what turned out to be my mom’s most beloved souvenir of her trip to Oregon. One day the weather was on the stormy side, so we drove to different overlooks to just watch the ocean swirl and heave. At one of these spots there were a couple old buoys bouncing in and out with the waves. Tracing their path back and forth was a little hypnotic. With each inbound wave it looked as though they were going to wash in for good only to be tossed out to sea again seconds later. Mom did comment on how neat it would be to have a buoy to take home. Can’t say I wasn’t warned. Later that night she heads off for a walk on the beach well ahead of Steve and me. A bit later we track her down. What has fished out of the brush line between the road and the beach? Yes, she found herself a stinky, barnacle encrusted buoy for her very own. Somehow they flew home together. I feel sorry for the TSA agent that inspected that bag.

Treasure?

It is time to refill the hot chocolate but first a huge THANKS to my mom for making the trek out to Oregon. She is the first family or friend to visit us since we left Kentucky. Hint, hint to the rest of you!

Ya'll come see us now ya hear!

Jill’s Grand Tour

So a couple Fridays ago Steve and I headed out for my first ride of any real length. It was supposed to be close to 20 miles. Started bad right from the start with my chain coming off on a side street as I was getting reacquainted with my gears and shifting. There I was no chain, no speed, clipped in and yelling for an also clipped in K-mann to rescue me. I decided it was time to learn the track stand. Somehow I stayed upright until Steve could get one foot unclipped. Then I sort of tipped over onto him. Whew. That ended well enough.

We are on our way. Everything is going well, my chain does come off AGAIN but no big deal as I smoothly unclip and call for my mechanic. Storms are approaching though. We decide it is best to keep moving steadily toward home. We’re smart like that.

Mile thirteen headed for home, five plus miles to go, I reach the top of a climb, KABOOM! Rear tire and tube blow. Steve gives it a quick look and thinks no way to repair. We have a patch kit but no tube. As we strategize where to leave me while he bikes home for the team car, a serious roadie stops on his bike and tells us it can be repaired. He leaves us with an old race # to boot the tire. Whatever, with no spare tube it ain’t happening. Clouds darken.

BLOW OUT !

Steve takes off for home. I casually start walking my bike. I’m a mile or two from a park and shelter. Local kid’s bike/ski coach comes along in his van; gives me a ride back to town as the skies open. We pass Steve. Coach drops me off near the Mormon church, I hang out on their covered patio, successfully dodging both the storm and missionaries.  I give Steve a wave on his way past, he quickly returns with team van and all is good.

In the rest of the story department it took two weeks for my bike store employee husband to show up with a new tire. GASP!