Biking Accident Update

I just thought I’d update everyone on the biking accident I had a few weeks ago.

As far as my bike goes it is repaired and ready to go. I had to replace everything on the front tire except the hub. The rear tire just needed to be trued. Other than that there are a few scratches that add some character to my bike. All in all it was about the best I could hope for. It could have been much worse.

As for my body it is doing pretty good. My shoulder still hurts, but only when I’m using it. For instance I have no problem walking around and lifting stuff up to around 50 pounds, but when I go to the gym to lift my right shoulder starts hurting. I’m pleased with the progress my shoulder has been making and I bet in another month or two it will be back to 100 percent.


SNEG Fall Back GEO Meet 2005

An aspect of geocaching that I haven’t mentioned here is a geo-meet. I went to a geo-meet today. These things are a blast. Everyone brings some food and you meet a bunch of people who enjoy the same hobby as yourself.

To warm up I started the day by finding a couple caches and then went to the meet. This was the second meet I have ever attended and it amazes me the number of nerds per square foot at these meets. It sort of reminds me of a Star Trek convention I attended once. The nerdyness just oozes through the air at these things. Don’t get me wrong I’m not criticizing anyone by saying these things are a nerd fest. I’ve got to be one of the biggest nerds there. I’m writing this blog about it for god’s sake! Besides I think us nerds tend to have move fun than most people out there.

I’m including a few pictures from the geo meet. My favorite is of Ginger the geo puppy!


Vacation Hot Spots

I'm looking for great ideas on where to go take a vacation. I have some ideas on where to visit that I'm going to share, but I'm hoping to get some more ideas from you folks. Please post your ideas as a comment to this article. You can add a comment by clicking the comments link at the bottom of this post or if that's confusing just send me an email.

I'm not sure where in Alaska I'd like to go yet, but Carolyn has some friends there so that's where I'll probably go. Alaska is one big place with lots of nature and few people. That just adds up to good things in my book.

Boundary Waters
I have heard this gem in Minnesota's Superior National Forest is one of the best water access parks in the US. After making a few short portages you can get beyond the more common destinations into some of the most spectacular untouched wilderness available in North America.

Glacier National Park
I spent the summer of 2004 at Glacier. It was one of the best summers of my life. I think Glacier is the most uncommercialized national park in the lower 48 states. If you take the a little time to walk away from the roads and off the most popular nature trail hikes you'll find a place that has seen very little human disturbance in the history of the world. It's a place of sights, sounds, and smells that amazed me for a full 3 months of my life. I know there are other beautiful places, but Glacier will always hold a special place in my heart.

Snowboarding in Whistler BC
There are a lot of great places to go snowboarding, but this one made my list because this is where I'll probably be going later this year. We haven't bought tickets yet though so if someone makes a compelling argument for another location I'd consider it. With over 8,100 skiable acres, one vertical mile, and around 30 feet of snow each year how can I go wrong?


Weekend in Adirondack Park

I spent last weekend at Carolyn’s dad’s place. The awesome part is that he lives in the middle of Adirondack Park. Adirondack is one nice place to live. It rained all weekend so I didn’t get any real hiking done, but I still had a great time.

On Saturday we stayed inside to make homemade spaghetti sauce, fresh pasta, and a bunch of meatballs/sausage. Now this was no half hearted cooking job. I’d say by the time we were done there was about 3 gallons of sauce, 10 pounds of meat, and a heck of a lot of pasta. My most important job was cutting the pasta as it came out of the pasta machine. I must admit I performed admirably under the pressure and the pasta was cut to perfection.

We also went out to this tiny waterfall. I would like to point out that even though the puppies look like they are demonically possessed in this picture; both Triscit and Sonar are very friendly even by Golden Retriever standards.

The next day we decided that we would make a fire even though it had pored cats and dogs last night and was still sprinkling as we tried to start the fire. Much to my surprise we managed not only to get a fire started, but get a good bed of coals so that we could burn some of the truly soaked wood. While we were getting this fire going, Triscit and Sonar played around which often involved chasing each other at ridiculous speeds.

After the fire was going we took a walk back into the woods behind the house. There is an old grave yard that they showed me that seems to be forgotten back there. I found this place pretty neat. I’ve often wondered what must have happened to all the little graveyards that would have scattered the landscape a few hundred years ago. It turns out that at least one of them is hidden in this forest. Richard had asked the county if he had any responsibly towards the graveyard and was told as long as it’s over fifty years old he can do anything he wants including plowing it under if so choose. Since it’s out in the woods there is no reason to plow it under and Richard is actually in the process of cutting down a few of the overgrown trees and cleaning up the area around the graveyard. That Richard’s a nice guy.

The next major happening was some good old fashion pumpkin carving. I forgot how much fun you can have carving the pumpkins. We also baked what seemed to be a few million pumpkin seeds. Good times.


Callahan Extreme Geocache

Some friends and I went out for a 7 part multi-cache geocache named Callahan Extreme. I think this may be the most stages I've ever had in a geocache. It was a great cool fall day and it wasn't raining! I mention the rain because by some freak of nature it has been raining here for almost 2 weeks. When we finally got a break from the rain we took advantage of it. It was a great hike especially since the fall colors were starting to show.

Party in Boston

For Carolyn's birthday a bunch of us went out to dinner and dancing in Boston. It was lots of fun. First we went to Skipjack's Restaurant. It's a great place for sushi and other types of cooked seafood. Personally I can vouch for their sushi. Mm Mmm good.

After that we walked over to the Liquor Store, which is a night club. We got there pretty early which turned out to be a very good idea because after 10pm a 1 hour line quickly formed. Beyond the dancing this club had a mechanical bull and some stages with poles.


Emily’s Question

Before I get to answering the question about my last post, which Emily emailed me, let me introduce Emily since I know she’s been itching to make here first appearance on this blog.

I met Emily out in Glacier National Park last summer while I was taking a sabbatical from my normal job. She’s an awesome friend albeit a little more on the wild side than myself. Without a doubt I spent more time hiking and hanging out with Emily than anyone else I met in Glacier. The picture is of Emily standing on triple divide peek. There isn’t a trail to this peek, but the two of us managed to make it there. After summiting the peek, we decided to take a “short cut” down to Medicine Grizzle Lake and hike out from there. This short cut ended up taking about 4 times as long, but it was totally worth it. We ended up hiking down a waterfall, which isn’t very fast, but it sure is beautify. This was probably my favorite hike during my summer at Glacier, even though it involved the infamous patch of stinging nettle that sent us screaming to the nearest lake to wash off. That summer sure had some good days in it.

Anyways Emily’s question was whether I thought the team building part of our go karting excursions actually succeeded in building a closer team. Truthfully I don’t think so, but we sure did have fun. Please don’t let ATI know though or we might not get any more fun field trips in the future!

Now you’re famous Emily!!!


F1 Kart Racing

Today we had a “team building experience” at work. We thought it would be fun to go kart racing. Let’s just preface this article by getting my general feeling out there. This is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life!

First off let’s talk about the facility. I was expecting some outdoor go kart race track and some karts with a little bit more powerful motors than usual. Perhaps Uncle John would be out back with greasy fingers tinkering on some broken karts. But this is one high class go kart joint. We raced on a multilevel indoor track with some fairly nice karts, and I saw more men in suits than I did greasy fingers.

The day started off with an hour of signing my life away and then going over the basic rules of the track and safety behavior. After this we had about an hour of racing. The day ended with our group dining in their party room and playing some billiards.

Now on to the racing! In the first race I had no idea what I was doing. I started in 4th place and finished in 5th. By the end I was passing a bunch of people and had the hang of it, but the two spin outs I had really slowed me down. On the next race I got a great jump off the line and went from 8th place to 5th place in about the first quarter of a lap. Then throughout the rest of the race I managed to work my way up to a 2nd place finish even though I did spin out once. On my last normal race I started in 2nd place and within a lap was in first place. I never gave up my lead. I actually got a ways ahead and had some fun with things like drifting my kart around the corners. There were 15 people in our group and they took the top 10 people for one last race. I started in 3rd on this final race. I managed to edge my way into a 2nd place finish, but I found it’s really tough to pass people who are about as fast as I am. It’s a blast trying to though. Overall my top speed for the day was 38.55 MPH.

Through out the day I ended up with about a bazillion warnings. They briefed me that warnings weren’t to be taken too seriously and I didn’t. Once I gave someone a firm nudge going around the corner and was afraid they were going to penalize me, but they didn’t. It really seemed they were more lenient on minor bumps if you were in the top few places, but I never tried to test that theory much since a stop and go penalty would have basically took me out of the running for that race. The best wreck of the day was by my buddy Eric. He was coming around the corner on the end of the front straight away and was racing along side another kart. Then a guy came flying out after a stop and go penalty and nailed the guy next to Eric, who nailed Eric into the wall. Eric’s kart skidded partly under the wall and ripped his shoes off. Eventually they dug Eric (and his shoes) out of the wall and everyone was racing again.

Kart racing is a blast and if you have anything like this where you live you should totally go there with a few friends and try it out. Even better would be conning your work into paying for it as a "team building" activity!


Lake Whitehall Tour - Geocaching

My separated shoulder is still bothering me so I haven't been doing too much lately. Eric wanted to go kayaking so I took him to Lake Whitehall. I did a little bit of hiking while he was out on the water and when he was thoroughly tired out we packed up the kayak and set out to do a geocache.

The cache I chose was called Lake Whitehall Tour - Part 1. It turned out to be a fun mutlicache. Multicaches have multiple stops before you reach the final geocache location. Usually each stop gives you coordinates to the next location until you reach the final destination. The way we did this multicache involved about a 4 mile hike since we chose to hike partway around the lake to get to the starting point rather than driving. Since the hike was around a lake it was fairly flat terrain overall, but there were a few steep hills here and there to keep thinks interesting.