Monday, July 21, 2008

YET MORE ARTIST POINT

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We tried riding Bellingham to Baker and Back (BBB) back in Juneuary and were rained-, chilled-, and winded-out just past Maple Falls. (Not to mention that John didn't have fenders so every time I rode behind him I'd get a faceful of water; great for a moisturizing my skin but otherwise quite unpleasant.) Recently though, we've had nothing but glorious weather for about three weeks straight, so last Wednesday we got 'er done. An added bonus: we were able to ride all the way to Artist Point. Total ride stats: 120 miles with 7,600-plus feet elevation gain. Photo below is of Artist Point with Mount Shuksan in the background. (Not sure what to make of my somewhat defiant-seeming posture and expression. ) Above, a short vid of John on the final three-mile stretch.

Had another one of those funny (albeit a tad uncomfortable) happenins at Graham's in Glacier where, for whatever reason, they seem to hate cyclists. (Or just us; I'm not quite sure.) On our way up the mountain, John handed the clerk a five dollar bill to which she said, "Y'know, nobody wants your sweaty money. A plastic bag would be nice." She then made a great show of placing the bill in her till as if she were disposing of a dead mouse.

It's not the first time we've earned their ire. And believe me, we wouldn't spend our money there if it weren't the only game in town. (And perhaps some of the folks there wouldn't be so surly if they had a little competition.) But Glacier's got Graham's and Milano's--a great Italian restaurant--and that's it. As it was, we had to stop there on the way back and reload. (I was seein' spots and needed to eat.) Luckily, the dude working there this time was fine.

Finally, my Tour de France prediction made on Monday, the final rest day: Menchov first, Evans second, Van deVelde third.

We're off to New Jersey for family function to say good-bye to me da who passed away in May. (Take it easy, PJ!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

ARTIST POINT ABOUT TO OPEN

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Above, Bake and I sumo wrestling. (No explanation needed.)
On Saturday, I made it to Artist Point for the first time this year. The road is clear, not yet for cars, but good enough for me and the dozens of walkers I saw taking advantage of the stunning weather we've been having lately. (I assume the road will be clear for cars by next weekend, about a week earlier than last year. Kinda surprising given this rainy, damp spring and Juneuary we whined about just weeks ago.)

Below see bulldozer poised to doze some of Artist Point's 10-foot snowpiles. It was important to get in some big mountain climbing; RAMROD--Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day--beckons in little more than two weeks.Our lovely sis Kath was here for a visit and of course we took her up the Mount Baker Highway. (Not on a bike, mind you; this photo is about five days previous.) It was a wonderful visit; as usual, way too short, but long enough for her to get hooked on the Tour de France and "Deadliest Catch," and also to look at a few neighborhoods if she decides to relocate out here.
The boy Baker--he of skateboarding fame--and I have been riding lots to Galbraith and the back trails at Padden.
Here he descends Padden ...
... and here he finishes off climbing the Wall at Galbraith which, if you can climb that, you can pretty much climb anything there. Good job, boyo!